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History

The Lower Township Police Department was officially incorporated in 1955. The Department has had seven Chiefs: John Knecht, Robert Denny, Don Douglass, John Maher, Edward Donohue, Brian Marker and William Mastriana. The Department started with two full-time officers and two part-time officers. The Department now has 45 full time officers and 6 Class II Special Officers.

Officers have operated out of three different police stations in the Department's history. The first was on Seashore Road where the Lower Township D.P.W. is now located. The second station was located on Bayshore Road in the Villas, near Township Hall. The current Police Department is located in a large building in the Cape May County Airport Complex. The Lower Township Public Safety Building also houses the Lower Township Rescue Squad, Municipal Court, and Fire Safety Bureau. The Lower Township Police Department was one of the first police departments in New Jersey to have School Resource Officers assigned to its grade schools and high school.

The Lower Township Police Department participates in the highly trained Cape May County S.W.A.T. Team whose officers must pass physical fitness and firearms test several times a year. In 1994, the Police Department lost a member of the Lower Township S.W.A.T. team when Officer David C. Douglass was shot and killed in the line of duty. David Douglass was the first officer killed in the line of duty in the history of the Lower Township Police Department. Officer Rocco DeNote was shot and wounded in the line of duty. 

The Lower Township Police Department was also one of the first departments in the county to implement a Community Policing Unit and Bike Patrols. The Lower Township Detective Division consists of a Detective Sergeant and six detectives. The Command Staff at the police department is made up of the Chief of Police, one Captain, two Lieutenants, and four Sergeants.

The Lower Township Police Department is committed to continuing to serve the citizens of Lower Township into the 21st century, as we have done for over 60 years.

Prepared by:
William Mastriana
Chief of Police

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