In Haddon Heights, New Jersey, there stands a tall, fourfaced municipal clock at the corner of Station and 7th Avenues. Many towns have a similar clock in their town center or on a main street. But the municipal clock in Haddon Heights bears a special significance to the town, and, to CSI Technology Group.
That clock, which is in front of the Borough Hall, is more than a town landmark. Originally dedicated on November 22, 1997, it stands as a memorial to two fallen police officers who lost their lives in this quiet suburban community twenty years ago.
One was Investigator Jack McLaughlin of the Camden County Prosecutor’s Office, who along with then Haddon Heights Detective Rich Norcross, was in the process of executing a search warrant on April 20, 1995. The team executing the warrant was ambushed by the defendant and in the aftermath of the gunfire that ensued, McLaughlin was killed and Norcross suffered seven gunshot wounds. The defendant then took up a sniper’s position and when patrolman John Norcross, the younger brother of the wounded Detective, responded to the call of officer down, he was also murdered by the defendant.
Twenty years have gone by since that day in this quiet borough when the normal calm was turned into a deafening tragedy. Rich Norcross, after recovering from his gunshot wounds, went on to continue his career in law enforcement and ended up heading up the Camden County Intelligence Services Team for the Prosecutor’s Office. He retired as Commander there and now is Executive Vice President of CSI Technology Group, where he still works to support the efforts of law enforcement and public safety.
But on April 20, 2015, he took a day off from his work at CSI. He made the trip back to Haddon Heights, the small town where he started his career as a cop “to make a difference in people’s lives.” Because on that day, the Haddon Heights memorial clock was being rededicated in a ceremony to honor his younger brother and Investigator McLaughlin. A large crowd of residents and officials turned out and police cars from all over Camden County lined Station Avenue to pay tribute to the two police officers that lost their lives twenty years ago that day.
After addressing the crowd that came to honor his brother and his friend on this tragic anniversary of their End of Watch, Rich Norcross said, “May we never place another name on this memorial.”