39 Washington Avenue Milltown, New Jersey 08850 732-828-1100 EMERGENCY 911

Department History

Although the borough of Milltown became official in 1889; law enforcement started in Milltown back in the 1860's when Squire Dobbs was known throughout the community as “an investigator of cases” and Henry Soden was known as the “officer of law”.

In 1889 the newly established borough government appointed Elsworth Crenning and Charles Applegate as special policeman. Throughout the years that followed a number of marshals and constables were appointed yet no official department existed.

The New Jersey State Police provided protection to the general area starting in 1929 when a small barracks was established in Milltown to patrol the newly opened US Highway 1 as well as provide security to nearby communities.

The first justice of the peace was C.W. Kuhlthau, a position that was later held by Joseph Headley up until the 1930's; when the state’s decision to have magistrates preside over the municipal courts was established.

The Milltown Police department was formally established on December 9, 1946 by Mayor Walter Richter. The first official chief of Police was William Miller, who had formally worked as a part-time special officer. William Riha was appointed police Lieutenant and was later promoted to the Chief of police in 1957 after Miller resigned. Carl Herman Jr. and Charles Grover were the first two regular police officers in the borough.

Throughout the years the department grew, and around 1969 police dispatchers were added to the department. By the early 70's the department had five patrolmen in addition to the chief and sergeant. Several special policemen and police reserve officers continued to work within the department and would serve the public when necessary.

As the department and the borough matured, a new Borough Hall and Police Department was constructed in the late 80's / early 90's. Today the department has grown to 16 sworn officers, with three fulltime and several part time civilian public safety telecommunicators. The Chief of Police is Brian Knelle who began his career with the Milltown Police Department as a patrolman.

The department is equipped with the modern technologies, specialized training, dedicated patrol officers, detectives, public safety telecommunicators and equipment to provide the community with protection and security 24 hours a day, 365 days a year.


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Paid for by the Milltown PBA #338