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FTPD Cpl. Hermann Receives Valor Award, Two FHS Seniors Given Scholarships At 200 Club Luncheon

FTPD Cpl. Keith Hermann, left, is presented his 2018 Valor Award by FTPD Capt. Greg Borlan at the 200 Club of Somerset County’s annual luncheon.


Nothing has been the same for Keith and Nadine Hermann since March 17, 2017.

It was just past midnight on that date when Hermann, a Corporal with the Franklin Township Police Department, heard a loud noise downstairs in his Manville home.

After telling his wife to call the police and tell them they had an intruder, Hermann grabbed his off-duty weapon and went downstairs to investigate.

Reaching the bottom floor, Hermann noticed that a window was open and the drapes were strewn on the floor. Then he saw a man across the dining room with something in his left hand.

What happened next changed the course of Hermann’s life and earned him a 2018 Valor Award from the 200 Club of Somerset County.

Hermann pointed his gun at the intruder, identified himself as a police officer and ordered him to the ground. The intruder did not obey, instead moving to his right while raising his right arm.

Thinking the man was aiming a gun at him, Hermann fired at the intruder, who continued to move behind a wall.

Hermann then went through his kitchen to cut the man off at the stairs so he could not get to his wife and 2-year-old child upstairs. Seeing the man, he again ordered him to the floor, but the man charged him.

What was described as a “vicious” struggle ensued, with Hermann’s gun discharging into the intruder’s chest. It took the help of Manville Police Officer Jon Granahan to finally subdue the man and place him under arrest.

Manville Police Officer John Granahan is presented his award by Capt. Borlan.

Granahan also received a Valor Award at the luncheon for his actions that night.

Both officers then administered first aid to the man, later identified as 19-year-old Tyree Cook of Manville. Cook was suspected of committing and attempting to commit numerous residential and car burglaries in the area, according to the Somerset County Prosecutor’s Office.

Hermann was also taken to a local hospital for injuries he received in the struggle, injuries that have kept him from returning to the FTPD and necessitated a number of surgeries, with more to come, he said.

“It’s surreal,” Hermann said at the May 16 awards luncheon at The Palace at Somerset on Davidson Avenue. “The whole experience is surreal, from the night it happened until now.”

“I don’t feel heroic,” he said. “I feel a hero saves people, not shoots them.”

“Everybody keeps saying that you fought a battle, somebody was trying to take your life and you battled them to protect it,” he said. “But you don’t look at yourself as being someone that you’re supposed to be saving, you look at it as you supposed to save somebody else. But they’re refocusing me, you saved yourself, you saved your family. It’s a weird feeling.”

Hermann said he was accepting the award on behalf of the other Manville officers who were on the scene that night, and police officers in general.

“It’s good because I feel like I’m acknowledging other officers that don’t on a daily basis get acknowledged for things they do,” he said. “When it’s good, nobody hears about it, when it’s bad, everybody hears about it. So for those guys, I accept this as something to share with them, but at the same time, I resort to the old there’s no ‘I’ in team.”

“I didn’t do this alone, I had Manville at my side the whole time and I can’t acknowledge them enough,” Hermann said. “The sad thing is that there’s the other officers that were there that night. There are people who come up to me that say they were there that night, I don’t remember. They’re missing from this, and that I feel bad about.”

Nadine and Keith Hermann prior to the luncheon.

Hermann said his wife, Nadine, was also a victim and a hero that night.

“She listened to everything,” he said. “She suffered through this. She’s just as much a hero and should be acknowledged here today like I am. She disseminated information so they knew exactly what they were stepping into.”

“I’m very proud” of Hermann, his wife said. “There’s no other words.”

Hermann said his union, department and township officials have been very supportive of him as he has worked to get back on active duty.

“They just want to see me get better and live my life,” he said.

“From the night when he came back up the stairs, we are still we,” Nadine Hermann said. “We’re battling through the long road to get back to some sort of normalcy. But we are still we, so we’re going.”

FTPD Chief Richard Grammar said Hermann’s actions made the entire department proud.

“Corporal Hermann is a 23- or 24-year veteran of the police department, assigned to our traffic bureau,” he said. “Outstanding cop. One of our great guys, I couldn’t be more proud of him.”

“Very few cops get put to the test, and he was put to the test defending his own family,” Grammar said. “You see that in the movies all the time, but it doesn’t usually happen, but in this case it did. When he was put to the test, he did well. He stood up and he made us all proud. I could not be more proud of anyone than I am of Keith Hermann.”

Hermann was given his award by FTPD Capt. Greg Borlan, who has been friends with Hermann since they attended the police academy together.

After giving him his award, Borlan said, “It’s one thing to protect your family and loved ones at home, but it’s another thing to protect your family and loved ones at home wearing a stretched-out t-shirt and Star Wars underwear. I saw it, I know things.”

The second part of the luncheon was the awarding of $2,500 scholarships to graduating seniors from Somerset County ho are connected to first responder organizations. Two Franklin High School students received scholarships: Lauren Vladyka, who will attend Ramapo College of New Jersey, and Tara Weniger, who will attend William Paterson University.

 

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