Richard Grammar, 30-year FTPD Veteran, Is New Police Chief

Richard Grammar, second from right, a 30-year veteran with the FTPD, has been named the township’s new Chief of Police. He replaces former Chief Lawrence Roberts, right. (File photo.)

A 30-year veteran of the Franklin Township Police Department has been picked to head the agency.

Richard Grammar, who for the past six years has served as Deputy Police Chief, will be formally sworn in to the position at the Jan. 9 Township Council meeting. Grammar was officially sworn in on Jan. 5.

Grammar, 51, replaces former Police Chief Lawrence Roberts, who retired at the end of 2017 after 30 years on the force, six as its chief.

Grammar was one of two candidates eligible for the position. He was picked because of his experience in the township, said Township Manager Robert Vornlocker.

Both candidates were “very strong,” Vornlocker said, but Grammar’s 6-year tenure as Deputy Chief helped tilt the decision in his favor.

“The edge went to the deputy chief primarily because of his understanding of the entire operation,” Vornlock said. “He has a little bit more experience overall throughout the bureaus of the department.”

Grammar, who has spent his entire law enforcement career in the township, has held just about every position there is in the department, Vornlocker said.

Vornlocker said having a “home grown” officer as chief of a town’s police department is “very important.”

Grammar is someone who “not only has a knowledge of the police department, but a knowledge of the township,” he said. “Rich was a patrol officer, the DARE officer, a juvenile detective, the juvenile supervisor, he’s had that exposure to the entire township from the kids to the seniors.”

“It’s important that you know the entire town from the perspective of the people you are serving so you tailor your police department to the community,” Vornlocker said.

Grammar said there would be no real change in department philosophy from when Roberts was chief.

“Absolutely not,” he said. “My message will be that we are going to continue to do the excellent job that we already do. There’s really gong to be two simple rules, always be professional, and always treat the public the way you would want your family treated if they had to call the police.”

Grammar, who holds a Masters in Administrative Science from Fairleigh Dickinson University, said he started thinking about being a police chief when he started moving through the ranks.

“I think it’s something that every cop thinks about,” he said. “I’m only the seventh chief of police this agency’s ever had, so it gets very narrow at the top.”

It is something that I very much wanted, especially after making my first couple of ranks,” he said. “As Deputy Chief, I’ve spent the last six years kind of training for this role. I was Larry’s right-hand guy.”

Grammar said that he is not certain whether he will have a deputy chief, but Capt. Gregory Borlan will serve as his “right-hand guy.”

“He is the (department’s) only captain, so he is second in charge of the department,” Grammar said. “He is the operations commander, so he is in charge of most of the day-to-day operations for the police department.”


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