MORRIS COUNTY, NJ – The Morris County Board of County Commissioners honored Mendham Township Police Chief Ross Johnson recently as he stepped down from his one-year term as President of the Morris County Police Chiefs Association (MCPCA).
The organization celebrated Chief Johnson at its annual luncheon at the Park Savoy Estate on Tuesday in Florham Park, where the association also celebrated Robin Hughes, JBWS Domestic Violence Specialist, with an “Honorary Chief” award.
Chief Michael Koroski of the Morris Plains Borough Police was installed as the 2023 President of the MCPCA.
“First, I thank all of you in the Chiefs Association for everything you do to ensure that law enforcement in Morris County is second to none. Secondly, Chief Johnson, I thank you for your leadership and dedication over the past year, and for more than 20 years in law enforcement. One milestone in your remarkable career included bringing a close to the Baby Mary case. Working with the Morris County Sheriff’s Office, the Morris County Prosecutor’s Office and other partners throughout the county and state, your department finally resolved that sad, 38-year-old cold case,” said Commissioner Doug Cabana as he presented a Resolution of Honor from the full board.
Sen. Anthony Bucco, Assemblywoman Aura Dunn, Sheriff James Gannon and Chief Koroski also presented honors to Chief Johnson and Robin Hughes.
Hughes, a domestic abuse survivor, acknowledged what a difference law enforcement made in her life when she placed a call for help in 1997. She said that whenever she and her daughter were in danger, officers arrived at their apartment within minutes to ensure their safety, sometimes multiple times a week. She has since supported local police efforts to help victims of abuse as a domestic violence specialist with JBWS.
Chief Johnson expressed gratitude to all who have supported his department’s endeavors, which included Sen. Bucco, Assemblywoman Dunn, the County Commissioners, Morris County Prosecutor Robert Carroll and his office, Sheriff Gannon and all his fellow police chiefs.
“When it comes to law enforcement, this is the best of the best in New Jersey. It is because of these chiefs right here why our association is considered one of the best in the state. Nobody does it better than Morris County. I’m proud to stand shoulder to shoulder with every one of you, and I’m humbled and honored that I could represent this association for the last twelve months,” said Chief Johnson.
Chief Johnson’s passion for public service began in 1995 when he volunteered as a firefighter and EMT with his local fire department and rescue squad, a commitment he maintained while pursuing his bachelor’s degree in political science with a focus on International Affairs and Policy from Gettysburg College.
After spending a few years in the finance industry, he left his corporate job and was hired by the Mendham Township Police in 2004. He was promoted to Sergeant in 2009 and elevated to Lieutenant in 2014. In 2016, he was named Acting Chief of Police and ultimately became Chief in March 2017.
During Chief Johnson’s tenure, the department has continued to be progressive, focusing on investigations and proactive patrols while strengthening community relationships with residents and schools.
Recently, the Mendham Township Police Department was credited for solving the “Baby Mary” cold case, an infamous homicide investigation that remained open for nearly forty years. Through collaboration with the prosecutor’s office, sheriff’s office and numerous agencies throughout the county and state, closure could finally be brought to a case that distressed the local community for decades.