By Elaine Van Develde
You can call him Lieutenant — Fair Haven Police Lt. Bob Townshend.
The lifetime Fair Havenite and longtime policeman in the borough, surrounded by colleagues, forever friends and family, was promoted from sergeant to lieutenant at Monday night’s Borough Council meeting.
Noting that he has “been to many promotions, large and small,” and has never seen such support as in Fair Haven, where they are always well attended, and the police department is “one of the few (departments) that everybody, every member, is here for (the officer being promoted),” Captain/Acting Chief Joe McGovern congratulated all candidates for the position.
“You all did a great job,” he said. “Some day all of you will be standing up here.”
But, on Monday night, it was Townshend — who grew up in Fair Haven and has worked in the police department since 1994, when he was hired as a part-time dispatcher — standing up there.
After his stint as a dispatcher, Townshend became a became a Special Law Enforcement Officer Class II in 1995. In 1999, he was promoted to patrolman, then to detective in 2006 and, sergeant in 2007. Townshend was also Fair Haven Fire Department Chief in 2007.
“I’d like to congratulate Bob and thank him for his good work,” McGovern said.
Flanked by his wife and two daughters, Townshend was sworn in with the borough’s Bible that was donated by Hap Albert to the borough by Mayor Ben Lucarelli.
Thanking fellow lifetime Fair Havenite and retired Chief Darryl Breckenridge, who was in the audience, for overseeing the promotion process, Townshend called attention to McGovern and retired Lt. Bill Heath (who was in the audience) for being “for being role models for me my entire career. For me to get to this point … it’s because of your help.
“I’d also like to thank all the guys I have to do the job with every day. I wouldn’t be up here without them, either. It’s really a team effort.”
Townshend’s promotion was approved by resolution at the last council meeting earlier in November. It is effective Dec. 1.
It puts him in a position of eligibility for the chief’s job, along with McGovern, who was recently promoted from lieutenant to captain and is now serving as acting chief.
The structure of the department has not allowed for a captain position since retired Capt. Paul McCue was in the spot. There were, instead, two lieutenants, McGovern and Townshend, who both have seniority as well.