By Adam Finck, Detective First Class
Very little has been written about our department's history until Detective First Class Adam Finck began his research project uncovering old photographs and memorabilia. While most of our information is limited, this page will provide a brief synopsis of our department's history.
The Middletown Township Police Department was formed on May 15, 1928 with the hiring of its first full time police officer, Earl N. Hoyer. His appointment read Patrolman/Chief of Police, at an annual salary of $125.00.
Judge Meese saw a need for full time law enforcement in Middletown Township due to its growing population recommended Chief Hoyer. A group of residents, known as the Navesink Association, donated a motorcycle to assist Chief Hoyer in patrolling the 41 square mile community. At the time, Chief Hoyer had no police headquarters from which to report for duty, starting and ending his tour from his home on Conover Lane off of Navesink River Road.
Within a three year period, the township began construction of its first police station/jail which was located at Campbell's Junction, in the Belford section of Middletown Township. By 1932, the police force had doubled in size with the appointment of William Fix. The department also relied upon the services of several residents holding the title of Special Police Officer, who worked part time. These men assisted Hoyer and Fix with a number of duties associated with the department.
Chief Hoyer served the Township of Middletown as their Police Chief from 1928 until 1965, when he retired. During his tenure, he had developed the department into a well respected agency with over thirty full time police officers and numerous volunteers. In 1965, Raymond "Red" Walling became Chief of Police and served until his retirement in 1967.
With Walling's departure, the Township of Middletown appointed Joseph M. McCarthy from within its ranks as the next Chief of Police. During a colorful career as Chief, he was credited with establishing a professional and aggressive department of over 100 officers with a no nonsense attitude toward those who would break the law.
After Chief McCarthy retired, Deputy Chief Robert Letts was appointed Chief. Robert Letts served as Chief of Police from January 1990 until his retirement in May 1991.
Upon Chief Letts' retirement Deputy Chief Ernest Volkland was appointed as the acting Chief of Police. Acting Chief Volkland served as the acting Chief of Police from May 1991 until January 31, 1992.
On February 1, 1992 William Fowlie was appointed as Chief of Police. William Fowlie served as Chief until his retirement from active service in November 1996.
On November 1, 1996 Captain J. James Kerrigan was selected to serve as the acting Chief of Police pending the selection process.
On July 29, 1997 Lieutenant John Pollinger was appointed as the Chief of Police. John Pollinger served as Chief of Police until his retirement on February 28, 2005.
On February 28, 2005 Deputy Chief Robert Oches was appointed as the acting Chief of Police, pending the selection process.
On March 21, 2005 Robert Oches was appointed permanently as the Chief of Police.