Retired Newton police chief appointed to Center for Prevention board

Newton. Mike Richards helped lead a countywide effort to address the heroin/opioid epidemic with the formation of the Sussex County C.L.E.A.R. He received national recognition from the Police Assisted Addiction Referral Initiative for law enforcement leadership.

10 Aug 2020 | 03:34

Mike Richards has been appointed to The Center for Prevention & Counseling’s board of directors.

Richards retired as the chief of police in Newton on Feb. 1, after more than 30 years of service.

“Mike is expected to make an excellent addition to the center’s already dynamic and civically active board members,” said the announcement. “The current CFPC board and staff are inspired by his already evident dedication to the center and are looking forward to the ways his support of the agency will help them continue to grow, making a real difference in the communities they serve.”

Beginning in his early years as a community policing/bike patrol officer, he then served as a detective and progressively earned supervisory ranks until becoming the police chief in 2010. Over the years, Richards has led organizations such as the County PBA, the County Detectives’ Association, and the County Police Chiefs’ Association.

Throughout his career, he has been recognized for his investigative accomplishments and leadership. He helped establish the county’s 9/11 Memorial and the county’s only indoor firing range for law enforcement officer training. He has served on the Sussex County Public Safety Memorial Committee and is a board member of Ginnie’s House Child Advocacy Center.

Most notably, Richards helped lead a countywide effort to address the heroin/opioid epidemic with the formation of the Sussex County C.L.E.A.R. Program-Community Law Enforcement Addiction Recovery and received national recognition from PAARI, Police Assisted Addiction Referral Initiative, for law enforcement leadership.

Upon retirement, he became the fairgrounds manager at the Sussex County Farm & Horse Show/NJ State Fair, an organization that has always been near and dear to his family, where the Walter Richards Building for cultural and educational exhibits is named after his grandfather. While he may have retired from public employment, he intends to continue in his public service.

About the Center for Prevention and Counseling

The mission of the Center for Prevention and Counseling is to promote health, hope, and recovery among all people by fostering a community in which individuals and families thrive. Over the past 45 years, this active and vibrant nonprofit agency has served Sussex County with quality programs and services that change lives. The Board and its staff work with and in the community to help youth gain the skills they need to make wise choices, to help parents create strong families, and to build communities that support healthy, drug-free lifestyles.

“The board and staff are inspired by his already evident dedication to the center and are looking forward to the ways his support of the agency will help them continue to grow, making a real difference in the communities they serve.” --Center for Prevention and Counseling