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Morris County Celebrates 40-Year Law Enforcement Leaders

Morris County


By: Richard L. Smith 

Forty years ago on this day, three of Morris County’s top law enforcement officers graduated together from the Morris County Firefighters & Police Training Academy, embarking on impeccable leadership careers in local law enforcement for which they were thanked and congratulated by the Morris County Board of County Commissioners.

Celebrating the 40th Anniversary of their graduation are Morris County Sheriff James M. Gannon, Morris County Undersheriff Mark Spitzer, and Director of Emergency Management Jeffrey Paul.

 They were classmates and graduates of the 20th Basic Police Academy Class at the academy in 1983.

“All three of these law enforcement leaders – Jeff Paul, Mark Spitzer, and Sheriff Gannon -- have had very successful careers, and we are fortunate that they dedicated those careers to serving our community here in Morris County.

Clearly, their graduating class at the academy provided Morris County with four decades of impeccable leadership, and we are grateful for their service,” said Commissioner Douglas Cabana, the board’s law enforcement liaison and the longest-serving member on the board.

“By the way, I’ve known Jim Gannon since we were in the first grade together at Our Lady of Mount Carmel in Boonton,” the Commissioner added.

After graduation, Gannon was hired as a Police Officer in Boonton Township and, by 1984, in the Town of Boonton. 


In 1986, Sheriff Gannon joined the Morris County Prosecutor’s Office, where he rose to become Deputy Chief.

He launched a new career in corporate security in 2007 before becoming elected Morris County Sheriff in 2017.

Undersheriff Spitzer spent 33 years with the Mt. Olive Township Police Department, becoming Chief of the department before joining Sheriff Gannon as his Undersheriff in 2017.


Director Paul was hired as a Police Officer in Morristown in 1983 and later joined the Morris County Prosecutor’s Office in 1996, where he became Captain of Tactical Operations. He later launched a new career with the Morris County Department of Law & Public Safety.


“Forty years ago, I embarked on a mission to serve and protect the community, and that mission started the moment I set foot in public safety training.

Law enforcement in Morris County has come a long way since then, but the mission of our officers has always remained the same: to serve and protect.

I’m honored to share the privilege and distinction of serving with such dedicated partners as Undersheriff Spitzer and Director Paul, and all our county officers, all these years later as we continue to remain vigilant in ensuring the safety and protection of our communities is always of utmost priority,” said Sheriff Gannon.

“When I started in the academy in 1983, I couldn’t have predicted I would be here working alongside my classmates, Sheriff Gannon and Director Paul, some forty years later, but it also shows you how meaningful the connections you make in life can be, and how much our training prepared us for careers in law enforcement.

After spending 33 years with Mt. Olive PD, having the opportunity to continue to uphold my civic duty as Undersheriff with Morris County is a privilege,” said Undersheriff Spitzer. 

“There is no greater service to a community, big or small, than the mission of public safety. 

This was my calling; I answered the call, and I remain honored and humbled to have done so alongside Sheriff Gannon and Undersheriff Spitzer for the past 40 years,” stated Director Paul.