Farewell to Sheriff Edward V. Rochford

In addition to 24 years as Morris County Sheriff, Rochford served 27 years with the Morris Township Police Department, making him one of the longest serving law enforcement officers in county history

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MORRIS COUNTY — Morris County Sheriff Edward V. Rochford ceremonially ended his 24-year elected tenure at a Walk Out ceremony held in Morristown, where he was joined by many dozens of current and former police, elected officials, friends and colleagues who thanked him for decades of service.

The Sheriff leaving the Court House for the final time during his Walk Out ceremony

In addition to his county service, Rochford served 27 with the Morris Township Police Department, making him one of the longest serving law enforcement officers in county history.

Although he may have struck out at becoming a professional baseball star, but in Morris County he scored multiple home runs as sheriff for the past 24 years. Morris County Sheriff Edward Rochford is finishing up his final hours at the Morris County Sheriff’s Office in Morristown after completing his eighth three-year term as Morris County Sheriff.

Former Morris Township Police Chief Tim Quinn with Rochford

Previously, he was deputy chief in his hometown police department, Morris Township where he served for 27 years.  During that time he received more than 50 departmental awards including being honored as “Police Officer of the Year.” Retired Morris Township Police Chief Timothy Quinn also addressed the audience and praised Rochford for all the years of service in that department.

Sheriff-elect James Gannon addresses the audience

Sheriff-elect James M. Gannon expressed words of thanks and praise to Rochford. Gannon takes office on Sunday.

Rochford was also joined by Freeholders Kathy DeFillippo, John Cesaro, Hank Lyons, Tom Mastrangelo, and Christine Myers, who presented him with a resolution from the Board of Freeholders.

After the indoor ceremony, Rochford then made an emotional walk down Court Street, shaking hands with the many officers, dignitaries and well-wishers who lined the street.

Sheriff Rochford is a graduate of the City University of New York, John Jay College of Criminal Justice. He is also a graduate of the FBI National Academy in Quantico, Virginia, the National Sheriff’s Institute of Longmont, Colorado and the Morris County Chamber of Commerce Leadership Morris Program.

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Sheriff Rochford is the past president and executive director of the Sheriff’s Association of New Jersey. He also serves on the advisory boards of the College of St. Elizabeth’s Justice Studies Program, the County College of Morris Criminal Justice Program and the Academy for Law and Public Safety. He is a life member of the Morris County Chapter of the NAACP and also serves as the honorary chairman of the United Jewish Appeal of the Jewish Federation of Greater MetroWest New Jersey. He is a former trustee of the Urban League of Morris County.  Sheriff Rochford is a volunteer fireman and life member of the Fairchild Fire Company, Morris Township Fire Department.

Sheriff Rochford is very involved helping children with cancer and organizes fundraisers to help defray their medical expenses.  He is a strong supporter of St. Hubert’s Animal Welfare Center in Madison, the Randolph Animal Pound and the Denville Animal Shelter.

In 2013, Sheriff Rochford received the “Distinguished Citizen Award” from the Boy Scouts of America and also served as the grand marshal of the Morris County St. Patrick’s Day Parade.  In 2013, he was also the recipient of the Egon Bittner award from the Commission on Accreditation for Law Enforcement Agencies.  Sheriff Rochford was the 2012 recipient of the “Lifetime Achievement Award” from the NJ State Troopers Coalition, the 2011 recipient of the “Distinguished American” award from the Morris County Chapter of the National Football Foundation and College Hall of Fame, and the 2009 “Distinguished Leadership” award recipient from the NJ State Association of Chiefs of Police for his commitment to accreditation and the professionalism of policing in New Jersey. He was honored by the American Cancer Society, Morris County Chapter as the “Volunteer of the Year.” The Boy Scouts of America presented him with their “Good Scout” award for his fundraising and volunteer work.

During his 24 years as the Sheriff of Morris County, Sheriff Rochford has provided Morris County with specialized law enforcement services, including a crime scene unit, forensic and photo labs, K9 unit, bomb squad, warrant unit and an emergency response team. He has offered numerous community services and brought the Project Lifesaver program to all 21 Sheriff’s Offices in the state.  Sheriff Rochford oversaw not only the operation of the Morris County Correctional Facility but also the construction and move into a $32 million, state-of-the-art structure in May of 2000. This six story building, considered to be one of the premier jails in the nation and has the capacity to house a total of 528 inmates.

During his leadership as sheriff, the Morris County Sheriff’s Office became the first sheriff’s office in the state of New Jersey to attain national accreditation. Further, he went on to lead the agency to earning the prestigious Triple Crown Award—being simultaneously accredited by the Commission on Accreditation of Law Enforcement Agencies, the American Correctional Association’s Commission on Accreditation for Corrections and the National Commission on Correctional Healthcare.

After 51 years, Sheriff Rochford will retire as the first person in law enforcement to serve a half century entirely in Morris County.

Sheriff Rochford is a lifelong resident of Morris County. While he admits that he “loved every moment” of serving as sheriff, 72-year old Rochford is looking forward to doing other things he never had too much time to enjoy like attending baseball games.

“I would like to visit all the baseball stadiums,” says Rochford, who admits that he is a “die hard” Yankee fan. He plans to go to Yankee Spring Training in Tampa, Florida, in March, where the opening game is scheduled to be played, he adds. Then he plans to come up the East Coast and hit all of the baseball stadiums; then will visit the middle part of the East Coast such as Chicago; then travel to the West Coast and visit the stadiums there.

A baseball player in his youth, Rochford had been playing baseball for his high school team when he decided to try out for the New York Yankees in 1964.

As a life-long resident of Morris County, Rochford plans to stick around when he is not at baseball games.

“I think Morris County is a great place to live and work,” says Rochford. There are lots of parks, it’s a safe county, great law enforcement on the municipal level, Morristown and Morris Township have great schools, he said.

“I love it here; I’m staying here for the duration,” he concludes.

Here is the text of the Board of Freeholders resolution:

Freeholder Kathryn A. DeFillippo presents a resolution to Rochford

WHEREAS, Edward V. Rochford is retiring on December 31, 2016 after serving eight terms as Morris County Sheriff, and prior to that he was deputy chief of police in Morris Township, where he served for 27 years and received more than fifty departmental awards, including “Police Officer of the Year,” and

WHEREAS, under his leadership, the Morris County Sheriff’s Office and its 310 officers provided highly technical, specialized, and exemplary services to the residents of Morris County, and worked as a great partner to local, county, state and federal local law enforcement agencies, and

WHEREAS, the Morris County Sheriff’s Office in 1998 became the first sheriff’s office in New Jersey to earn national accreditation from the Commission on Accreditation for Law Enforcement Agencies, and in 2004 received the coveted “Triple Crown Award” for accreditation in Law Enforcement, Corrections, and Correctional Health Care from the National Sheriffs’ Association, and

WHEREAS, he is past president of the Sheriffs’ Association of New Jersey, served on advisory boards of the College of St. Elizabeth’s Justice Studies Program, the County College of Morris Criminal Justice Program and the Academy for Law and Public Safety, and has been involved with numerous community, civic, child, and animal welfare organizations – far too numerous to mention, and

WHEREAS, Sheriff Rochford has received the “Distinguished Citizen Award” from the Boy Scouts, “Lifetime Achievement Award” from the State Troopers Coalition, “Distinguished Leadership Award’’ from the State Association of Police Chiefs, “Volunteer of the Year” from the Cancer Society, and even served as Grand Marshal of the Morris County St. Patrick’s Day Parade;

THERFORE BE IT RESOLVED, The Morris County Board of Freeholders offers thanks to Sheriff Edward V. Rochford for his great commitment to the people of Morris County and for his commitment to excellence for his Department, and wishes him well in his retirement

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