SOMERSET, NJ - For the first time in its history, the Franklin Township Police Department will be headed by an African-American woman, Quovella M. Spruill a retired Chief of Detectives from the Essex County Prosecutor’s Office. 

Spruill is no stranger to making history as she was the first African-American woman sworn in as Essex County chief of detectives back in 2016.

“After an extensive search, that lasted several months, Director Spruill was clearly the best choice for the position," Township Manager Robert G. Vornlocker said in a statement. 

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Spruill served for more than 20 years in law enforcement and brings 13+ years of command-level experience, according to officials.  

“I look forward to working with the fine officers of the Franklin Township Police Department,” Spruill said in a statement. “I believe that my training and experience will enhance the Department and allow us to bring the agency to new heights.”

Officials say Spruill is an adjunct professor at Rutgers University and previously served as a mentor to Highland Park Police Chief, Rick Abrams.

She earned a Bachelor of Science Degree from the New Jersey Institute of Technology and a Master’s Degree from Seton Hall University. Spruill also volunteers for the NJ Orators, a non-profit youth organization, dedicated to teaching oratorical skills to youth from 7-18 years of age in preparation for college. 

She also serves on the Executive Board for the National Organization of Black Law Enforcement Executives (NOBLE) NJ Chapter, according to officials. 

“Director Spruill brings a new perspective and a wealth of knowledge to the Department,” Vornlocker said in a statement.  “I am confident that she will provide a clear and positive direction to the agency.” 

Spruill oversaw 150 detectives, supervisory officers, and support staff during her tenure at the Essex County Prosecutor’s Office, according to officials. 

"She has extensive experience in the development of policies and procedures, preparing and managing budgets, as well as developing personnel at all levels of the agency," Vornlocker said in a statement. “Director Spruill has worked and supervised multiple divisions during her career, including Homicide, Special Victims Unit, Internal Affairs, Financial Crimes and the Intelligence Unit just to name a few.”  

Officials say, Spruill also oversaw the Human Resources section that was responsible for all recruitment, hiring and training for investigative employees. 

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