Closing out his first year as a Camden County assistant prosecutor in 1987, Thomas W. Goan Jr. said he had not lost his instincts from his days as a Cherry Hill police officer.
"I still miss being on the front line and having the excitement of a hot call," Mr. Goan said in an Inquirer interview.
But after more than eight years as a policeman, the work was becoming frustrating, he said.
"I wanted to get more involved," Mr. Goan said. "You could arrest somebody and you could never hear anything about the case."
On Friday, Dec. 16, Mr. Goan, 60, of Shamong, who retired in 2004 as a New Jersey deputy attorney general, died of pancreatic cancer at home, after being diagnosed in early September.
In the interview, Mr. Goan asked for compassion for police officers from his fellow prosecutors.
"Sometimes the prosecutors overlook the human element - that the cop is out there dead tired at 4:30 in the morning trying to write a report," he said, "and then be called on another call.
"Every cop should try to prosecute his own case," Mr. Goan said, "and every prosecutor should be out on the street trying to write a report at 3 a.m."
Born in Camden, Mr. Goan graduated in 1974 from Cherry Hill High School East, and earned a bachelor's degree in criminal justice at what is now Rowan University in 1977.
Mr. Goan became a Cherry Hill police officer in 1978, and while on the force studied at Rutgers University Law School in Camden from 1982 to earn his legal degree.
In 1989, he became a state deputy attorney general.
Mr. Goan worked in the corruption and antitrust bureau of the Division of Criminal Justice, said his wife, Jan, whom he married in 1982.
His resumé shows that he was in the major-fraud unit from 1990 to 1994 and in special prosecutions unit from 1995 to 2004.
"He never talked about them" specifically, she said, but his corruption cases dealt mostly with "people who had been employed by the State of New Jersey."
Don Simonini, who worked as an investigator alongside Mr. Goan, declined to talk about cases on which they worked.
But, he said, Mr. Goan was "a man of integrity, tireless in his efforts to promote justice."
Mr. Goan was also a lawyer for the attorney general's shooting response team, which, his wife said, responded at all hours to police-involved shootings across the state.
After his 2004 retirement from the Attorney General's Office, Mr. Goan worked as a part-time lawyer from 2005 to 2015 at the Cherry Hill office of the law firm Mattleman, Weinroth & Miller.
Besides his wife, Mr. Goan is survived by his father, Thomas W.; sons Thomas W. III and Sean; four sisters; and a brother.
A visitation was set for 6 to 9 p.m. Wednesday, Dec. 21, at Bradley & Stow Funeral Home, 127 Medford-Mount Holly Rd., Medford, and from 9 to 10 a.m. Thursday, Dec. 22, at the Church of the Holy Eucharist, 520 Medford Lakes Rd., Tabernacle, before a 10 a.m. Funeral Mass there. Interment will be in Parkview Cemetery, Medford.
Donations may be sent to Paralyzed Veterans of America, 801 18th St. N.W., Washington, D.C. 20006-3517, or www.pva.org.
Condolences may be offered to the family at www.bradleystow.com.