Hat­field says farewell to Han­ra­han

Long­time of­fi­cer re­tired in Au­gust; new of­fi­cer sworn in

The Reporter (Lansdale, PA) - - FRONT PAGE - By Dan Sokil dsokil@21st-cen­tu­ry­media.com @Dan­sokil on Twit­ter

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.

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