The life and career of outgoing Police Chief William “Bud” Monaghan was celebrated during Cherry Hill Township Council’s Sept. 27 open public meeting.
Effective the end of the month, Monaghan will close the books on a career in law enforcement that lasted 26 years, including the last eight as the head of the township’s finest.
Despite his wishes that a fuss not be made over his retirement, Council President David
Fleisher assured those in attendance at Amato Chambers and watching online that comments would be forthcoming.
Looking on were former township Mayor Susan Bass Levin, former council member and current County Commissioner Melinda Kane, as well as Cherry Hill School Superintendent Joseph Meloche. Cherry Hill and Haddonfield fire chiefs Chris Callan and Lou Frontino also lent their support.
“We will all be speaking very briefly this evening, number one because the chief didn’t want any recognition, and the second (reason) is that there’s an Eagles-Cowboys game that’s going to be on in about an hour,” Fleisher noted.
“And often at these celebrations, you find out one little thing that you didn’t know about that person after all these years,” he added. “And just this past Saturday I found out, to my great dismay, that our beloved chief is actually a Cowboys’ fan.”
Monaghan joined the township police in 1995 after his graduation from the Gloucester County and New Jersey police academies. During his time with the department, he served as field-training officer, detective, patrol sergeant, detective sergeant, and lieutenant and captain, before being selected the township’s top cop in December 2013 by then-Mayor Chuck Cahn.
As chief, Monaghan was responsible for introducing programs such as the Junior Police Academy and the Suicide Awareness and Prevention Program, and made strides with the African American community in its relationship with law enforcement.
“This is certainly a bittersweet moment. I know what an incredible job all these dedicated police officers have done under your leadership for the last 26 years,” Mayor Susan Shin Angulo said of the chief.
“We are grateful for all you have done to make Cherry Hill a model for safety and police engagement with the community.”
The schools’ Assistant Superintendent Kwame Morton, formerly principal at Cherry Hill High School West, joined the council meeting via Zoom and recounted certain conversations with his counterpart about forming partnerships between the department and the district.
“I called his bluff; I wanted to see if he was honest,” Morton recalled. “Not only did he do what he promised, but he went far above it.”
The prime example of Monaghan’s collaboration is the Project Little Warriors program at West, part of a restorative justice initiative where young students are taught meditation and its techniques to regulate behavior and offer conflict resolution.
Monaghan credited Cahn for “giving him the latitude to step forward,” for
believing in him, and instilling in him the idea of “getting to a yes” to solve a wide range of situations. The chief also praised council member Carole Roskoph as “a voice for people who don’t have a voice,” lauded Council Vice President Brian Bauerle for tackling issues with a common sense approach and recognized Fleisher as a steadfast leader.
Monaghan also recognized the service of civilians and officers under his watch for their efforts during the last taxing 18 months of the pandemic, given the added risk factor among his colleagues and their families of potentially bringing COVID home. As such, he urged township administration to focus increased attention on mental health and wellness for officers and other front-line personnel.
“I want to thank the citizens of Cherry Hill for the support they’ve given me and the department over the last eight years,” Monaghan noted. “I’m forever grateful for the trust that everyone has placed in me. It’s truly humbling.”
In other news:
- Cherry Hill will enter into a shared-services agreement with Camden County for roadway improvements on Church Road. The county will complete the work, and the township will reimburse the county for an amount not to exceed $136,402.
- Council approved a resolution authorizing the endorsement of a New Jersey Department of Environmental Protection Treatment Works Approval permit application for the installation of a new pump at Erlton station. It will be connected to the existing Camden County Municipal Utilities Authority sewer main along Park Boulevard.
- Thanks to approval of another resolution, the township will have another $394,000 at its disposal for the 2021 road maintenance program that will allow for the inclusion of additional streets not originally planned. The total contracted amount for pending road work was increased to $2,364,000.