Back and forth and chitter-chatter on a police radio is nothing new. It usually signals a need for community assistance or communication amongst officers. This Friday it signaled something else in Stafford Township and led to an amazing and emotional moment.
"The Stafford Township Police Department thanks you. Our community of Manahawkin that you served and protected thanks you...to the greatest man I know, from the bottom of my heart, thank you for being my father, my role model, and better yet my best friend."
Those surprising and powerful and touching words came out of Lieutenant Allen Halliday's radio and originated from his son Officer Zachary Halliday's mouth. After 25 amazing years of community service, Lieutenant Allen Halliday received a surprise message as he signed off and ended his career in law enforcement. Let's face it, a career in law enforcement is not easy. It's mentally, emotionally, and physically grueling. Being on the receiving end of a heartfelt thank you message is perhaps the perfect ending to a wonderful career.
I want to congratulate Lieutenant Halliday. I have the utmost respect for the work he's done to keep the Stafford Township community safe and sound. The Stafford Township Police Department notes that Lieutenant Halliday is one of the "kindest and most loved officers among Stafford PD." In 2017, he graduated from the New Jersey State Chiefs of Police Command and Leadership Academy. His son, Officer Zachary Halliday will be extending the family's legacy. The emotional moment of his sign-off and the video is posted below following a letter written by Officer Zachary Halliday.
To all police personnel, family and the community,
Good morning. It’s 330 in the morning and I can’t sleep. I’m too excited, yet somewhat nervous thinking about how life changes for me and my family at the close of today. It’s hard to believe 25 plus years has passed in my career. I remember it like it was yesterday. I remember all the faces, all the laughter and tears and all the stories. I will miss being a part of the new stories to come, but that’s what you sacrifice when you make way for the new and with the new, it starts a new chapter for all….
For most of you that know me, I’m never without words, however, I find it hard to say farewell….
I want to thank former Mayor Carl Block and retired Chief Larry Parker for providing the opportunity for me to become a member of this incredible police department in 1994. I want to thank Chief Thomas Dellane for his years of leadership starting as my senior squad member so many years ago. I want to thank my wife Kathy and my son Allen Zachary and my daughter Haley for all their years of support and understanding that this job had often taken time away from us all and plans that needed to be changed. After today, it will never happen again. I love you all…. I want to thank our community for allowing me to be your public servant. I’ve realized that a major part of this job was not about cops and robbers, although there were times….it was about listening and assisting many who just needed an ear to get through some tough times in their lives. And for each bad person I came into contact with over the years, I have met tenfold of good people which I continue to see who still offer a smile and a handshake. These were often times which were the most rewarding for me.
To all the men and women both uniform and civilian……my sincerest thank you. My words truly can’t express the level of pride and how fortunate I feel having the honor of working with you all, both current and in the past. I am forever grateful……. I could thank you all individually because each person at some time has brought something special to my life, but I would bore you all because they would be the same kind words based on the memories I have.
Congratulations to our new officers to come. Listen to your seniors, there is so much knowledge to be had and most certainly is needed in our current times. All officers, it’s your responsibility to watch over these officers coming in now and in the future. Be hard them, train them, yet be patient so they can enjoy what it feels like to represent the Stafford uniform. Richie… keep on these guys; in addition with being the in-house gaming commissioner, you have become a great “Gatekeeper” to the new guys and gals….Get them involved with all the special units Stafford is still fortunate to offer.
Congratulations to all our new Sergeants and Lieutenants. I am very happy and very proud of all your accomplishments. The very best to you all and take care of our men and women.
I leave a happy man with the fondest of memories. So for 25 plus years it has been the coolest and most rewarding career/journey anyone one person could be so selfish to ask for. I hope the next 25 years are as fulfilling.
So without any further to do……..I offer to you all….. My Farewell-