Hatfield says farewell to Hanrahan
Longtime officer retired in August; new officer sworn in
HATFIELD TWP. >> One of the Hatfield Police Department’s finest has now said his final, final farewell, and his successor is now on board.
Hatfield’s commissioners held one final farewell Wednesday night for retiring Cpl. Pat Hanrahan, before swearing in new officer Brian McLaughlin.
“We welcome Brian and his family to Hatfield, and I hope, 30 years from now, whoever’s the chief at that point is wishing you well, like we have for Pat Hanrahan tonight,” said Police Chief Bill Tierney.
Hanrahan joined the department in 1987 and held nearly every role as he rose through the ranks, including squad supervisor, hostage negotiator, public information officer, K-9 officer, member of the Montgomery County drug task force and North Pen Regional DUI Task Force, and was the department’s safe schools officer, Tierney said.
“At this point, I have no idea how we’re going to continue, Pat, because you have done everything that you could possibly do,” he said.
“I am available as a contract employee,” Hanrahan replied with a grin.
Roughly six weeks after his final day in uniform in August, Hanrahan was formally sent off by friends, family and fellow officers during the commissioners’ Oct. 10 meeting.
“His most important role was as an ambassador for Hatfield. As far as being a respected voice, and face, of this department, and projecting himself out into the community, there was none better,” Tierney said.
“In the end, Pat will be greatly missed. He’s been a good friend, and a great officer, and the Hatfield community was lucky to have
such a dedicated officer like Pat,” he said.
Commissioners’ President Tom Zipfel said he’ll remember, not the large incidents,
but the day-to-day interactions Hanrahan had with residents that helped shape the community, one day at a time, over decades.
“It’s the million little things that none of us ever saw, the people in this room never saw. It’s the people out there who he took care
of, he kept safe, he consoled when there was a problem,” Zipfel said.
“It’s all of those moments we’re honoring tonight: not just you, but everything you did during that time frame,” he said.
Tierney and Zipfel both thanked Hanrahan’s family for their support, and standing with the officer through thick and thin. Hanrahan himself thanked his parents, wife and children, fellow officers, the commissioners, other township departments, and the residents he served.
“People ask me, what do I miss? I don’t miss three o’clock in the morning. I don’t miss the same call at the same house that we’ve been to a thousand times,” Hanrahan said.
“What I miss are the people, the community, the workers, the camaraderie, the friendship, and the people that make law enforcement proud to serve,” he said.
After a round of applause, handshakes and hugs for the outgoing officer, the commissioners then swore in their newest. Officer Brian McLaughlin received his oath from District Judge Ed Levine and his badge from Zipfel, as Tierney told the public how McLaughlin graduated from Rowan University in 2008 with a degree in criminal justice, then worked at a prison in Delaware County and with the New Castle Police Department prior to joining Hatfield.
“It’s ironic that we are retiring one of our best police officers, and we’re bringing in a new recruit — a new addition to our family,” said Zipfel.
“We trust each other, we rely on each other, and when I say those words, it actually means something to each of us. So welcome to our Hatfield Township family,” he said.
Newly retired Hatfield Police Cpl. Pat Hanrahan, center, poses with commissioners’ President Tom Zipfel, far left, police Chief Bill Tierney, third from right, and family members after being honored at the board’s Oct. 10 meeting.
New Hatfield Police Officer Brian McLaughlin receives his oath from District Judge Ed Levine during the township commissioners’ Oct. 10 meeting.