Get our newsletters

Matthew Phelan is Bedminster Township’s new police chief


Bedminster Township has appointed Matthew Phelan as its new police chief, replacing Mark Ofner, who retired May 31.

The appointment was approved by the board of supervisors at their June 10 public meeting. Phelan is to begin serving on July 10, following the fulfillment of his 30-day resignation notice as police chief for neighboring Tinicum Township.

Bedminster Township Manager Rich Schilling said that the search to replace Ofner began in March, when the township was “flooded with resumes.” Supervisor Morgan Cowperthwaite, who serves as liaison to the police department, worked with Schilling to reduce the candidates to three finalists before they signed Phelan, who is to be officially sworn in at the July 8 supervisors meeting.

Phelan has served as police chief at Tinicum for the last two years, culminating 20 years of service there. Early in his tenure there, he left for two years to serve on the campus police at Bloomsburg University. He holds B.A. and M.A. degrees in criminal justice from Widener University.

Also at the June 10 meeting, supervisors approved a conservation easement agreement of sale for the 41.9-acre Buehner property on Dublin Pike. The purchase price of $586,000 is being split $251,400 each by the state and county, and $83,800 by the township.

The Agreement notes that “grantor(s) shall not develop or use the subject land for any purpose other than agricultural production,” and that “this agricultural easement shall be perpetual in duration.” With well over 7,000 acres preserved, Bedminster is understood to be the county leader in that regard.