HomeLawrence Ledger'Keeping pace'

‘Keeping pace’

New officers join the ranks of the Lawrence Township Police Department

New officers join the ranks of the Lawrence Township Police Department

Three new police officers and a Class I Special Law Enforcement Officer join the ranks of the Lawrence Township Police Department.

The three new police officers – Terrod McCallum, Lydia Moody and Thomas Rotman – were sworn into office by Mayor John Ryan at a recent Lawrence Township Council meeting, along with Class I Special Law Enforcement Officer Elwood Dasher. The three police officers graduated from the Mercer County Police Academy in July.

Dasher became a certified Class I Special Law Enforcement Officer after graduating from the Special Law Enforcement Officer I police academy in Gloucester County in May.

Municipal Manager Kevin Nerwinski said the three police officers are among 23 new police officers who have been sworn into the Lawrence Township Police Department since 2019.

“Our police department is trying hard to keep pace with retirements, but we are also being extremely selective. The past two groups (of new police officers) are top notch,” Nerwinski said.

Ryan said neighboring towns are fighting to fill vacancies in their police departments, but police officers are choosing to join the Lawrence Township Police Department.

“I am going to give a lot of credit to Police Chief Christopher Longo. Under his leadership, this is a destination place for young police officers,” Ryan said.

One of the new police officers grew up in Lawrence Township, and another police officer grew up in Ewing Township but has strong Lawrence ties. The third police officer grew up in Trenton.

McCallum was born and raised in Trenton and attended Trenton Central High School, Longo said. He transferred to the New Jersey Youth Challenge Academy and graduated in 2005.

McCallum attended Mercer County Community College before signing up with the New Jersey Army National Guard, Longo said. He transitioned from the Army National Guard to the U.S. Army for active duty, and served in Afghanistan.

McCallum continued to serve in the U.S. Army Reserves for 18 months after his active duty stint ended. He also attended Pikes Peak Community College in Colorado, and earned an emergency medical services certification.

McCallum worked as a county and state correctional officer in Colorado and Washington State, Longo said. He continued his career as a correctional officer in New Jersey with the federal Bureau of Prison at Fort Dix.

“When I asked Terrod to tell me something he thinks is important for everyone to know about him, he said that he has always taken pride in the years he spent serving and protecting our country. He is looking forward to continuing a career in serving the citizens of Lawrence Township,” Longo said.

Moody grew up in Ewing Township, but attended St. Ann’s School and Notre Dame High School in Lawrence Township, Longo said. She graduated from Notre Dame High School in 2018.

Moody earned a bachelor’s degree in biochemistry and a minor in chemistry from Eastern University in Pennsylvania in 2022. She worked as an associate scientist at Bristol-Myers Squibb Co. before switching to a career in law enforcement, Longo said.

Moody is a certified firefighter and volunteers with the Prospect Heights Volunteer Fire Co. in Ewing Township.

Rotman grew up in Lawrence Township and graduated from Lawrence High School in 2019. He earned a bachelor’s degree in criminology from Albright College.

Rotman, who earned the rank of Eagle Scout in the Boy Scouts of America, is a certified lifeguard, emergency dispatcher and a volunteer firefighter with the Lawrenceville Fire Co.

Rotman worked as a Class I Special Law Enforcement Officer with the Sea Girt Police Department. Class I officers enforce ordinances and may perform routine traffic detail, but may not carry a gun.

Longo said that when he asked Rotman what the community should know about him, he said that he is honored to serve his community.

“This community has shaped me into a dedicated and compassionate person. I am committed to serving and protecting this community that I love,” Longo said Rotman toldĀ  him.

Dasher, the Class I police officer, grew up in Perth Amboy and moved to Burlington County 17 years ago, Longo said. He held management positions at General Motors Corp. and Trane Corp.

Dasher, who is the code enforcement officer for Lawrence Township, became acquainted with the town through his volunteer work with Volunteers of America, Longo said.

Dasher will remain as the township’s brush enforcement officer and also help the Lawrence Township Police Department with covering school crossing guard posts and investigating parking complaints and township ordinance violations, Longo said.

Dasher will help with special events, such as the Memorial Day parade and the annual Fourth of July fireworks show. He will assist with traffic control during emergency road closures, plus other non-emergency duties.

“This will allow police officers to focus on more complex incidents,” Longo said.

Dasher also is a certified peer recovery coach who helps people who suffer from addiction, he said. Dasher works with the Burlington County Prosecutor’s Office and several Burlington County police departments on outreach programs to help people with addictions.

Dasher has proven to be a great resource to the police department when dealing with individuals who suffer from addiction. He is a caring, compassionate person who is an expert in addiction recovery, Longo said.

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