Longtime Cherry Hill police officer retires after 24 years

Lt. John Moyer reflects on a job he grew to love

Lt. John Moyer’s (right) positions on the police force included bicycle patrol and community relations officer. A highlight, he said, was being a detective. With him is Lt. Andrew Spell, a friend and colleague. (Special to The Sun)

Lt. John Moyer spent his last day with the Cherry Hill police earlier this month, the end of 24 years with the department. 

Though policing wasn’t something he had aspired to do as a child, the career was suggested to him after he excelled as a corrections officer in the Camden County Correctional Facility.

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“That really gave me my base for who I was,” Moyer recalled. “I learned a lot about how to deal with people, how to talk with people, communication skills, a lot about leadership. When I was there, people were saying, ‘You’re really good, what are you doing here? You should be a cop.’  (So) I took the test again, and was very lucky to be hired by the Cherry Hill Police Department.”

Moyer has filled a number of roles since he joined the force in 1999, including community  policing as a bicycle patrol officer; service-rifle operator, community relations officer; and a member of the crisis intervention team. 

Moyer was later promoted to detective for the investigative unit, where he also served as the department’s public information officer, and was most recently in the special services unit. 

“Most people call you on the worst day of their lives,” Moyer noted. “That’s what I try to impart with the people who worked with me over the years, those that I led. When you can help them get through that worst day, there’s no better feeling than making them feel like you did the right thing.

“You called us and we’re here to handle it. And we’re here to make everything better.”

The detective unit was a highlight of Moyer’s police career.

“For me, that gave me an opportunity to deal with people and try and get them some type of closure,” he explained. 

Moyer remembered how he was burglarized as a kid, and the feeling of being uncomfortable or that it could happen again were ones he could empathize with in helping victims of similar crimes. One of the most satisfying feelings, he claims, was being able to tell someone that detectives had found a burglary or robbery suspect and that some stolen belongings would be returned.

“When I was in the investigative unit, it gave me an opportunity to follow through on cases a little more than you do on patrol, and that was the best impact,” he said.

On his last day on the job, Moyer shared a quote from Maya Angelou: “People will forget what you said, people will forget what you did, but people will never forget the way you make them feel.” He encouraged his fellow officers to treat people well.

“If you treat them right and make them feel like you care and give them the opportunity to explain themselves, sometimes that’ll go a long way in the future,” he pointed out.

Moyer considers his retirement from the Cherry Hill police department the end of one career, but the beginning of another. He was succeeded as Public Information Officer by Lt. Robert Schuenemann Jr. 

“(For) anybody that wants to help people and wants to be involved with helping people and wants a great career, this is a good job for you,” Moyer observed. “If you have communication abilities, empathy, (are) certainly strong willed, you’re not afraid of a situation, not afraid to put yourself in a situation to help somebody, then I think it’s a tremendous career.

“It wasn’t something I chose to do, it wasn’t something I really wanted to do, but now that I’ve done it, I can’t think of anything else I’d rather do than what I did.”

To learn more about the Cherry Hill Police Department, visit https://www.chnj.gov/132/Police-Department.

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