HomeWilliamstown News'You have allowed me to live out my dreams'

‘You have allowed me to live out my dreams’

Police Chief Monahan to retire after nearly 30 years in law enforcement

Come March 1, Monroe police Chief Craig Monahan will step down.

A new chief has been selected and is expected to be sworn in on Feb. 28. Officials have not named Monahan’s replacement as of yet.

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At times fighting back emotion, Monahan read a letter he composed to Mayor Gregory Wolfe and township officials at a council meeting last month.

“March 2024 marks my 29th year completing law enforcement service,” he read. “As a young 22-year-old starting out at the Gloucester County Sheriff’s Department, I never thought how time would fly. Two years later, I accepted position here with Monroe Township in August 1997.

“My law-enforcement career in Monroe Township has been an amazing journey,” Monahan noted in his letter. “It is incredible to look back on how I started as a patrolman and climbed through the ranks as a corporal, sergeant, lieutenant, captain and now chief of police for the last three years.

“The people at this department are family to me, so it’s with mixed emotions that I announce March 1 of 2024, I will be retiring from the chief of police.”

Monahan – who is in his early 50s – was born and raised in Williamstown and is a graduate of the township high school. He became chief on March 1 of 2021. Throughout his career, he’s held various positions and was assigned to several divisions in the police department, including the Bike Patrol Unit and the Unity Tour Team.

Monahan has served as a Field Training Officer, Firearms Instructor, Handcuffing Instructor, Defensive Tactics Instructor, Baton Instructor and TAC (tactical) Officer. He spent 21 years with the Tactical Entry Team as an operator, squad leader, team leader and commander.

Monahan acknowledged those individuals who “influenced, supported and championed” his success.

“One cannot have a 29-year career in law enforcement that includes three of those years as a successful chief without an amazing, reliable hardworking team that stands behind me,” he explained, referring to his fellow Monroe officers.

“The caliber of law enforcement that we have working in our department has made my time here one of honor and enjoyment.”

Monahan also recognized Deputy Chief Gene Sulzbach.

“Gene’s knowledge, guidance and assistance has made it possible for us to work as a good team,” he noted. “He helped me slow down my thinking process and not to make quick and irrational decisions. I could not have a better second man.”

The chief recognized the police department’s civilian staff for its continued support and hard work, as well as the mayor, council and administration past and present. He also cited the mentorship of Gloucester County Acting Prosecutor Christine Hoffman.

And Monahan thanked those closest to him.

“To my family … thank you for all your patience, love and support,” he continued. “Thank you for understanding all the times when my duties for this community called and countless long hours were required. Thank you for inspiring, challenging and pushing me not to settle.”

As for the citizens of Monroe, “You have allowed me to live out my dreams,” Monahan related. “I will forever be grateful as a hometown boy, I could not imagine working for another department. This town has shown its continued support, trust and genuine care for our officers and for (their) service and protection.

“I would like everyone to know that every decision that I have made, I believe, was in the best interest of my officers and community.”

Finally, the retiring chief got a standing ovation from the council meeting audience.

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