The Borough of Fanwood was formally organized during September 1895. It was another month before the first law enforcement officer was employed. Hans Lambertsen was the first of three marshals who served the Borough before the police department was formed by ordinance in 1921.
Marshall Lambertsen was responsible for enforcing the laws and ordinances of the time, maintaining the existing streets, and acting as the dog warden and pound keeper. Records indicate Marshall Lambertsen recorded his first arrest in 1896 for an assault. In the following four months he made two more arrests. The next eight years show no arrests and in 1905 Marshall Lambertsen resigned.
August Sheelen was appointed to replace Marshall Lambertsen. Marshall Sheelen had the distinction of being the first law enforcement officer in Fanwood to wear a uniform. He purchased his blue frock coat from a department store in Newark. The coat had brass buttons the size of a half dollar. He completed his uniform with a high, rounded, helmet that sported a badge on the front. Marshall Sheelen carried only his fists and a billy club for protection. He recorded four arrests during his career that lasted only four months. His diligence in protecting the residents of the Borough from the “Nights of the Road” caused many of the hobo community to cross Fanwood off their list of pleasant and profitable places to stop and rest. Some twenty-five years after his short career in law enforcement “Gallant Gus” reminisced about his service to the Borough. “I got a kick out of the job. But then, the world was not so wicked as it is now with its bandits, jazz, and other deviltry of the Twenties.”
Our next law enforcement officer was William Logan. There is some controversy as to the correct law enforcement title for Mr. Logan. Records refer to him as Marshall and Chief. In any event, his career lasted for 15 years and ended when a train struck him as he was investigating reported criminal activity. The year was 1921 and the population has grown to 1623 residents. More than double the number of residents in 1895.
In 1921 the Borough Council established the police department. The Borough Council formally introduced the residents of Fanwood to our first designated Chief of Police, John Brady.
Chief John Brady
Chief Brady gave up a career on stage to become our first chief. Chief Brady was a professional magician who kept the interest of all with his many card tricks. Chief Brady retired in 1942 and lived in a house on South Avenue near First Street.
Chief Joseph Gorsky
One of the young officers hired by Chief Brady, Joseph Gorsky, became our second police chief. He was the son of a local tailor. Chief Gorsky was often seen patrolling the Borough on his motorcycle. Chief Gorsky will be remembered for his ability to recite poetry and his involvement in law enforcement programs and activities state wide. Chief Gorsky guided the force through WWII. The police force grew from 5 officers when he first took office to a force of 21 sworn officers and one civilian employee in 1975 when he retired.
Chief Anthony Parenti
Lt. Anthony Parenti, was Fanwood’s first Traffic Safety Officer. Chief Parenti is recognized as a traffic safety expert on a national level. He is the founder of the New Jersey Police Traffic Officers Association in 1974 and elected its President each year since. His commitment to training for police officers provided a second career after his retirement in 1997. He served as the Director of the John H. Stamler Police Academy in Scotch Plains from 1997 to 2007.
Chief Robert Carboy
Chief Carboy began his law enforcement career as a Fanwood patrolman in 1959. He has served under both Chief Gorsky and Chief Parenti and became Fanwood’s fourth Chief of Police on January 1, 1998. Chief Carboy retired in July 2002.
Chief Donald Domanski
On July 1, 2002, Donald F. Domanoski (Acting Chief since Feb), was promoted to Chief. Chief Domanoski was appointed to the Fanwood Police Department as a Patrolman in 1977. He was assigned to the Traffic Division in 1984, and was promoted to Corporal in 1987 and Sgt. in 1989. In 1994 he was promoted to Lieutenant of Operations Division, and to Captain in 1998. Chief Domanoski retired in February 2010.
Chief Richard Trigo
Lieutenant Richard Trigo was promoted to Acting Chief in February 2010 and is the main authority on establishing policies and procedures throughout the department. Chief Trigo was hired in July 1991 as a Patrolman after serving as a Patrolman with the New Jersey Transit Police Department since March 1989. In 1995, he was assigned to the Operations Bureau as a Traffic Safety Officer. In 1999, he was promoted to the rank of Traffic Safety Sergeant where he served until his promotion to Lieutenant. As a Lieutenant, he served as the Operations Bureau Commander overseeing the Detective Bureau and Traffic Safety Bureau. He is a graduate of St. Peter's College in Jersey City. He is also a graduate of the Command and Leadership program at West Point Class 36.
On October 12, 2010, Mayor Mahr and the Borough of Fanwood Council appointed Richard Trigo as Chief of Police effective October 12, 2010. Chief Trigo was sworn in on October 13, 2010 and retired in 2020.