Gordon sworn in as new Kennett Township Police Chief06/08/2021 03:09PM ● By Richard Gaw
By Richard L. Gaw
Following a 17-month period when he served in an interim role, Matthew Gordon was officially sworn in as the new Chief of Police for Kennett Township Police Department, during a June 2 ceremony before more than 150 guests at the Creamery in Kennett Square.
Following introductory remarks by township Manager Eden Ratliff and Board of Supervisors Chairman Richard Leff, Gordon took his oath of office before the Hon. Jacqueline Cody, a judge with the Chester County Court of Common Pleas and before his daughter, Reese.
Cody told the audience that she was honored to perform the ceremony.
“I have known Matt since we worked together on the drug court team back in the 1990s, and this position is very well deserved,” she said. “Matt’s work ethic, his integrity and perhaps most importantly – his understanding of the human spirit – will serve this district very well.”
Gordon devoted the majority of his remarks to thanking the many departments, units and individuals who provided him with experience, encouragement and training during the course of a career that began in 1976.
He began by thanking the members of his department, particularly those who served in 2019, at a time when two officers left the unit and another left due to a long-term injury. He also thanked administrative assistant Elizabeth Hutchins who played a valuable role during the time of transition.
He also thanked the Township Board of Supervisors and Ratliff, who at a time when the term “Defund the Police” became a national slogan, chose instead to support the hiring of four police officers during the past two years. Gordon also pointed to the diversity of the 11-member department, which now includes two women and three officers who are fluent in their native Spanish language.
“Although we all feel tension and stress, our job in law enforcement is important and necessary,” Gordon said. “Here at the Kennett Township Police Department and in Chester County law enforcement as a whole, we take our jobs very seriously. We are proactive, professional and forward thinking.”
Gordon saved his final
remarks in praise of the members of his family, particularly his daughter,
“You have been my best friend for as long as you have been on the face of the Earth,” Gordon said. “I love your old soul and your generous heart.”
Ratliff praised Gordon for his “respect and reverence for the law,” and said that when he first met Gordon, he had to inform him that Gordon was now in charge of the township’s police department in the wake of allegations against former Police Chief Lydell Nolt that led to a criminal investigation and ultimately, Nolt’s firing on Jan. 5, 2020.
“Matt told me, ‘Eden, I care a whole lot about this township,’” Ratliff said. “He told me, ‘I care about our police officers. I am not going to let you or the Board of Supervisors down and most importantly, I will not let down the community. They deserve a professional police department who serves them with integrity and that’s exactly what I am going to do.’
“You need not read Matt’s resume to understand his skill and confidence as a leader,” Ratliff continued. “While it will tell you that he served as an air craft firefighter and rescue specialist for the United States Marine Corps, it will not tell you about his ability to serve his community. While it will show you the accomplishments such as S.W.A.T. training and completion of the FBI National Academy, and additional trainings including drug awareness, bomb awareness, hostage rescue, in addition to police executive development, it fails to truly reveal his passion and commitment to public service.
“For these nuances, you only need to speak with him briefly and soon you will understand why we are honored to have him be the Chief of Police for Kennett Township.”
Leff listed several of Gordon’s achievements and accolades he has amassed over a 40-plus-year career in law enforcement.
“Today is a good day,” Leff said. “It’s a day when what should happen in life actually happens. It’s a day when a person of stellar character who has shown excellence in the workplace is awarded advancement.
“I’m thrilled to have Matt Gordon as Police Chief for Kennett Township. He has been serving as interim police chief and has steered a police department through several challenges with integrity and always with a focus on community.”
To contact Staff Writer Richard L. Gaw, email [email protected].