Princeton Police Chief Nick Sutter to retire in October

Nick Sutter, who has served as the police chief of Princeton since 2014, is retiring on Oct. 1.

Sutter has been doing double duty in recent months, also serving as the municipality’s director of emergency management, which has meant he has been working around the clock during the COVID-19 pandemic. Officials made him the director of emergency management in addition to being chief after the former director, Bob Gregory, died suddenly.

Sutter has been weighing retirement for quite some time and had discussed it on and off over the past year or so. He has been a police officer for 25 years, which qualifies him for full retirement. He has also said in the past that he wanted to go out on top while the department is in good shape. At least four other police chiefs of Princeton police departments before him left amid turmoil.

“It is super emotional. It was a hard decision because I’m so happy here and I love working in Princeton and being a police officer,” Sutter said in a phone interview Monday afternoon.

“With that being said, at my years and given the vast changes on the horizon in policing, I just feel for the department that it’s super important that we have longterm consistent leadership, and for me and my family, it just seems like the right time to transition to a new chapter on my journey,” Sutter said. “It’s something I’ve been thinking about for quite some time. It has always been really important for me to retire and move on with the department in a great place. The department is in a great place, I’m comfortable about where it is, and it feels really good to be able to walk out like that.”

The Lawrence resident served as a captain in Princeton Borough before consolidation and was acting chief after David Dudeck was forced to retire amid allegations of harassment and discrimination and a civil suit by seven police officers against him and the municipality.

Sutter, 49, served on the Princeton Borough police force from 1995 until the two Princetons consolidated in 2013.


  1. I am so very saddened to read this announcement I will miss him terribly. He is a friend, as well as an outstanding public employee who rose through the ranks in stellar fashion. His boots will be terribly difficult to fill – a one-of-a-kind guy!

    1. Bittersweet indeed! Thank you Chief Sutter for your dedication and leadership all of these years! I’m sure the community joins me in wishing you and your family happiness in your next journey!

  2. So sorry to hear this news. I know that “Chief” has worked his tail off to make Princeton a fair and welcoming community, regardless of residents’ race, ethnicity, or immigration status. He was one of the first police chiefs in NJ – possibly the first – to issue a written directive and train his officers that their job is to provide public safety, and not become involved in immigration matters.

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