Morristown High Grad Rises to Township Police Chief
John McGuinness will be sworn in at Wednesday's township committee meeting.
After serving as Morris Township acting chief of police since May, John McGuinness will be sworn in as the chief Wedneday night.
McGuinness, who has been a part of the Morris Township Police Department for more than three decades, was appointed by the township committee. Township Administrator Timothy Quinn said the committee made a "terrific choice" in selecting McGuinness.
"He's got very strong leadership qualities, very strong background in community service, crime prevention, and administration," Quinn said. "It's an excellent choice by the township committee to appoint John, and well deserved."
Throughout his time at the department, McGuinness has held numerous positions and received many awards and citations.
McGuinness began his career in 1981 as a patrolman for three years, earning several awards including two Exceptional Duty Awards for the apprehension of two murder suspects and the Gran Cordon Award for actions taken with an armed barricaded subject, according to a statement provided by Quinn.
After serving as a patrolman, McGuinness was assigned to the Crime Prevention Unit in 1985. He held this position for the next nine years and was also recognized for his outstanding performance.
The New Jersey Crime Prevention Officers Association recognized McGuinness as the Crime Prevention Officer of the Year during his time of service.
McGuinness was later promoted to sergeant in 1995, when he assumed the duties of a supervisor in the Patrol Division. He received an Honorable Service Award in May 2000 for developing the department's defibrillator program, which included obtaining the equipment and training the entire department to use it.
After serving as a sergeant, McGuinness was promoted to lieutenant in 2003 where he served as a shift commander. Some of his responsibilities included communications, vehicles, crisis response and liaison to the township's 14 schools.
Five years later, McGuinnes was promoted to captain as the Division Commander of the Support Services Administration, where he was in charge of the Detective Bureau, Internal Affairs, Records Bureau and served as the deputy coordinator for the Office of Emergency Management.
McGuinness was awarded Officer of the Year in 2010, and until now has been serving as the acting chief.
Throughout the years, McGuinness has also been a part of numerous professional community organizations including DARE and New Jersey Crime Prevention Officers Association.
McGuinness, who currently residents in Morris Plains with his wife Barbara and children Connor and Kelly, is a Morristown High School graduate, and was a member of the Morris Plains Fire Department, and president of the Morris Minute Men First Aid Squad in his early years.
McGuinness succeeds former Chief Dennis Reilly, who retired in May after working in the department for 25 years.
McGuinness will be sworn in at the Morris Township Committee meeting on Wednesday night at 7 p.m. at the Morris Township Municipal Building.