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Posted Wednesday, July 3rd, 2019

Anthony “Butch’’ Fernandez Served in Law Enforcement during Five Decades

Morris County’s longest serving police chief, Wharton’s Anthony “Butch” Fernandez, recently was honored by the borough on his retirement after 30 years as chief in Wharton, and for 44 years in law enforcement, serving residents of Wharton, Mine Hill and Mt. Arlington.

(l/r) Freeholder Doug Cabana, Chief Anthony “Butch’’ Fernandez, Sheriff James M. Gannon, and Assemblyman Anthony Bucco

Freeholder Doug Cabana, Chief Anthony “Butch’’ Fernandez, Sheriff James M. Gannon, and Assemblyman Anthony Bucco

Morris County Freeholder Director Doug Cabana, Sheriff James M. Gannon, and Assemblyman Anthony Bucco were among those who joined Wharton Mayor Bill Chegwidden and numerous law enforcement officers to honor Chief Fernandez at a June 28 event at Caffé NaVona in Rockaway.

“The Board of Freeholders congratulates Chief Fernandez for his accomplishments and extends our thanks to him for a job well done on behalf of the residents of Wharton and Morris County,’’ said Freeholder Cabana.

“Chief Fernandez served the borough for decades with distinction, and we thank him for his great and caring service to the residents of Wharton for those many years,’’ said Mayor Chegwidden. 

“Butch’’ Fernandez began his career in Wharton as a special officer in 1975 before being appointed patrolman in Mount Arlington later that year, moving up the ranks to detective in 1978.

He moved on to Wharton, as a probationary patrolman in 1980, and rose to sergeant in 1984, acting police chief in 1989, and police chief on New Year’s Day in 1990.

Chief Fernandez gets a hug at his “walking out’’ ceremony, June 28

Chief Fernandez gets a hug from his wife at his “walking out’’ ceremony, June 28

Fernandez was the first chief in Morris County and second in New Jersey to share police services full time with a neighboring town, with the Wharton Police Department handling law enforcement duties in Mine Hill starting in 2002.

A graduate of Morris Hills High School, he earned a criminal justice administration degree from William Paterson College, and was a member of the 5th Basic Class at the Morris County Police and Fire Training Academy.

During his career, Fernandez attended numerous schools and training seminars, including the West Point Leadership and Command School, where he received the Chief Harry Wilde Academic Achievement Award.

The son of Marie and Anthony Fernandez, Jr., Chief Fernandez grew up in Wharton.  He has been married to Karen Fernandez for 37 years, and they have three sons, Robert, Daniel, and Marc, all of whom are police officers.

In addition to his role as chief, Fernandez has been long active in his community, as a member of Wharton First Aid Squad, President of Project Youth; a member of the Board of Education, Board of Recreation and Roxbury/Mt. Arlington Consolidation Committee; as well as coaching baseball, basketball and soccer in the borough.

Freeholders and Sheriff Honor Wharton Police Chief for 30 Years at the Helm

Chief Fernandez gets hugs from son Marc, who is a Parsippany Police officer