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Township Detectives Receive Valor Awards From SomCo 200 Club

200 club group

Six township police detectives were honored at the 2015 200 Club of Somerset County Valor Awards ceremony May 20. Pictured left to right are: Det. Brandon Domotor, Det. Sgt. Ken Schwarz, Det. Ken Daly, state Sen. Christopher Bateman, Chief Lawrence Roberts, Deputy Chief Richard Grammar, Det. Ordel Taylor, Det. Emma Bascom.
Photo: Franklin Township Police.


Six township police detectives were among the local and state police honored with 2015 Valor Awards May 20 by the 200 Club of Somerset County.

The program, now in its 42 year, seeks to honor first responders for their service in the p[revious year, and awards scholarships to the children of active Somerset County law enforcement or emergency service personnel.

The township representatives – Dets. Emma Bascom, Omar Belgrave, Kenny Daly, Brandon Domotor, Ordel taylor and Det Sgt. Ken Schwarz – were honored for their efforts to close a murder investigation within 24 hours of the crime being committed.

According to the event’s program:

On October 13, 2014, at approximately 21:12 hours, The Franklin Township Police Department received a 911 call reporting a man suffering from a gunshot wound in the parking lot of The First Baptist Church on Route 27. Responding officers secured the crime scene and began life saving measures on the victim, a 17 year old male.

A short time later, at approximately 21:17 hours, The Franklin Township Police Department received a 911 call reporting a male suffering from a stab wound to the chest. Investigation revealed the injured person, Dequan Rogers, was stabbed at The First Baptist Church. Dequan Rogers was transported to Robert Wood Johnson Hospital.

The juvenile gunshot victim was transported to Robert Wood Johnson Hospital, where he was turned over to medical personnel. He was subsequently pronounced deceased by the attending physician at 2210 hours.

With the initial investigation underway, a Franklin Detective observed a vehicle driving slowly throughout the area of The First Baptist Church. A motor vehicle look up on the car, a blue Nissan Altima, revealed the registered owner had the same last name as the individual suffering from a stab wound, Dequan Rogers. Franklin Detectives, along with a Detective from the Somerset County Prosecutor’s Office, located a witness who reported hearing from others, that the person responsible for the shooting was seen earlier in the evening in a blue Nissan Altima.

Detectives responded to the registered owner’s address of the vehicle that was seen driving slowly near The First Baptist Church. They then escorted a witness to identify the vehicle in question. It was subsequently found that the vehicle matched the description.

The registered owner of the vehicle was then escorted to Franklin Township Police headquarters where he was interviewed. The interview revealed that Dequan Rogers was a passenger in the vehicle earlier in the evening. The owner of the vehicle met Rogers at a residence behind Franklin Middle School. He was then dropped off on Route 27, the border of Franklin Township and The City of New Brunswick. During the interview, it was also discovered that Rogers goes by the nickname “Re-Run”.

The following day, October 14, 2014, Detectives responded to New Brunswick High School and located three possible witnesses to the shooting. Interviews were conducted and it was discovered that a person named “Re-Run” was responsible for the shooting.
Later that day, Detectives responded to Robert Wood Johnson Hospital to interview Dequan Rogers. Rogers ultimately admitted to firing one round from a handgun at the victim during an altercation.

The case was closed with an arrest within 24 hours.

The event’s guest speaker was Lt. Gov. Kin Guadagno.

Franklin High School students receiving $2,500 scholarships were Thomas J. Kowalsky and Kristen L. Vladyka, each of whom have a parent in the Elizabeth Avenue Fire Company.

To date, the 200 Club has awarded $712,500 in scholarships to 310 people, according to the event’s program.

The Somerset County club is one of 19 in the state.

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