An Introduction by Chief Michael Richards

Welcome to the Newton Police Department website. I thank you for taking the time to visit and believe you will find the site to be both helpful and informative. Our site is designed and maintained by a member of the staff and it is specifically intended to further our objectives in creating and strengthening our community engagement. In addition to this website, we endeavor to look for ways to innovate and to always improve; to operate more efficiently and effectively.

Performing a fundamental public service, Officers can have a tremendous positive impact on the quality of life. Continuing a proud tradition since 1910, members of the Newton Police Department are committed to serving everyone in our community to make the Town of Newton safer and to make its residents, merchants and its visitors feel safer.

I invite you to browse the website to learn more about us and the many services we offer. Since our effectiveness is often proportionate to the amount of involvement, cooperation and assistance that we receive from those we serve, we’ll continue to engage the public and communicate our activities in an effort to enhance our public safety partnership. Please contact us if we can be of any assistance to you and to report any possible suspicious activity.

Like the department, this website will continue to be improved; refined and updated, so please check back regularly. Your comments and suggestions are important to us and I encourage anyone with comments, questions or concerns to contact me directly at

About Chief Richards

Chief Richards began his career with the Newton Police Department in 1989 as a full-time police dispatcher. After receiving training from the Passaic County Police Academy in 1992 to become a Class II Special Law Enforcement Officer, he performed foot patrol in the business district several hours per week in addition to his dispatching position. He then became a Patrolman in 1994 and served as the department’s first full-time Bike Patrol Officer. He attended the Somerset County Police Academy and graduated in June 1995. After graduation, he worked in the Patrol Division until he was assigned to the Detective Bureau in 2000. He served as a Detective until 2002 when he was made a Detective Sergeant and was responsible for supervising all criminal investigations. He was promoted to the rank of Lieutenant in 2006. Chief Richards is a Past-President of the Sussex County Detectives’ Association and he was the 2008 recipient of the William G. Geffken Detective of the Year award for outstanding accomplishments in investigative police work. Chief Richards served as President of the Sussex County PBA Local 138 for four years and he is a 2005 graduate of the West Point Command and Leadership Program where he was awarded the Chief Harry Wilde Academic Achievement Award for Academic Excellence. He was sworn in as the Chief of Police on November 5, 2010. Chief Richards is an active member in the Sussex County Association of Chiefs of Police, the NJ State Association of Chiefs of Police and the International Association of Chiefs of Police. He attended the FBI Law Enforcement Executive Development Seminar and is a member of the FBI-LEEDA.

He has overall responsibility for the administration of the Police Department which includes but is not necessarily limited to the following:

  • General direction, control and administration
  • Planning responsibilities

Chief Richards can be reached at (973) 383-2525 or