Township swears in officers, honors retiring councilwoman

Seven officers were sworn in and councilwoman Belling was honored.

At its meeting on Nov. 20, Deptford swore in seven police officers – the most during a meeting – and honored Mackenzie Belling for her three years on council.

The officers sworn in were Joseph Maillet, Justin Meckhail, Brittany Van Arstale, Devin DeRusso, Luke Duffy, David Hibbert and Jose Rivera. They were accompanied to the ceremony by their fellow officers, friends and family, and both Mayor Paul Medany and Police Chief Joe Smith addressed the crowd.

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“We had a nice little ceremony,” the mayor said. “We’re promoting public safety by doing this and to bring attention to our anti-theft program.”

The officers were hired thanks to a $250,000 grant from the U.S. Department of Justice.

“It’s probably the biggest grant we’ve ever received for the department since I’ve been here,” Medany noted.

Council presented a proclamation recognizing Belling for her service on council; her term ends this year. She was also a member of the township planning board and the Recreation Advisory Committee. The meeting was her last as a councilwoman.

“I was completely surprised to receive the proclamation,” said Belling. “I knew that we were going to be celebrating community members at the beginning of the meeting like we often do, but I did not realize I would be one of the individuals being recognized. I love Deptford, and it’s been an honor to serve our community in this role over the past four years.”

“For the years that she was here, she was an outstanding elected official,” noted Medany. “She did a lot for Deptford. She’s everything a councilwoman should be. But we do have a good person coming into the council soon.”

That would be Belling’s replacement, newly elected councilwoman Brandi Leidy. She will be sworn in during the township’s reorganization meeting in early January.

“I have really enjoyed getting to know Brandi over this past year and look forward to seeing what she will accomplish on the township council,” said Belling. “I know that with her and the rest of our team with the mayor and council, municipal staff and volunteers, our community is in good hands. 

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