Galloway Township Police Chief Donna Higbee is being recognized, as part of Women's History Month, as the first woman police chief in Atlantic County.
“Chief Higbee is as fine a chief that any law enforcement agency could want to lead them," Atlantic County Prosecutor Damon G. Tyner said in a statement.
Higbee, born and raised in Galloway Township, was sworn in as the chief of its police department in July 2015.
Chief Higbee is the third generation of her family who settled a section of the township known as Higbeetown off Route 9 near Smithville.
Her father, John Higbee, retired from the Galloway Township Police Department in 1999 after a 27-year career. She attributes her success to her father and mother, Gina.
"She is intelligent, organized, and clearly communicates her vision to the members of her agency. Most importantly, she understands the needs of her community and works hard to ensure that those needs are served every day," Tyner said. "Galloway Township is fortunate to have a leader of her caliber and I enjoy collaborating with her to make our County safer."
Bruce DeShields, c hief of County Investigators with the Atlantic County Prosecutor’s Office, said he had the pleasure of working with Chief Higbee's father in the early 1980s.
"John was a patrol officer with Galloway Township and I was a patrol officer with Stockton Police Department," DeShields said in a press statement. "His uniforms never had a wrinkle. He was all spit and polish. He would always greet me with big grin and strong handshake. He was a very positive influence on me and gave me great insight into this profession."
DeShields also worked with Chief Higbee ever since she started her career at the Hamilton Township Police Department.
“When Chief Higbee went to serve at the Galloway Township Police Department, we continued to work on many cases together," DeShields said.
She is a member of the Opiate Task Force and always looking for ways to have positive interactions between her department and the residents of Galloway Township, DeShields said.
“Knowing Chief Higbee’s family, you can clearly see why she is a natural in this profession and why she has been so successful in her career,” he said.
Since 2019, Higbee has taught police operations at Atlantic Cape Community College and serves as president of the Atlantic County Chiefs Association.
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