Heights officials honor retired Police Capt. Robert Shafer


SPRING LAKE HEIGHTS — Retired Spring Lake Heights Police Captain Robert Shafer was recognized for his service by Police Chief Ed Gunnell at Monday night’s council meeting.

Mr. Shafer, joined by his family, was presented with a plaque, flowers and the firearm he had carried with him during his more than 27 years on the SLHPD force. Chief Gunnell lauded Mr. Shafer’s importance to the police department as well as his work-ethic.

“On behalf of the Borough of Spring Lake Heights, and personally, we’d like to congratulate you on  your retirement,” Chief Gunnell said. “Thank you for your years of dedicated service to Spring Lake Heights.


“For those of you who don’t know Capt. Shafer, he’s pretty much our triple threat. He knows the municipal budget side, he knows the police budget side and he knows a great deal about small-town politics. He brought that all together to really advance our agency to accreditation standards.

“He did a fantastic job and he’s by far one of the hardest workers I’ve ever met in my life. He’s hard to keep up with and we’re going to miss him dearly.”

Mr. Shafer thanked the mayor and council for their support for the police department during his time there, especially in recent years which has seen the department rise to accreditation status by the New Jersey Association of Chiefs of Police for raising its standards on multiple fronts.

“Thank you for all the support you’ve given to me, but more importantly the department, especially in the last couple of years as we’ve tried to better our department,” Mr. Shafer said.

“Three things I’m most proud of are, first and foremost, my family. Secondly, my work with the Avon Board of Education and [thirdly] this accreditation,” he said, adding that achieving that accreditation status was one of the most difficult but rewarding things he has ever done.

Mayor Chris Campion thanked Mr. Shafer for markedly improving the quality and culture of the Spring Lake Heights Police Department.

“I think it’s a testament to all of you for having the vision to look forward and doing what’s best for our residents here and it’s nice to know that we can be a model for other departments for how things have been conducted here.”

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