Ocean County Sheriff William Polhemus Dies At 84

Ocean County Sheriff William Polhemus has died last night. The long time Sheriff had a Cardiac procdure done earlier in the week, but passed away at about 11 PM last night. “We are deeply saddened by this great loss,” said Freeholder Director Gerry P. Little. “Bill has played an integral role in Ocean County government for many, many years. He will be sorely missed.”

“Our thoughts and prayers are with his wife Agnes and his family and many friends,” Little said.

Ocean County Freeholder Deputy Director John C. Bartlett Jr. said Sheriff Polhemus always worked closely with the Board of Freeholders putting the needs of the public first.

“He was the consummate law enforcement professional,”Bartlettsaid. “He was a true friend to Ocean County and to its many residents.”

From implementing the county’s 911 system to closely working together to upgrade the communication network for the county’s emergency responders, Freeholder John P. Kelly, Director of Law and Public Safety, praised Polhemus’ work as Sheriff.

“From courthouse security to emergency management to communications, Bill Polhemus did an outstanding job for the residents of this County,” Kelly said. “Our Sheriff’s Department is one of the finest in the state and that is because of the leadership under Bill Polhemus.”

Freeholder Joseph H. Vicari said Bill Polhemus had a real soft spot for people in need.

“For more than a decade, with his department, he spearheaded a holiday food and toy drive that reached more than 1,000 families each year, helping them to have a better Thanksgiving and Christmas,” Vicari said. “Bill made an effort to reach out to everyone in this County and he had an impact on many lives.”

Freeholder James F. Lacey said Sheriff Polhemus spearheaded programs that provided benefits from the elderly and the youngest citizens in Ocean County.

“Sheriff Polhemus instituted such important programs as Project Lifesaver and the Child Passenger Safety Seat Program,” Lacey said. “I know those programs have had an impact on thousands of our residents. Bill was there for everyone. He was a good man, a loving husband and father, who was committed to the citizens of Ocean County. We will always remember him that way.”

Polhemus, recently re-elected, has served as the Sheriff since 1986, after serving in the Seaside Heights Police Department. He retired from the department as Chief.

A successor will be appointed by the Governor. Undersheriff William T. Sommeling will serve in his place until a replacement is named.

VIDEO of the Sheriff addressing the Republican Club of Lakewood earlier this year. TLS.

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  1. rip sheriff polhemus

    he was a great man a great sheriff and a great friend of the people of ocean county!

    Agnes our thoughts and prayers are with you and your family and there are no words to express our feelings about your great husband!

  2. What a loss to the entire Ocean County & Lakewood Community at large! Sheriff Polhemus was a true friend & was always there too provide for the needs of our community. He was just re-elected but no doubt will now sorely be missed. RIP William Polhemus

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