The East Brunswick Township Police Department was originally formed as a part-time police force in 1929 under Chief Frank Warnsdorfer. Harry C. Kuell was the second chief, succeeding Frank Warnsdorfer. Chief Kuell was struck and killed by an auto while directing traffic in August 1936. The original East Brunswick Municipal Court was located on Cranbury-South River Road between Old Bridge Turnpike and Willow Street in what was described as a barn in the back of the lot. The original East Brunswick Police Headquarters was located at 204 Highway 18. The second Police Headquarters was located at 30 Wallace Street, which sits across from the present-day Colonial Diner on Highway 18.
The East Brunswick Police Department attempted full-time status for a brief period in 1955 before returning to a part-time police force. In 1960, the second and present-day full-time police force was created under Chief Walter Pich. In 1971, the East Brunswick Police Department moved its headquarters to the current Public Safety building located at 1 Jean Walling Civic Center Drive. Today, the East Brunswick Township Police Department has three divisions of operation (Operations, Investigative, and Administrative) supported by full-time Police Officers, SLEOs, dispatchers, and civilian personnel.
On May 2, 1973, Joanne Chesimard, Clark Edward Squire, and Zayd Malik Shakur were stopped for a motor vehicle violation on the New Jersey Turnpike in East Brunswick by New Jersey State Police Troopers Werner Foerster and James Harper. Chesimard, Squire, and Shakur were known to be part of a revolutionary extremist organization. At the time, the occupants were wanted for their involvement in a bank robbery. During the motor vehicle stop, Chesimard and her accomplices opened fire on the troopers. Trooper Harper was wounded, and Trooper Foerster was shot and killed execution-style at point-blank range. Chesimard fled the scene but was subsequently apprehended. Shakur was killed in the shootout with the troopers. Squire fled the scene, which triggered a massive manhunt for his capture. Squire was apprehended in East Brunswick after an extensive search involving multiple agencies, including the East Brunswick Police Department.
The East Brunswick Township Police Department has been voted the “Best” Police Department in the Home News Tribune’s Best of Middlesex County Readers’ Choice Awards for six consecutive years (2016 - 2021). Winners are selected by the readers of the Home News Tribune through online and printed ballots over several weeks.
East Brunswick Police Leadership (1960-Present)
Chief Walter Pich Director Frank Pasch Director Thomas Tyrell Director Joseph Forrar Deputy Chief/Director John Soke Director John Cross Director Peter Barnes Deputy Chief Thomas Finn Director Barry Roberson Chief William Krause Chief James Conroy Chief Frank LoSacco