Raritan Township was incorporated by an act of the New Jersey Legislature in 1838 from a portion of the now-defunct Amwell Township. The town of Flemington was formed within Raritan Township in 1870 and became an independent municipality in 1910. Portions of Raritan Township were ceded to the newly-formed East Amwell Township in 1854 and again in 1897.
From 1838 until the formation of the New Jersey State Police (NJSP) in 1921, there was no notable law enforcement presence in Raritan Township. Beginning in 1921, the NJSP began sporadic patrols of the township on horseback and motorcycle. On April 19, 1950, NJSP Trooper Walter R. Gawryla was involved in a serious motor vehicle collision while patrolling State Highway 30 (now State Highway 31) on a motorcycle. Trooper Gawryla died from the injuries sustained in the collision on April 21, 1950.
On May 13, 1968, the Raritan Township Police Department was established by township ordinance. One officer was hired to provide police services to approximately 4,000 residents. The first police department was located in the Township Building on South Main Street. Two more officers were hired in 1970 and four new officers were added in 1973. The police department was moved to a rented house down the street from the Township Building, near the intersection of Dayton Road.
By 1980, the police department employed 13 officers and the township’s population was about 8,300. In 1981, the police department moved to its current location, a new police and court facility built on Sergeantsville Road near the intersection of State Highway 12.
During the 1980s, the population increased dramatically. In 1990, the population numbered 15,600 and the Raritan Township Police Department employed 24 police officers. The police facility was expanded to meet the needs of the growing department in 1992. In 1996, the population had reached 17,500 and the federal Community Oriented Policing grant program expanded the department to 33 officers.
Today, Raritan Township consists of a land area of 38 square miles in central Hunterdon County and is at the crossroads of State Highways 12, 31, and 202. Currently, the population of Raritan Township is 22,720. It completely surrounds Flemington Borough and is bordered by Clinton, Delaware, East Amwell, Franklin, Hillsborough, and Readington Townships.
At present time, the Raritan Township Police Department employs 33 police officers, 2 dispatchers, and 1 administrative assistant.