BELMAR, NJ — Belmar Police Chief Andrew Huisman is retiring after spending his entire 27-year law enforcement career on the borough's police force.

With nearly 50 police department members in attendance, Huisman made his announcement at the Belmar Council's regular meeting on December 17, thanking the borough for the opportunity to serve the community and recognizing the officers he has led for the past three- and one-half years as chief.

"Over the years, I have served with many officers in Belmar," said Huisman, whose retirement will take effect on December 31. "However, I can say without a doubt that the group of men and women that are present today are the best officers anyone can ask for. Period."

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He added that the long-term results of a successful police department is created by the everyday efforts of its officers — "not just the one person who has the honor and privilege of being in charge."

"No other officers can measure up to the officers before you. Their skills, competence and compassion are truly unmatched and for this, I am proud," Huisman said, bringing the audience to their feet for a standing ovation.

Joining the Belmar Police Department in 1993 as a patrolman, Huisman served as captain and led the detectives bureau before becoming chief in April 2016. At the time of his swearing-in, he was credited with playing a major role during and after Superstorm Sandy in 2012, including coordinating efforts with other law enforcement and emergency response agencies.

In addition, one of his first tasks as Belmar police chief was taking over police operations for neighboring Lake Como, which disbanded its own 10-member force in May 1016 due to budgetary constraints and to avoid a major municipal tax hike.

After making his announcement in Belmar, Huisman then attended the Lake Como Council meeting, where his news was also greeted with words of appreciation. Councilman Nicholas DeMauro commended him for successfully leading a police force that grows each year to nearly 100 police and special officers in the busy summer season. "That's like overseeing a city," he said.

The borough will now begin the process of naming a new chief, following New Jersey Civil Service Commission policies. A provisional police chief is expected to be appointed by the council shortly after the beginning of the new year, according to Business Administrator Edward Kirschenbaum.

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