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Wednesday, July 24, 2024

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Middle Swears in 18-year Department Veteran as New Police Chief

Tracey Super being sworn in as police chief.

By Vince Conti

COURT HOUSE – The municipal courtroom was packed with well-wishers on Monday, July 1, as Capt. Tracey Super, an 18-year veteran of the Police Department, took the oath of office as chief of police.

The oath was administered by Mayor Christopher Leusner, himself a township police chief for 13 years. Also present were retiring Chief Jennifer Pooler and Leusner’s old boss as chief, Joseph Evangelista.

Tracey Super, third from left, with former Middle Township chiefs, from left, Joseph Evangelista, Jennifer Pooler and Christopher Leusner.

Super was hired by the department in 2006, rising to sergeant in 2016, lieutenant in 2021 and administrative captain in 2023.

A native of Cape May County, he graduated from Ocean City High School in 1991 and moved to Middle Township in 1997. He is a graduate of Stockton University with a degree in business administration.

He completed his initial training at the Gloucester County Police Academy and went on to the New Jersey Chiefs of Police Leadership and Command Academy. He is also a graduate of the FBI National Academy in Quantico, Virginia.

Super’s swearing-in came less than two weeks after the township swore in five newly minted police officers, giving visibility to the task facing Pooler when she took the reins of the department from Leusner in 2023.

Her one year as chief served as a transition for a department that had experienced a large number of retirements, leaving the command ranks in need of appointments and the rank in file in need of manpower as veteran officers moved up to new positions.

Leusner frequently spoke at council meetings about the task Pooler took on when she agreed to a short term as chief. He praised her willingness to do so and the determination with which she accomplished the task.

The task was particularly important in a civil service department where filling out the command staff positions meant giving some officers the ability to meet examination and time-in-rank requirements. With a number of promotions and staffing issues dealt with, both Leusner and Pooler have expressed confidence in Super’s leadership moving forward.

Super takes over leadership of one of the county’s largest departments, with 55 full-time officers to serve the state’s 11th largest municipality in land area, with over 70 square miles. Middle Township is home to 20% of the county’s total population while also serving as a major retail hub. It is the county seat.

The annual police report for 2023 shows that the department received more than 37,000 calls for service, made 1,021 arrests and had 853 indictable offenses.

On top of the enforcement challenges, Super has been part of a department with an explicit commitment to community policing, an attempt to build positive relationships between the community and police officers as a means of reducing crime before it happens.

Speaking of the many changes in the department, Leusner said, “The names may change, but the quality and dedication of our leadership team does not. I congratulate my good friend, Tracey Super, on his promotion to chief and look forward to partnering with Tracey to continue the good work of the MTPD.”

Contact the reporter, Vince Conti, at vconti@cmcherald.com.

Reporter

Vince Conti is a reporter for the Cape May County Herald.

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