First African American Female Police Chief, Newark Native to Lead Franklin Township Police Force

Franklin Township officials tapped retired Essex County Prosecutor’s Office chief of detectives Chief Quovella Spruill to lead the Franklin Police Department.

Officials said Chief Spruill will lead the force as the first woman and first African-American chief in the township police department’s history.

Spruill’s appointment to the position was Township officials announced her appointment at the end of the Township Council’s April 28 virtual meeting.

Officials said Chief Spruill was chosen after a nationwide search during which The Somerset County Prosecutor Chief of Detectives John Fodor has been overseeing the department.

Chief Spruill retired from her Essex County position – a post she was also the first African-American woman to hold – in February 2018, after 20 years in the department.

Joining the prosecutor’s office in 1998, Spruill worked in the Homicide, Special Victims, Juvenile, and Internal Affairs Units for 10 years before being promoted to Lieutenant in the Professional Standards Bureau, where she was responsible for investigating misconduct by law enforcement officers.

According to Township officials, Chief Spruill was promoted to Captain of the Support Bureau in 2010, overseeing the Cyber Crimes, Money Laundering Investigations, Homeland Security, and Intelligence Units.

Two years later, Chief Spruill was switched to the Professional Standards and Corruption Bureau, investigating officer-involved fatalities and bias crimes.

She was named Chief of Detectives in 2015, managing more than 150 detectives and oversaw criminal investigations of financial crimes, homicides, sexual assaults, narcotics, cyber-crimes, and police-involved shootings.

A Newark native, Chief Spruill holds a B.S. in engineering from the New Jersey Institute of Technology and a M.A. in education, human resources, training, and development from Seton Hall University.

She is a certified instructor in Nonviolent Crisis Intervention Training and holds certifications with the New Jersey Police Training Commission and National Internal Affairs Institute.

She is a part-time professor at Rutgers University, a volunteer with New Jersey Orators and vice president of the New Jersey chapter of the National Organization of Black Law Enforcement Executive