NORTH BRUNSWICK – Kenneth McCormick, the director of the North Brunswick Police Department (NBPD), passed away on Sept. 2.

“To all who know him, Ken has been a tremendous leader, a man of insight. I have never met anyone who is … able to find good in other people than Ken,” Mayor Francis “Mac” Womack said during his morning announcement on Sept. 3, calling it “a sad day” for the township.

“He had the kindness and the depth of perception that made him a tremendous police officer, a wonderful representative for his union, and ultimately a tremendous police director for our township.

“He was a fine family man and a ll in town who knew him loved him,” the mayor said.

McCormick joined the North Brunswick Police Department in September 1982 and graduated with the 38th Police Basic Training Class of the Middlesex County Police Academy, according to information provided by the NBPD. After attending college for criminal justice, working for the town during the summer and having a landscaping business, he decided to pursue a career as a policeman, according to an interview with the Sentinel in 2008.

He was promoted to sergeant in 1995 and then to lieutenant in 2003.

He had served as the Community Oriented Policing and Problem Solving (COPPS) coordinator and held management positions in the department’s Traffic Safety and Detective Bureaus, Special Investigation Unit, and Patrol Division.

The North Brunswick High School graduate had received numerous awards for excellence on duty.

The township reorganized its police department in 2004, and McCormick took an oath to serve as director of public safety during the March 29 Township Council meeting, according to previous reports in the Sentinel.

By appointing McCormick, Womack said at the time, he fulfilled his 2001 pledge to “hire a director from within the department if he ever had the chance.”

McCormick’s predecessor, Michael Moriarty, could only dedicate part of his time to the township after Sept. 11, 2001, when the U.S. Coast Guard called him to active duty; in Moriarty’s absence, McCormick often performed the duties of the director, according to past reports.

In 2004, while still a lieutenant, he was named the director of public safety, according to the NBPD.

In 2008, McCormick retired from the sworn officer capacity of the department after 25 years of service and served as the assistant to the mayor for six months. He then returned as the director of public safety as a civilian.

“The entire Township of North Brunswick is mourning today the death of Police Director Kenneth McCormick. Ken’s quick smile, sharp wit, intense integrity, unwavering compassion and dedication to family, friends, coworkers and officers made him a hero to those he knew and those he led,” the police department posted on its Facebook page. “The hallmarks of Ken’s tenure as police director were foresight, compassion and caring for the men and women of the department, and a dedication toward justice. Director McCormick leaves a legacy of ingenuity and integrity and his imprint upon our township will be felt for generations to come.”

“We express our heartfelt condolences to the McCormick family and to our friends at the North Brunswick Police Department upon the passing of Ken McCormick,” the North Brunswick First Aid & Rescue Squad posted on their Facebook page. “Director McCormick was a staunch supporter of the squad and a believer in our mission. A beacon of light whose loss will surely be felt across our community.”

“Our deepest condolences and sympathy to North Brunswick police, the McCormick family and the North Brunswick Township community on the loss of Director Ken McCormick. He will be missed. Rest in Peace,” members of North Brunswick Volunteer Fire Co. No. 1 posted on their Facebook page.