In his nearly two decades as Horsham
Township Police Chief, Robert Ruxton “put Horsham on the map.”
The sentiment was echoed by several of the standing-room-only crowd of supporters gathered at Wednesday's Horsham Township Council meeting to bid Ruxton–who retires on Jan. 31–farewell and welcome his successor, William Daly.
Joseph Repkoe, who retired in December 2012 as captain of the police department, began his tenure at the same time as Ruxton, 41 years ago. Ruxton's work getting the police department accredited in 2002 would be his "legacy," Repkoe told Patch.
"Bob and I are the past of Horsham," Repkoe said. "Bill's the future."
As far as Ruxton's future beyond his police work, a month-long trip to Florida will be in his immediate plans. Beyond that, Ruxton said he plans to "dabble in real estate."
"We'll see if we can find something to keep me busy," Ruxton told Patch. "I'm not ready to retire."
In acknowledging the 40 sworn officers of the Horsham Police Department–many of whom lined the room–Ruxton told those in attendance, "you got the best of the best standing around behind you."
"They are the best," he said. "They go out every day, without question and do the job that nobody else wants to do."
Township Manager Bill Walker shared similar praise for Ruxton, who started with the police department four decades ago and rose through the ranks to chief in 1995.
During his tenure as chief, the Horsham Chief's Advisory Team or (ChATs), a volunteer organization focusing on community policing, disaster planning, town watch and emergency management was founded.
In addition, Ruxton helped to oversee the completion of a new police station in 2009, and stayed involved in several police chiefs associations, according to Walker, who has known and worked with Ruxton for the last 21 years.
"You taught me a lot," Walker said. "I will miss you, Bob and I wish you a very
happy, long, healthy retirement."
Council President Mark McCouch said Ruxton took the police force from a small department "probably to one of the most recognized in the state."
"You look around, it kind of shows the support you’ve had over the years," McCouch said. "One person, that’s rare to see one person have such a major impact on a town."
For Ruxton, whose mapping days are coming to an end, "it's been quite a ride."
"I live in Camelot. I work in Camelot," Ruxton said. "Everything is just great."
And he promised the same under Daly's helm.
"Tonight is not about me. Tonight is about Horsham Township. Tonight is about your new chief," Ruxton said. "Let me change that, tonight is about our new chief ... You won’t find a more dedicated and loyal and qualified individual to take the job other than Bill Daly."