NEWTOWN BOROUGH >> Retired Newtown Borough Police Chief Anthony “Tony” Wojciechowski passed away on September 6.
His death was announced on the Newtown Borough Police Department’s FaceBook page.
“It is with great sorrow that we share with you the passing of retired police Chief Anthony Wojciechowski,” reads the post.
“Chief Wojciechowski dedicated his life to serving the public both in the United States Air Force and 49 years in law enforcement with the Philadelphia Police Department and the Newtown Borough Police Department.
“Known as ‘Chief Wojo’ and ‘Chief Tony’ both in house and in the community, he always made himself available to the public and always had a story to tell. He often referred to his officers as his ‘children’ and his door was always open for us to come to him with anything, work related or not.
“Until we meet again Chief we will continue to serve the community with the dedication that you did and instilled in your ‘children.’”
For three decades, “Chief Tony” lived the motto, “Protect and Serve” as a member, and then as the leader, of the borough’s police force.
A four year veteran of the U.S. Air Force, the chief began his law enforcement career as a police officer with the Philadelphia Police Department.
As a member of the Philadelphia P.D. for 17 years, he served as a member of the bomb squad, SWAT team and as a detective, in addition to aiding the FBI and the Attorney General’s office.
After being hired by Newtown Borough in 1988 as a police and zoning officer, he served the town for 14 years as a sergeant, rising up the ladder to lieutenant in 2002. He was named chief of police on July 10, 2003.
When he celebrated his 25th year on the job in 2013, he said simply, “It’s been 25 years. In some respects, it seems like only yesterday.”
Wojciechowski took his final patrol as chief down State Street on May 31, 2018 while business owners, friends and colleagues stood along the street in a show of support and thanks.
A half hour before his ride, Bucks County Radio broadcast countywide the chief’s final call recognizing him on his retirement and his 30 years of law enforcement work in the county.
The chief, who had quietly and faithfully served the borough for the past 30 years, appeared visibly moved as his car slowly made its way north on State Street passing by members of his department, his successor Chief James Sabath and Mayor Charles Swartz who gathered on the sidewalk in front of Rocco’s at the Brick for the low-key ceremonial send-off.
“Chief Tony” spent his last official day on duty greeting a constant steam of politicians, friends and colleagues who stopped by the police station to wish the chief a well deserved retirement.
District Judge Mick Petrucci joined members of his court staff on the sidewalk in front of the district court building for the chief’s final patrol. “Watching him come down the street for the last time as chief and hearing the last call dispatched over the radio was the end of an era in Newtown,” he said.
“He’s been a staple here for 30 years and he will be sadly missed,” said Petrucci, adding, “He’s such a great guy - a typical small town America police chief. Everyone knew him. He knew everybody. And over the years he has given so much back, to both the law enforcement and the local community.
“Being a small town chief is different from serving in a large city like Philadelphia and he nailed it,” continued Petrucci. “He knew exactly what the people wanted. He knew how to treat people. He knew how to be fair. He made his department available at all times. And he trained all of his officers over the years to be the exact same way.
“Believe me, we are in great hands with our chief, James Sabath. He’s a fantastic guy. But it will always be ‘Chief Tony’ to many, many people in this community,” said Petrucci.
State Rep. Perry Warren, in a citation to the chief from the state, summed up the chief’s career in law enforcement.
“Chief Wojciechowski faithfully displayed great loyalty and professionalism in the performance of his duties, both as a member of the Philadelphia and the Newtown Borough police departments. The chief served with consummate skill, upheld the laws of the Commonwealth and served as a role model for all those who aspire to a career in law enforcement.”