To the Editor:
I recently attended a gathering in which Freeholder E. Marie Hayes spoke about her integrity, character, honesty in representing the people, and fortitude. It reminded me of the Hayes I've known for a long time and specifically of a particular time in the 90s when her current qualities were shining through as clear as day.
She's gotten older since then, and wiser, and her best qualities then, are only better today. Please allow me to share one of many stories about Hayes' integrity, leadership, and solid backbone.
In the 1990s, then-Detective Hayes first attended the annual training conference for the Mid-Atlantic Association of Women in Law Enforcement (MAAWLE). Hayes paid for her attendance out of her pocket, used personal time to attend it, and was drawn to it for both professional and personal development.
Hayes was immediately compelled to become part of MAAWLE, driven to rise through its leadership and make it a better organization for everyone.
She did all this while working an extremely demanding full-time job as a county detective, earning rank and expert status in her work, nurturing a strong and solid marriage with her husband, Lloyd, and raising three children. She knows the meaning of hard work and serving others.
Hayes’ best qualities of leadership, integrity, and mentoring are long-lived. She successfully lobbied MAAWLE to amend their bylaws to include officers from New Jersey, Pennsylvania, and New York as members. Then, she rose in rank within MAAWLE to become [resident for several terms.
She subsequently traveled to training conferences of the International Association of Women Police (IAWP), representing all female officers of our Mid-Atlantic region, and she implemented a framework of protocols for mentoring young officers, which is utilized by MAAWLE today.
Hayes is a ‘doer,’ not a watcher. She’s assertive and vocal in politics, just as she was in her 29-year career in police work.
She votes on all issues with integrity, with every moral fiber of her being, for the benefit of county residents, and she readily articulates the reasoning behind her votes. Those qualities are threatening to some, but they’re exactly the qualities Cape May County so desperately needs.
Hayes readily gives out her cell number and her wide-lens vision for Cape May County over the next decade or so is putting Cape May County on the map in Trenton … finally.
Hayes has earned our continuing support in her November re-election for Cape May County freeholder.