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FTPD’s Newest Captains Sworn In By Council

FTPD Captains Phil Rizzo, Brian Regan and Sean Hebbon, clockwise from top left, were formally sworn in at the October 13 Township Council meeting.

The three newest Captains in the Franklin Township Police Department were formally sworn in at the October 13 virtual Township Council meeting.

Included in the trio was Capt. Sean Hebbon, the first African-American to rise to the rank of Captain in the FTPD’s history.

The department’s first Black police officer, Naaman Williams – after whom a township park is named – reached the rank of Lieutenant before he left the force in 1976.

Also formally sworn in to their new rank were Capt. Phil Rizzo and Capt. Brian Regan.

Hebbon, a nearly 24-year veteran of the FTPD, will command the Investigative Division, which includes Adult & Juvenile Investigations, along with the Community Relations Bureau.

Regan, a 20-year veteran, will be the Officer in Charge and Patrol Commander.

Rizzo, a 23-year veteran with the FTPD, is the commander of the Professional Standards Division, which includes Internal Affairs, Administration, Accreditation, Special Permits and Records.

Public Safety Director Quovella Spruill said during the meeting that “it’s an honor for me to be here and see this event.”

“I am honored to have these three men as a part of my command staff,” she said. “I expect great things from them and I am excited to begin this new era in the Franklin Township Police Department.”

All three men thanked Spruill, the Township Council and Township Manager Robert Vornlocker for their promotions.

“It has always been and still now a privilege and honor to serve Franklin,” said Regan. “I’ve been working with Phil and Sean a long time, and I am just as sure of their capabilities as I am of anyone else’s.”

“Under the direction of Director Spruill, under her leadership, we are going to be able to maintain the highest ethical and professional standards,” he said. “I think it’s not an easy task but it’s going to be something we can achieve together, especially under Director Spruill’s leadership.”

“It is an honor to protect and serve the people of Franklin Township,” Rizzo said. “We have the ability with the men and women of the department to continue doing great things. I look forward to the future and what we can bring.”

Hebbon said the moment was “truly historical for Franklin and for me.”

“I’ve spent decades working hard to bridge the community and police relationship, and to have the ability now to do it in this capacity is an honor,” he said. “I thank Director Spruill for having the faith in me for giving me the opportunity to take this and run with it.”

“The support I’ve gotten from my fellow officers has been phenomenal,” Hebbon said.” Speaking of the newly minted Community Relations Bureau on Hamilton Street, Hebbon said that will help the FTPD “take Franklin to another level and to grow more. We have big things to come.”

Several Council members also opined on the new Captains.

“As we seek to communicate and connect with our communities, I’m really excited to see what these captains will bring to the table,” Councilwoman Crystal Pruitt, (D-At Large) said. “When we look at policing, we have to look at the culture. Culture also comes from the top, so I am really, really excited about the quality of captains we were just lucky enough to have sworn in. I’m very proud of the work you have done and will do for the township.”

“I congratulate three very fine officers promoted to captain,” said Councilman James Vassanella (D-Ward 5). “I’m happy and proud to see these people promoted to that rank. I’ve worked with all of them in various capacities … and I’m not surprised that all three of them have been put in that position.”

Councilman Sivaraman Anbarasan, (D-At Large), said that Hebbon’s rise to Captain is a “great day for the Franklin Township Police Department and the entire community.”

Anbarasan said that he will be starting a fund to be run through a nonprofit organization to encourage the hiring of minorities in the FTPD.

State Assemblyman Joe Danielsen (D-17) called in to the meeting to congratulate the new Captains and the administration which promoted them.

Speaking of the new Captains, Danielsen said, “I know these three individuals well enough to know that was a great decision on everyone’s part.”

Speaking to the Council, Danielsen said, “Tonight you guys made a generational change. Now boys and girls of all ages can look at our leadership ranks and know there is no limit. That is probably one of the most important things to young people, to know that they are not limited by the color of their skin, especially in a department so important as law enforcement.”

“You did a good deed for the boys and girls that are now paying attention to our town,” he said.

“You’ll never regret this, this is something that you can put a badge on your chest that you accomplished,” he said.

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