The Edison Police Department serves and protects the 5th largest municipality in New Jersey. The department is overseen by one Chief of Police assisted by one Deputy Chief of Police.
Chief of Police
Chief Bryan began his career in law enforcement with the Edison Police Department in 1984. Chief Bryan spent five years in the Patrol Division until his assignment in 1989 to the Middlesex County Prosecutors – Narcotics Task Force. In 1991, and for the next three years, Chief Bryan was assigned to the department’s Investigations Bureau. Chief Bryan’s assignments in the Investigations Bureau included the Vice & Narcotic Unit and the Major Crimes Unit. In 1994 Chief Bryan was assigned to the Department’s Internal Affairs Unit. While a patrolman, Chief Bryan served as the PBA President of Local #75.
In 1997, Chief Bryan was promoted to the rank of Sergeant, where he served as a supervisor in Internal Affairs until May 2004 when he was promoted to the rank of Lieutenant. Chief Bryan was placed in the position of commander of the Internal Affairs Unit, which was the department’s lead unit investigating all citizen complaints of alleged employee misconduct. Chief Bryan served in this position for the next four years.
In April of 2008, Chief Bryan was promoted to the rank of Deputy Chief of Police and was given operational control over the department by Police Director Brian Collier. Chief Bryan was responsible for oversight of all administrative and operational functions of the Police Department.
In January of 2009 Chief Bryan was promoted to the rank of Chief of Police in the fifth largest municipality in New Jersey. He is committed to continued organizational improvement and seeking the highest levels of professionalism in the workforce.
In 2017, the Chief was one of the first in Middlesex County to introduce Body Worn Cameras (BWC). This highly successful project that ensures that every uniformed officer in the department records all police encounters, has served as a great tool for the officers. It has fostered goodwill and trust from the community and has significantly reduced unfounded citizen complaints.
Following the introduction of BWC, the Chief’s administrative team moved forward and deployed Axon brand Fleet car cameras that synchronize with the BWC. Conducted Electrical Devices (CED), a less lethal option in the continuum of force, were also deployed as part of the Axon’s product suite. These measures add oversight and provide valuable tools and less lethal options for the officers.
In the effort to improve police services, Chief Bryan introduced the Street Crimes Unit to target problem areas and improve quality of life for the public. And in 2020, the Chief’s Community Police Initiative introduced the new Community Oriented Policing Unit and Traffic Unit, both with a goal to partner with the public and help solve identified problems.
Chief Bryan has been a successful business entrepreneur, owning karate schools and gym facilities, and teaching martial arts. He has earned the rank of eighth degree black belt and was inducted into the World Martial Arts Hall of Fame in 1993 as well as the World Karate Union Hall of Fame in 1998. Chief Bryan is an active member in the New Jersey State Association of Chiefs of Police and Middlesex County Association of Chiefs of Police.
Deputy Chief of Police
Deputy Chief Howard Askelson began his law enforcement career in 1988, graduating from US Army Basic Training and Military Police Academy. He graduated from Military Police Investigator School class 11/91, and later was Distinguished Honor Graduate in Primary Leadership Development Course for non commissioned officers.
The Deputy Chief joined the Edison Police Department in 1994, graduating from the Trenton Police Academy with the Top Gun Award. He soon joined the department’s SWAT and Honor Guard. He was deployed to Ground Zero NYC on 9/11 with the tactical team, and then in 2002 became the sniper team leader. He is currently the SWAT Deputy Commander. During his first 12 years assigned to the Patrol Bureau, he served for 8 years on the union executive board including two terms as PBA Vice President.
As a sergeant the Deputy Chief oversaw as project manager, significant technological advances such as deploying mobile data computers in cars, transitioning from paper to electronic report writing, Wi-Fi mobile video recorders, and electronic time management and scheduling.
As a lieutenant, he returned to the Patrol Bureau to serve as the Watch Commander of the afternoon shift for four years. Before being promoted to captain, he was project manager introducing the department to Body Worn Cameras as well as Axon’s Fleet Cameras and CED. He also attended and graduated from the New Jersey Association of Chiefs of Police Command and Leadership Academy.
As a captain, the Deputy Chief worked on improving and correcting technological platforms and facilities, and improving efficiency and effectiveness throughout the organization. He did this by building a great team and practicing decentralized command; providing the team with the tools to they need and the authority to accomplish identified goals.
Promoted to Deputy Chief in 2020, he assists the Chief of Police in overseeing the administrative and operational functions of the police department. He is also particularly interested in the success of the new Community Oriented Policing Initiative and cultivating the newly formed COP and Traffic Units which have been tasked with a new problem oriented policing paradigm.
Deputy Chief Askelson holds a Bachelors Degree in Accounting from Rutgers University, a Masters Degree in Human Resources Training & Development from Seton Hall University, and an Ed.S in Education Leadership, Management & Policy also from Seton Hall University. He has a third degree black belt in Shotokan Karate with the Japan Karate Association of NJ, where he has trained since 1983. He also enjoys kickboxing with a local CKO club. He is married with two children.