Retired Essex County Prosecutor Chief Of Detectives To Lead FTPD

Quovella Spruill.

The township has hired a retired Essex County Prosecutor’s Office chief of detectives to lead the Franklin Police Department, a move that is historic in at least two ways.

Quovella Spruill, the newly hired Public Safety Director, is the first woman and first African-American to lead the township police department.

Spruill’s appointment to the position was announced at the end of the Township Council’s April 28 virtual meeting by Township Manager Robert Vornlocker as part of his Manager’s Report.

“Our search has brought a fantastic candidate for our police department,” Vornlocker said. “It’s very, very heartening to see how she’s acclimated so quickly.”

Vornlocker said Spruill was chosen after a nationwide search that resulted in 45 applicants.

Spruill’s starting salary is $160,000, Vornlocker said.

The Somerset County Prosecutor’s Office assumed administrative oversight of the township police department on July 1, 2019, following the abrupt resignations of former Chief of Police Richard Grammar and Capt. Greg Borlan.

Somerset County Prosecutor Chief of Detectives John Fodor has been overseeing the department since then.

Shortly after the County assumption of oversight, the Council voted to abolish the Chief of Police position and replace it with the Public Safety Director.

The Council’s reasoning in making the change was that the township would have more control over the public safety director than a police chief because the police chief reports directly to the County Prosecutor. Spruill will report to Vornlocker.

Vornlocker said the “handing over” of police oversight responsibilities from the Somerset County Prosecutor’s Office back to the township should take place during the week of May 5.

Mayor Phil Kramer said he was “extremely happy” with Spruill’s appointment.

“I am extremely happy with our choice for public safety officer and gratified she accepted our offer,” he said in a statement. “She brings with her a rich history of law enforcement experience. In these troubling times this is a bright moment for our community.”

Spruill retired from her Essex County position – a post she was also the first African-American woman to hold – in February 2018, after 20 years in the department.

Joining the prosecutor’s office in 1998, Spruill worked in the Homicide,
Special Victims, Juvenile, and Internal Affairs Units for 10 years before being promoted to Lieutenant in the Professional Standards Bureau, where she was responsible for investigating misconduct by law enforcement officers.

She was promoted to Captain of the Support Bureau in 2010, overseeing the Cyber Crimes, Money Laundering Investigations, Homeland Security, and
Intelligence Units.

Two years later, she was switched to the Professional Standards and Corruption Bureau, investigating officer-involved fatalities and bias crimes.

She was named Chief of Detectives in 2015, managing more than 150 detectives and oversaw criminal investigations of financial crimes, homicides, sexual assaults, narcotics, cyber-crimes, and police-involved shootings.

“It was very trying over the last several months, but this is a shining end to what we’ve dealt with, and now we look forward to the future and look forward to taking our police department to the highest level we can,” Vornlocker said.

Spruill, a Newark native, holds a B.S. in engineering from the New Jersey Institute of Technology and a M.A. in education, human resources, training, and development from Seton Hall University.

She is a certified instructor in Nonviolent Crisis Intervention Training and holds certifications with the New Jersey Police Training Commission and National Internal Affairs Institute.

She is a part-time professor at Rutgers University, a volunteer with New Jersey Orators and vice president of the New Jersey chapter of the National Organization of Black Law Enforcement Executives.

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