Ten retired members ot the Camden Police Department answered their last roll call Tuesdav night.
By James M. Neville
They received gold retirement and lifelong membership cards in the Patrolmen’s Benevolent Association at the second annual dinner of Local 35 in Kenney’s.
Their ages ranged from 52 to 65 and collectively they represented a total of 327 years of service to the city.
“You have put aside badges and clubs and now the new men can take over,” commented guest speaker County Judge Anthony C Mitchell.
Lauded By Judge
“You can go home tonight and look in the mirror and say: ‘I wasn’t the worst cop in the world,’ for some of you are among the finest men we’ve had in the department over the years.
“You deserve your reward of retirement now,” the judge said.
E. George Aaron, commissioner of police, who was toastmaster, said some of the retiring men being honored by more than 125 members and guests “have given good and long service.
“I’ve worked with them and I’ve lived with them,” continued Aaron.
“We have one of the hardest working police departments in the state or anywhere. I even think the public is now aware of that, with a new respect for the policeman today.”
Those retiring in the year 1957-58 are:
Insp. Walter E. Rewand, with 41 years; Det. Harry Kyler Sr., 35; Sgt. John Stanton, 35; Det. Benjamin Simon, 34; Ptl. Samuel Corsella, 32; Sgt. Karl Friedrichs, 31; Insp. Thomas P. Murphy, 30; Det. Marshall Thompson, 30; Det. Sgt. Clifford Carr, 30; and Ptl. William Thorn, 29
Insp. Anthony Skolski, in charge of the patrol division, was also presented with a gold card in a leather case for outstanding service, along with a lifetime membership.
Sgt. Joseph Hooven was given a silver card and lifelong membership for outstanding work. Hooven is in charge of the auto investigation division.
In lauding the hard tasks confronting the policeman of today, both Judge Mitchell and Commissioner Aaron rapped the soft attitude of the public toward the juveniles who consistently break the law.
“Unfortunately everybody is worried about the juveniles,” Judge Mitchell said.
“We are not worried, as we should be, about the man who has his car stolen, his purse robbed, his daughter molested.
“Instead, everybody’s worried about poor little Johnny, who’s always in trouble with the police.
“Sometimes you have to struggle just to keep your hands off Johnny. You even feel like doing what his father should have done.
“The ability of today’s patrolman to hold within the line of duty, keep his hands off, hold his patience with little Johnny, is commendable.”
Law Change Urged
“What Judge Mitchell has said is important to you policemen,” said Aaron. “Before I entered police work I considered myself something of a reformer. But ever since I came up against these youngsters who don’t mind breaking the law, I’ve found it very disturbing.
“I’d like to see the Legislature pass a law reducing the age from 18 to 16.
“I have no quarrel with arguments about broken homes and other causes for misbehavior, but we must see to it that these youngsters do not do more damage.”
“The commissioner pointed out that only two percent of the youth in the nation can be classified as delinquent.
“But that adds up to a considerable number when you figure it out,” he stated. “Besides, we have first-hand evidence that these youngsters can be real nasty. Some are sadistic and cruel to a point that few adults realize.
“When taken into custody, these youngsters know that nothing is going to happen to them, which doesn’t make the job of the policeman any easier.
“It seems to me that a lot of these youngsters must be taught they can’t do wrong before 18 years of age and get away with it.”
Second Vice President Mike Lombardi, of Maple Shade, informed the membership that plans are underway to present a bill in the Legislature which will provide policemen with three-fourths full pay, instead of one-half, for 20 years service. Other speakers included Sen. Joseph W. Cowgill who said he would vote for any legislation favoring policemen.
“I have always and will always support any legislation which is reasonable,” he added.
“The Camden police department has lost much in the retirement of these 10 good men.”