Recruitment Officer: Ptl. Jason Lipsett
The Township of Mantua was originally part of Greenwich Township, and broke away as a separate township by an act of the New Jersey Legislature on 23 February 1853. Mantua Township is located in the center of Gloucester County, just south of the County Seat of Woodbury. The township is surrounded by Greenwich and West Deptford Townships to the north, Wenonah Borough, Deptford Township, and Washington Township to the east, Pitman Borough and Glassboro Borough to the south, and Harrison Township to the southwest. Mantua Creek is believed to have been named after the Native American word “manta”, meaning frog, whose loud yell occurs annually in the area and is very recognizable. Mantua Creek was the chief source of navigation and transportation for both the Lenni-Lenape Native Americans and early settlers.
The first town meeting was held on 9 March 1853 where Joseph Norris, John Haines, and Elijah Chew were appointed to the position of “Overseer of the Poor and Constables”. In the early 1900s the state passed legislation enabling municipalities to appoint special officers. On 22 March 1917 the Township Committee organized a temporary special police department using members of the Township Fire Departments. The “Committee on Public Safety” was also formed to oversee the police force. The Police Chief was chosen, often being the current Fire Chief or Company President.
On 9 July 1968 the current Police Department was formed by an ordinance. Thomas Connell was selected, with the help of the Police Chief’s Association, to serve as the first Chief of Police of the department, where he served until his retirement in 1980. Since then there have been three additional Chiefs – Ronnie Walker, Graham Land, and Rodney Sawyer (current Chief). Currently the department consists of 26 sworn Officers and two civilian Police Clerks.
Agency’s Basic Requirements and Application Process
In order to be considered for the position, applicants must be Police Training Commission (PTC) certified with the ability to attend the additional training required to obtain a waiver to full time status (if needed), 21 years of age or older, a citizen of the United States, of mental and bodily health sufficient to satisfy the Board of Trustees of the Police and Firemen’s Retirement System of NJ that s/he would be eligible for membership in the retirement system, able to read, write, and speak the English language well and intelligently, of good moral character and free from conviction of any crime constituting an indictable offense or any crime or offense involving moral turpitude, able to pass such written, oral, physical, medical, and psychological examinations as may be approved by the department as well as meet essential job performance requirements, a graduate from high school or have formal education showing attainment of the level represented by graduation from high school (those with a bachelor’s or associate’s degree are given additional points in the process), hold a valid NJ driver’s license, and meet the requirements of N.J.S. 40A:14-122 to N.J.S. 40A:14-127. Applicants must have already satisfied any costs associated with academy training with their current or former employer.