Capt. Brian Malloy, the department's ranking captain, will take over as acting chief until Moffett's permanent successor is chosen following a search, Mayor Susan Bass Levin said yesterday.
Moffett, a 29-year police department veteran, said he had considered stepping down for the last two years. He pointed to the birth of his granddaughter, Haley, seven weeks ago as a deciding factor.
"This really is a 24-hour-a-day job," he said. "Suddenly you realize there's a lot of other things going on. It's time to break out of that routine."
Moffett, 51, earned his badge in July 1970 and rose through the ranks from patrolman to captain before Levin appointed him chief in 1992.
He replaced Robert Tonczyczyn as chief of Camden County's second-largest police force.
During his tenure, Moffett oversaw the hiring of 80 new officers and instituted a policy that all police must have, or earn, a four-year college degree.
He emphasized training and was instrumental in helping to transform the department into a high-tech force, according to Levin, who called Moffett "a first-class police chief."
"I'm disappointed to see him go, but I wish him well," she said. "He was very professional, sensitive to the needs of the community, and worked hard to train a great police force."
Moffett said yesterday that he had always considered himself a transitional leader.
"My success is not what I've done," he said. "It's what I leave."