The New Jersey Turnpike or simply “The Turnpike” as it’s known to NJ residents, is a toll road in New Jersey and is one of the most heavily traveled highways in the United States. A majority of the mainline is part of the Interstate Highway System. Construction of the Turnpike from conceptualization to opening took 23 months, from 1950 to 1952. The Turnpike boasts 12 foot (3.7 m)–wide lanes, 10 foot (3 m)–wide shoulders, 13 rest areas named after notable New Jerseyans, and unusual exit signage that was considered the pinnacle of highway building in the 1950s. The Interstate Highway System took some of its design guidelines by copying the Turnpike’s design guidelines The Turnpike travels north – south through 3.56 miles of the eastern portion South Brunswick Township. Interchange 8A is within South Brunswick Township and the roadway is patrolled by The New Jersey State Police.
The South Brunswick Police Department consisted of part-time officers: William Voorhees, Alfred Ochsner, Eugene Ryan, James McDonald, Anthony Delre and Chief Holsten. Police pay was around $500.00 a year. Population hovered between 5,000 and 10,000 people and there was little change in demographics.
With all the incidents occurring at the Holsten home, Doris had had enough. The police station moved into the old Monmouth Junction School in 1951. It shared space with the school, the municipal court and the First Aid Squad. It was located on the corner of Mary Street and New Road.
About this time the police department had part-time “Specials” and part-time auxiliary officers. Specials would be paid $1.00 an hour and would be armed. The auxiliary officers were not compensated or armed with a firearm. The Specials and the auxiliaries supplemented the force. The Specials would be utilized for parades, big events and other such jobs requiring extra manpower. One such Special hired was Paul Henry Wilson. Wilson is a tall, gentle, caring man. He was the first black hired as a Special. Wallace Cunningham was the first black auxiliary hired. Cunningham was on the force when Wilson was hired. Wilson wished to be a Special but did not want to be armed. After several discussions with his wife Grace, she finally said, “You better protect yourself.” Wilson purchased his Smith and Wesson 4″ barreled revolver from George Kirby, also a part-time Special.
The best thing Wilson recalls of the department was that “everyone got along together; there was no squabbling, no fighting, we just all got along and liked each other and that I liked very much.” Ptl. Wilson is still as proud of his 5-year stint as a Special that he invited me to his residence to take a picture of himself in his original uniform, some 50 years later.
In 1957, in rural, quiet South Brunswick Township, developer Herbert Kendall, (a.k.a. Herbert Katz) began a 1,500-unit project of moderately affordable houses between Rt. 27 and Rt. 1. South Brunswick residents who displayed their emotions at township meetings resented “Kendall Park” Kendall had his way and “Kendall Park” was formed. Kendall Park had a dramatic effect on the lifestyle and infrastructure of South Brunswick. Calls for service began to increase.
Milton Leventhal was appointed to the force at about this time as well as John J. Lindner.
(NJ State Hwy) 25 had different sections throughout the years.
Route 25 was completed in 1958, relieving the strain on Georges Rd. It was now named US 130, (commonly known as Rt. 130).
On January 6, 1959 Andrew Morabito was hired as a police officer.
In 1959, (NJ State Hwy) 26 was reconstructed as US 1 (commonly known as Rt. 1) with various sections being modified as time passed.
In May of 1959 George Kirby was sworn in as an officer, a former special.
Other part-time officers on the department at this time and ready to enter the 60’s were Wallace Cunningham, auxiliary (the first African – American hired by the department), Donald Scurato, James Styres, Charles Wiggs and Desidero Carreras.
The 1950’s closed out the year with a change in township government.
Raymond J. Hayducka Chief 540 Ridge Road Monmouth Junction, NJ 08852 732-329-4646