When Hanover Township Deputy Mayor, Thomas “Ace” Gallagher began putting together the foundation for what is now the New Jersey Coalition for Education and Positive Choices (NJC4EPC), he was told, “reach out to Mark, he will be great.” Mark, was Mark Roddy, the in-coming Hanover Township Chief of Police, at the time. He took that meeting with Gallagher and the NJC4EPC took off. Since that time Chief Roddy has supported the coalition with his passion to build relationships between law enforcement and the communities they serve and drive home the message of being present not just when there is a problem.
“I want to mention a few words about all Chief Roddy has done,” offered Florham Park Mayor Mark Taylor. “Being chief is a task itself, but Chief Roddy had gone way above and beyond his duty to the residents of Hanover Township. He also is a key player in the advancement of the NJC4EPC. I would like to wish Mark all the best in the next chapter of his life,” Taylor added. Roddy and Taylor share the vision for the NJC4EPC and continue to grow the mission.
Over the next couple of years Chief Roddy supported many community outreach events, including Hanover TownshipDay , One Day One School , Law Enforcement Night at Mennen Arena, The Torch Run , Hanover Township Youth Football Sunday Funday, Hanover Township Big Night Out, and so many more. He believes in taking action, not just talking about it. Roddy shared, “building relationships with the community first is important in shifting the narrative of policing from a negative to a positive.” He wanted youth to know he was not “the bad guy,” and that enforcing the law was one part of the job. He also supported and partnered with both D.A.R.E. and L.E.A.D. programs in the school district to best inform families of drug trends among youth. Roddy’s mission to build relationships in the community met the mission of the coalition, and it grew exponentially. “Before Chief Roddy, the coalition was just an idea,” says Gallagher.
Roddy’s involvement in the community extended beyond the town lines. He was the first to support neighboring communities even before he was asked to. Morristown Director of Public Safety, Michael Corcoran shared his sentiments for the Chief, “It has been an honor and privilege to work with Chief Roddy the past three years. From serving on the NJC4EPC, to everyday policing issues, Chief Roddy was a consummate professional and always willing to assist in any way. He will be missed in Hanover Township and throughout Morris County. I thank him for always being there for me and my department. I wish him all the best in retirement.”
“During the last 23 years it has been a pleasure to work collaboratively with Chief Mark Roddy. He is a true professional who has become a great friend to the Hanover Township Public School District by always going the extra mile for our students and staff,” said Mike Wasko, Hanover Township School District Superintendent. “Thank you for all that you have done over the years, you will be missed. Congratulations on your retirement and enjoy that extra time fishing on the lake.”
Roddy walks the talk. He spoke of working community detail and the emphasis on how important it is. “Everyone hated community detail. I loved it,” he said. That attitude helped to create a positive mindset shift. He was rarely in the office, and always out in the community. His communication skills and ability to make great connections developed in his years as a football coach at Whippany Park High School. Roddy lead with the utmost respect for his players. He laid a foundation of discipline and work ethic that his players carried with them on and off the field.
Morris County Sheriff James Gannon shared a message directly to Roddy. “It’s my pleasure to congratulate Chief Mark Roddy on retirement. You have served the citizens of Hanover and Morris County with dedication to duty and ensured respect for all. You are a true professional and a gentleman. Our long-standing friendship and law enforcement careers were intertwined in police work, academia and the Police Pipes and Drums of Morris County. Great times! I wish you and your wonderful family the very best as you (enter) chapter 2. Congratulations and God Bless,” your friend, Sheriff Jim Gannon.
NJC4EPC Communications Director, Michele Sylvin said Roddy’s dedication was admirable, “I would like to issue a sincere thank you and express my personal appreciation to Mark Roddy for his undaunting leadership and many years of service. Throughout my career in government, I have had the opportunity to meet a lot of influential people. Few have made as indelible an impression on me as Chief Roddy has. His dedication to the Township of Hanover has earned him the respect, admiration and high regard of his fellow officers as well as the citizens of the community. His life’s work to protect, serve and enforce peace as well as his professionalism has had great impact on so many lives. Chief Mark Roddy has found his purpose in life and made every day count – living his life with dignity and leaving behind a legacy of accomplishments. It has been my pleasure to have worked with him on NJC4EPC.”
“The department is in a good place,” Roddy said, as he contemplated next opportunities. “ I am retired, but I am not going anywhere. I will always be here and always support the efforts of the NJC4EPC.
Parsippany Mayor James Barberio shared his sentiments for the man he has supported in his many years of service; “Thank you Chief Roddy!” “Your journey as Police Chief of Hanover Township has been a memorable one, defined by your selfless efforts to serve the community. It has been my pleasure to have served with you on the NJ Coalition for Education & Positive Choices. You taught us all what passion and dedication can achieve. I would like to extend my very best wishes for a memorable retirement.”
East Hanover Chief of Police Chris Cannizzo offered a message of gratitude, “Thank you Chief for all your guidance. You are legendary.”
“ Mark Roddy has always led with courage, credibility, humility and respect. No one worked harder than the Chief, his intentions are true. When there was a problem, he was the first one there and had great people rally around him to find a solution,” Gallagher said.