Karmazin resigning as police director; process underway to select new chief of Hopewell Township Police Department

Photo courtesy of Hopewell Township
Retired U.S. Army Maj. Gen. Robert Karmazin is Hopewell Township's police director.

After two years, Robert Karmazin is resigning from his position as Hopewell Township police director.

In an announcement on May 2, township officials stated that Karmazin was resigning from his position to take a job in the private sector. He submitted his resignation on March 21.

According to a township statement, his last day is set for May 15.

“My time here as the director of police has been an adventure, and I can unequivocally say that the men and women who make up this great department are among the finest officers I have ever had the pleasure to work with and who I truly respect,” Karmazin said in a prepared statement. “I have made lifelong friendships, and I have learned firsthand how dedicated they are to their chosen profession and most importantly, the Hopewell Township community.”

A process is underway by the Township Committee to select a new chief of police to lead the department, instead of a director’s position.

“Director Karmazin had worked tirelessly to increase public transparency and community engagement with the police department. He has been wonderful to work with: smart, responsive, and engaged,” Mayor Courtney Peters-Manning said in the statement. “All of us on the Township Committee truly appreciate his efforts, especially his willingness to stay on longer than originally anticipated, and we wish him well in his new position.”

Karmazin was set to serve in the police director position for one year after his appointment with goals of implementing public outreach, community policing and increased transparency.

They included consistent statistical presentation updates from the police department to the Township Committee and public, the department’s implementation of Operation Blue Angel (provides assistance for residents 55 years old and up who are unable to open the front door for first responders), and the department continuing to publish monthly and end of the year traffic stop and use of force data.

The one year would extend to two years following an extension from committee members.

The Hopewell Township Committee had unanimously voted to appoint Maj. Gen. Robert Karmazin as the township’s new police director in November 2020. The governing body at that time consisted of former mayors Kristin McLaughlin and Julie Blake, Peters-Manning, Deputy Mayor Michael Ruger, and Committeeman Kevin Kuchinski.

McLaughlin, who now serves as a Mercer County Commissioner, said Karmazin is unfailingly honest and a true inspiring leader.

“He walks the walk and does what he says he believes in. He never fails to get the job done,” she said. “When we were interviewing candidates it was so clear to me that he was the person to seize our mission and make sure that his people shared that vision. Creating a culture within our police department where the police and community could come together and everyone would be successful.”

McLaughlin said she had total faith that Karmazin would be the person the township, community and police department could rely on.

Karmazin had retired as a U.S. Army major general in October 2020 a month prior to his appointment and previously had served as a New Jersey State Trooper.

Back on Aug. 3, 2020, committee members voted unanimously in support of an ordinance creating the temporary police director position and had begun the search process shortly thereafter.

The establishing of a police director position came after the retirement of former Chief of Police Lance Maloney, who had retired officially in August 2020.

Maloney’s retirement had followed accusations and investigations of improper social media conduct involving township police officers and employees, which came to light in June of that year and centered around a Facebook post referring to the Black Lives Matter movement as a terrorist organization.