By DUSTIN RACIOPPI
Sergeant Allan Morris, a 25-year veteran of the Shrewsbury Police Department who was transitioning into retirement, passed away suddenly Friday.
The cause is suspected to be of natural conditions, Council President and Police Commissioner Thomas Menapace said. Morris, a sergeant in the department, was 58.
His passing comes as a shock to local leaders, not only because he was so young, but he was also known to stay in shape, especially by playing hockey.
“He was the epitome of health and physical fitness,” Police Chief John Wilson said. “That’s why it’s such a shock.”
Morris was born and raised in Englewood, and became a resident of West Keansburg around the time he joined the Shrewsbury force, an obituary in the Asbury Park Press said.
Menapace knew Morris about 25 years, and said he was one of the most knowledgeable and helpful officers he’d ever met.
“He was just a real professional guy a consummate professional, the kind of cop that towns want to have,” Menapace said. “He did his job, knew his job. He was a very smart guy, and there wasn’t much the police field, if anything, that Al didn’t know about.”
The Press obit says Morris contributed to various charities, and was a member of the Parrot Heads in Paradise humanitarian group. A release from the borough said the Special Olympics was among the charities Morris volunteered his time to.
Morris is survived by his wife, Penny, and daughter, Gabriela.
Morris was among three retiring officers from the 16-member department, Menapace said. He left the department at the end of March, and was using up unused leave time until he officially retired on June 30.
His retirement in itself was a huge loss to the borough, Menapace said. Besides being a top-notch cop, who Wilson said had unyielding attention to detail, Morris served as a mentor to the younger and incoming officers of the department, who often peppered him with questions.
“If he didn’t know the answer off the top of his head, he’d get back to you,” Menapace said. “He was just a really good guy.”
Service arrangements are as follows:
Viewing from 3 to 5 p.m. Tuesday at Atlantic Highlands Methodist Church with a funeral to follow at 10:30 a.m. the next day. Morris will be buried at Bayview Cemetery in Leonardo.