Former South Brunswick sergeant known as ‘The Commander’ will be laid to rest this week


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Michael E. Kushwarra, also known as “The Commander,” passed away on Jan. 27 at Robert Wood Johnson University Hospital in New Brunswick.

The 61-year-old Kendall Park resident worked for the South Brunswick Police Department before retiring as a sergeant for the Traffic Safety Bureau after 25 years.

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Prior to his law enforcement career, Kushwarra was a volunteer for Kendall Park EMS and was a current member of the U.S. Coast Guard Auxiliary.

As a member of the South Brunswick Republican Committee, he ran for a seat on the South Brunswick Township Council in 2020 but lost to the incumbents.

He worked for Allied Universal Security and led a team of security officers at the Freehold Raceway Mall, Freehold.

Kushwarra was certified in public management, according to prior reports in the Sentinel. He is a 30-year member of the Transportation Advisory Board.

He is survived by his wife Deborah Kushwarra and children Michael W. and Katelyn.

Viewing will be held 2-4 p.m. and 6-9 p.m. Feb. 1 at the M.J. Murphy Funeral Home, 616 Ridge Road, Monmouth Junction section of South Brunswick.

The funeral will be held at 11:30 a.m. Feb. 2 at the funeral home, followed by a Mass of Christian Burial at 12:30 p.m. at St. Augustine of Canterbury Church, 45 Henderson Road, Kendall Park.

Entombment of ashes will be at 10:30 a.m. Feb. 4 at Holy Cross Burial Park, 840 Cranbury South River Road, East Brunswick. Attendees can join the family at 10 a.m. at M.J. Murphy Funeral Home to process to the cemetery.


In lieu of flowers, the family requests that donations be made to

To read his obituary, visit


  • This information is courtesy of M.J. Murphy Funeral Home.

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