The Manchester Township Police Department is proud to announce that veteran officer Douglas Higgins was recognized with the Corporal distinction during a ceremony Wednesday morning at the Municipal Complex Civic Center.

Cpl. Higgins is a decorated officer who joined the Manchester Township Police Department in 1988 after serving four years as a seasonal officer in Lavallette. He graduated from the Ocean County Police Academy Class No. 50 and has been a member of the Traffic Safety Section since 2002. Cpl. Higgins is a highly respected expert in his field who holds numerous professional certifications and has been recognized by his department and other agencies for his dedication to law enforcement.

“Given his long and distinguished career, there is no question that Cpl. Higgins is well deserving of this recognition. I could not be more proud to see him honored in front of his peers and set the bar for what a Manchester Township Police Corporal should be,” said Chief Lisa Parker.

Officer Higgins is the second Manchester Township Police Officer to receive the Corporal recognition, along with Cpl. Scott Thompson, who received the honor posthumously in 2015. While his sons Tyler and Austin, girlfriend Sandy, and his brother officers looked on, Cpl. Higgins was presented with his badge by Tracy Thompson, Cpl. Thompson’s wife.

“This badge is about honor. The Corporal recognition was an important achievement that Scott Thompson advocated for and I’m proud to be the second recipient within the Manchester Township Police Department,” said Cpl. Higgins.

Cpl. Thompson introduced the idea of instituting the Corporal recognition in the Manchester Township Police Department shortly after Chief Parker took her oath in March of 2015. He felt it was important to have this distinction to recognize veteran officers with 20 or more years of service who consistently exhibit outstanding commitment to their department and profession.

“Today Cpl. Scott Thompson’s vision became a reality for his brother officer, Cpl. Douglas Higgins,” said Chief Parker.

The department was honored to have Mayor Kenneth Palmer in attendance at the ceremony. He spoke about Cpl. Higgins’ dedication to law enforcement and his willingness to go above and beyond to help not only Manchester’s residents, but those elsewhere in need of his expertise.

Also in attendance were Eleanor (Mom) and John Tobias, mother and brother of Ptl. Robert Tobias, who was killed in the line of duty in 1975, as well as a number of retired Manchester officers. Following the recognition ceremony, Cpl. Higgins’ first official duty was to present Tracy Thompson with a plaque from the American Federation of Police awarding Cpl. Thompson with the American Police Hall of Fame Medal of Honor.