GLOUCESTER TOWNSHIP, N.J. — Gloucester Township Police Chief W. Harry Earle announced his retirement after 33 years of service effective November 1.
Earle, who served as Chief of Police for nine and a half years, credits community partnerships for the success of policing initiatives.
“We focused on building community partnerships, opening lines of communication, establishing relationships with youth, and changing the way we train,” Earle said in a letter to the community. “I have been so fortunate as the Chief of Police to have such commitment and support from the community, Mayor Mayer, and all of our local government leaders.”
Earle also expressed appreciation to the department he led.
“I have also been greatly fortunate to work with all the members of the GTPD. They have worked tirelessly in building relationships with you, while also protecting you, which is not always an easy task,” he said. “An officer may be giving a high-five to a young child at a bus stop, having a catch in the street after school, and then in the same shift perform CPR on a person who has overdosed, or even be assaulted by someone as they make an arrest for a crime.”
Deputy Chief David Harkins will be promoted to Chief of Police to lead the department. Harkins, who has served with the GTPD since 1995, holds a bachelor’s degree in criminal justice, a masters degree in human resource development, and is a graduate of the FBI National Academy.
“I am confident that Deputy Chief Harkins will provide the leadership that is needed to keep moving the department forward so that the men and women of the GTPD will continue to provide outstanding police service to the community,” Earle said.
Harkins will be sworn in as Chief of Police at a Change in Command Ceremony on November 4, 2019 at 6:30 P.M. The event is open to the public. The location and details for this event have not yet been announced.