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 two Deputy Chiefs 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 Energy 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 the US Army Primary Leadership Development Course for non-commissioned officers. He received an Honorable Discharge in 1998, completing 10 years of Army Reserve service as a non-commissioned officer.
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, having completed Methods of Instruction, Firearms Instructor Course and FBI Sniper School. 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.
From 2006 to 2011 the Deputy Chief was assigned to Police Administration as the department’s Budget and Procurement Officer and Special Projects Manager. In this role he also oversaw many significant advances in the department. In 2006 he introduced the department to an electronic scheduling and time management system that is used to this day to provide accurate records. The same year, he managed the first department-wide procurement and deployment of mobile data computers, 88 MDC in total and a million dollar project at the time. He managed the department’s transition from paper to electronic report writing, a significant advancement in technology, officer effectiveness and efficiency. He also introduced car mounted mobile video recorders with Wi-Fi upload capabilities.
From 2011 to 2012, a sergeant at the time, the Deputy Chief was assigned to lead the Communications Bureau, 9-1-1 Dispatch Center, which lacked a commanding officer at the time due to staffing shortages. There, he made improvements to the work environment and workflow, re-wrote the organization’s Dispatch Protocol, and contributed to the privatization of Township EMS Services. Towards the end of this assignment he was promoted to the rank of lieutenant.
As a lieutenant, he returned to the Patrol Bureau in 2013 to serve as the Watch Commander of the afternoon shift for four years. Before being promoted to captain, he served an additional year under the Chief of Police as Special Projects Manager, introducing the department to Body Worn Cameras as well as Axon’s Fleet Cameras and Conducted Energy Devices. He also attended and graduated from the New Jersey Association of Chiefs of Police Command and Leadership Academy at that time.
In 2017 he was promoted to the rank of captain and assumed command of the Police Administration Bureau. As a captain, the Deputy Chief worked on improving and correcting technological platforms and facilities, modernizing policies and procedures, 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 they need and the authority to accomplish identified goals.
Promoted to Deputy Chief in 2020, he currently assists the Chief of Police in overseeing day-to-day functions of the police department.
Deputy Chief Askelson holds a Bachelors Degree in Accounting from Rutgers University Business School, a Masters Degree in Human Resources Training & Development, and an Ed.S Post-Masters Degree in Education Leadership, Management & Policy 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 and completing Spartan obstacle course races. He is married with two children.
Robert J. Dudash Jr.
Deputy Chief of Police
In December of 2005, he was promoted to the rank of Sergeant of Police and continued his role as the Administrative Officer for the Patrol Bureau, while now being tasked with additional responsibilities such as overseeing all community policing and community outreach for the police department. Some of the noteworthy programs under his direction were: the Junior Police Academy, Civilian Police Academy, DARE, National Night Out, and Neighborhood Watch. Two of his most coveted awards came during this time frame in his career. In April 2009, he was recognized by the New Jersey DARE Officers Association as DARE Officer of the Year for the State of New Jersey and in May 2010, he was recognized by the 200 Club of Middlesex County with a Community Service Award.
In August of 2011, he was transferred into the Police Administration Bureau as a Sergeant and continued his community policing and outreach along with new duties and responsibilities to include: training, fleet management, purchasing and procurement, Auxiliary Police Liaison, and grant writing.
In May of 2016, he was promoted to Lieutenant of Police and was transferred back to the Patrol Bureau as the Executive Officer, which was second in command for the Patrol Bureau which at the time also consisted of the Traffic Unit and Community Policing Unit.
In September of 2021, he was promoted to Deputy Chief of Police overseeing all operational bureaus and units within the department to include: the Patrol Bureau, Traffic, the Community Oriented Policing Unit, and the Detective Bureau. His vast experience in Patrol, Traffic and Community Policing will be uniquely beneficial to moving the operations of the police department forward for years to come.
Deputy Chief Dudash Jr. has Bachelor’s Degrees in both Administration of Justice and Sociology as well as a Certificate in Criminology from Rutgers University, a Master’s Degree in Human Resources Training and Development coupled with a Certificate in Leadership and Management from Seton Hall University. He is a certified Police Training Instructor for the State of New Jersey in both Methods of Instruction and Crime Prevention and has taught in various police academies around the State. He is a third generation Edison Police Officer behind is Great Grandfather, Patrolman Michael Dudash, who lost his life in the line of duty in a motorcycle collision in October 1924 and his father, Retired Lt. Robert J. Dudash Sr. who proudly served the department from July 1977-July 2005. He is an avid outdoorsman. He also dedicates much of his spare time to various civic and community organizations in and around Edison. He is married with two children.