MONTVILLE, NJ – A former Montville police chief and VFW post commander died May 25.

Korean War veteran C. Richard Tomkins, 90, succumbed to a long illness, VFW Post 5481 Commander Kenneth Hanzl said.

“Richard was one of our post's charter members and was the primary driver in the formation of Post 5481. He was our first post commander, starting his tenure on April 15, 1970.”

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Tomkins served in the Army in Korea during that conflict, achieving the rank of sergeant. After the war he joined the Montville Township Police Department. He was Montville Township's third police chief, holding that position from 1968 until 1977. Tomkins was a life-long Pine Brook resident, Hanzl said.

“Richard organized and attended our post's activities for more than 40 years and was at our 40th anniversary celebration,” Hanzl said. “I salute Richard and his legacy at Post 5481 and, as commander, I am proud to carry on the traditions he pioneered. Our post would not exist but for the leadership of veterans like Richard.”

The post has its purple and black buntings displayed, in mourning, Hanzl said.

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