NEWTON, NJ - The Newton Police Department welcomed a new special officer  during the Newton Town Council meeting in October. Stephen Moran, a retired captain from the Vernon Township Police Department, was sworn in as a special officer on the Newton Police Department.

Municipal Clerk Lorraine Read swore in Moran while Mayor Dan Flynn held the Bible. Newton Police Chief Michael Richards said that Moran comes with full police qualifications and will be an asset to the Newton Police Department.

Mayor Flynn welcomed Special Officer Moran to the Newton Police Department. “I believe that being a special officer in Newton is extremely important to the community and the town and I wish you well in your new position.

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Per Chief Richards, “The appointment of a new Special Law Enforcement Officer represents the Town’s continued commitment to maintaining a uniformed presence in the business district.”  This appointment comes at a time where Newton is in a battle with an uprising in the heroin epidemic that has crossed through many states thus far this year.

“I have been meeting with the folks from the Center for Prevention and Counseling to discuss ways that we can work together and I look forward to developing a partnership with them and other community stakeholders to make our efforts more effective.” said Chief Richards.

Newton Police detectives, along with the County Narcotics Task Force, continue to conduct joint investigations into the drug distribution cases. The investigations have already resulted in 13 plus arrests that occurred in the late October and early November months.

“Newton Police Department is progressive, proactive and professional and we are committed to improving the quality of life for our residents, business owners and visitors to the county seat.” Said Chief Richards.

The appointment of Special Officer Stephen Moran and the joint investigations are just the beginning to helping keep Newton a safer place to live for all its residents and visitors that just pass through.