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In Memory of Chief Richard C. Clement, 1923–2012; IACP President, 1975–1976

Richard C. Clement, a past president of the IACP, died August 14, 2012. He was 88.

Clement grew up in Toms River, New Jersey, and was a graduate of Toms River High School. He earned his bachelor’s degree from Thomas Edison State College in Trenton, New Jersey, and later graduated from the 93rd session of the FBI National Academy.

After serving in the U.S. Army Air Corps, he joined the Dover Township Police Department in 1946. He rose through the ranks, serving as the department’s chief of police from 1967 to 1979 and retiring with 33 years of service.


During his distinguished career, Clement earned many local, state, and federal accolades. According to his wife, Debbie, next to being a police officer, Clement was most proud of being elected by his peers to the presidency of the IACP. He served his one-year term from 1975 to 1976.

Other Professional Accomplishments

Clement also had the honor of serving three U.S. presidents as presidential task force national chairman and as a member of two criminal and juvenile justice committees. He received recognition from President Gerald Ford. After his service as chief, Clement worked for an Atlantic City, New Jersey, casino as the vice president for government affairs.

Clement was on the forefront of various issues, expressing his concern and suggesting solutions to what we saw were the issues affecting the United States at present and in the future. In a Police Chief magazine article in May 1976, he wrote, “Crime is indigenous to all nations! It crosses international boundaries! An act of terrorism in a tiny corner of the world can have far-reaching repercussions.” He concluded by stating that a coordinated police effort is needed among law enforcement from all parts of the world.

Clement’s foresights are legendary in his agency. In 1967, he started the Support America campaign, and the Dover Township Police Department is credited with being the first police department in the country to place American flag decals on the fenders of its police cars.

In 1977, the department developed programs designed to bring the police department and the community together. This was 17 years prior to the establishment—in 1994—of the Office of Community Oriented Policing Services in the U.S. Department of Justice.

Nearly one year ago, the complex housing the police headquarters in Toms River was renamed in Clement’s honor. Current and former officials for the township, the county, and the state, as well as Clement’s colleagues came out to honor his decades of service.

The Toms River Patch website reports that Clement called the rededication “the highest honor” he achieved. The Toms River Police Headquarters are now known as the Richard C. Clement Law Enforcement Center.


Clement was predeceased by his father, Curt; his mother, Orabell; his son, Dr. Richard J. Clement; his daughter, Dr. Cheryl Clement; and his former wife, Margaret K. Clement. He is survived by his wife of 20 years, Deborah; his daughter, Kathleen Mora of Lexington, Kentucky; his daughter, Maureen, and her husband, Richard Cubeta of Houston, Texas; his son, Michael Powell, and Michael’s wife Sharon of Florida; his daughter-in-law, Diana Clement, of Maryland; 10 grandchildren; and 8 great-grandchildren.

Memorial contributions in Clement’s name may be sent to the Pleasant Plains Volunteer Fire Department, 40 Clayton Avenue, Toms River, New Jersey, 08755.

For more information, on Richard C. Clement, please visit (accessed September 24, 2012); and (accessed September 24, 2012). ♦



From The Police Chief, vol. LXXIX, no. , November 2012. Copyright held by the International Association of Chiefs of Police, 515 North Washington Street, Alexandria, VA 22314 USA.

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