Hopewell Township Committee members have accepted the retirement of Chief of Police Lance Maloney.
The retirement of Maloney, who has been chief of police for the Hopewell Township Police Department since 2014, was accepted by committee members at a July 20 committee meeting. Maloney has been a member of the department for 26 years and rose through the ranks from patrolman to chief of police.
His retirement is effective Aug. 1.
“As I contemplated this decision over the past year I have been able to look back proudly on my years of service for the residents of Hopewell Township and Hopewell Borough. I have been fortunate to have worked with dedicated and professional officers throughout my career, where officers care about the residents of Hopewell Valley,” Maloney said in his remarks.
Maloney added that he is confident in the police department’s ability to provide premium service for residents.
“While our nation, state and Hopewell Township grapple with issues regarding law enforcement I am confident that the members of the Hopewell Township Police Department will continue to provide premium and professional service to our residents,” he said.
Maloney’s retirement comes at a time when the police department and township continue to address the investigations and suspensions of township police officers and employees regarding improper social media conduct. The accusations of improper social media conduct involved a Facebook post referring to the Black Lives Matter Movement as a terrorist organization.
The police department has also been grappling with a lawsuit by township officer Sgt. Michael Sherman. Sherman filed the lawsuit in 2019 against the department alleging years of harassment and racist comments he experienced as an officer in the department.
“I am here to honor a man who I think is one of the most stand up people during a time when people are asking more from the police. He is retiring from a job of 26 years and this is a time, a place, and experience where people are asking hard questions of police, policing and what people are doing,” Committeewoman Julie Blake said. “I think we can ask those questions and demand more, but honor someone who is so fantastic and honorable. Lance Maloney has shown up when people were at their worst and would do anything for the residents.”
Committee members went on to share their experiences with Maloney during the discussion prior to the vote on the resolution accepting his retirement.
“I know I am not the only recipient of comfort from him. When people are at their worst they need that calm voice and he has always done that. I have also seen him interact with the Youth Advisory Board in presenting to them,” Mayor Kristin McLaughlin said. “He has always connected with those kids in a powerful way and has helped them understand the why behind the rules. He never said no when I asked him to speak and those were additional hours to the community.”
She added that Maloney was as good of a man that the township could have had as chief of police.