Kevin Kohler Stepping Down as Beach Haven Police Chief

Dec 20, 2017
Beach Haven Police Chief Kevin Kohler.

After nearly 10 years at the helm, Kevin Kohler is retiring as Beach Haven police chief at the end of the year. He will be succeeded by Jim Markoski, currently the department’s captain.

The 52-year-old Kohler joined the force in 1987. He was born around the time his late father Arno Kohler began his career as Beach Haven police chief, serving in that capacity from 1965 to 1977.

“I grew up knowing a lot of the officers,” he said. “I knew at an early age this was something I’d want to do.”

In the 30 years he has been in the department, Kohler said one major change has been in Beach Haven demographics.

“Back then, the bar scene was a lot busier, especially on the weekends,” he said. “Now that you have more families and bigger houses, the bar crowd isn’t quite what it once was.”

The borough has 12 full-time officers, and hires between 15 and 20 special officers for summer duty.

“When you’re in a seasonal community, you have to deal with the increase in crowds and traffic and other issues during the summer,” said Kohler. “It goes pretty fast because we’re really busy. Then after Labor Day, things start calming down.”

The chief said the off-season allows officers to continue training.

“It could be a leadership class or a course related to drunk driving arrests,” said Kohler. “We look for opportunities to further our knowledge and education.”

Kohler said another change in police work over the last 30 years is that most officers are college-educated.

“There’s been a greater emphasis on community policing,” he said. “There is more interaction with the public. We have a great working relationship with the Beach Haven school as well as the Community Arts Program, which sponsors the summer concerts and other special events.”

Upon his retirement, Kohler is looking forward to spending more time with his family, which includes two adult daughters.

“It will be a nice change of pace,” he said. “But Beach Haven will always be part of my life.”  —E.E.




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