Morris County Sheriff’s Office Corrections Officer William Cruse, the longtime supervisor of the Sheriff’s Labor Assistance Program (SLAP), was given a heartfelt and affectionate walkout by fellow Officers and Superiors and a send-off by the Sheriff’s Office Honor Guard on his final day on the job.
“I like people and this was the perfect job. I really liked my job. If I had to do it all over again I would do it,” said Officer Cruse, who is retiring to Florida with his wife, Ophelia Cruse, after 20 years at the Morris County Correctional Facility. His last day was August 28.
Officer Cruse also is especially gratified that his position as a supervisor of SLAP – a work-in-lieu-of-jail program for non-violent offenders – enabled him to be part of beautifying the community and even assisting the non-profit Habitat for Humanity with building two homes.
Morris County Sheriff James M. Gannon, Bureau of Corrections Undersheriff Alan J. Robinson, Correctional Facility Warden Christopher Klein, and dozens of other Officers lined up outside the Correctional Facility to hug and shake his hand upon his last walkout from work.
Warden Klein said that Officer Cruse was a perfect fit as a SLAP supervisor and always maintained a great attitude and work ethic.
“Bill’s been the face of SLAP for the last decade,” Warden Klein said.
Officer Cruse first worked for the Correctional Facility when it was located in Morristown next to the Morris County Courthouse. Hired by then-Warden DeWitt Henderson and then-Sheriff John Fox, he was hired as a Corrections Officer in 1984. He served on the Sheriff’s Emergency Response Team, supervised inmates at recreation time and on kitchen detail, and was part of the Motor Unit.
Officer Cruse left the agency in late 1988 for a corporate job as a district manager for a tobacco company, where he remained for nearly 17 years. He opted to take the Civil Service exam to return to the Corrections field rather than accept a transfer to Ohio with the tobacco company, and in 2006 was rehired by the Morris County Sheriff’s Office.
Since fitness has always been part of his life, he said, he had no difficulty keeping pace with younger recruits as he completed his Corrections training at the Bergen County Police Academy in 2006.
Officer Cruse for years owned a fitness center and earned his black belt in both taekwondo and Isshin-ryu.
He said he appreciates the decency of inmates he supervised on SLAP and how they served their sentences by performing manual labor at no cost to churches and municipalities. SLAP committed to landscaping weekly at a cemetery in Dover that couldn’t afford a groundskeeper, and restored Cozy Lake in Jefferson Township by clearing the lake bed and rebuilding the shoreline with sand, he said.
“You didn’t even know there was a lake there before it was cleaned up,” Officer Cruse said.
“I never had a problem with the inmates. And, it was great to see how happy and appreciative people were to see us,” Officer Cruse said.