Former Linden police chief installed as undersheriff

ELIZABETH — Former Linden police Chief Jonathan Parham was sworn in as Union County undersheriff on Friday, July 13, filling the spot vacated by state Sen. Joe Cryan.

Parham, who took the oath of office from Union County Vicinage Assignment Judge Karen Cassidy, will join undersheriffs Amilcar Colon and Dennis Burke as the executive management team for Sheriff Peter Corvelli, the Union County Sheriff’s Office announced in a press release.

Cryan, who served as the Union County sheriff from 2015 to 2017, left that post when he was elected to represent Union County towns in District 20, and was appointed undersheriff in January. Cryan left that job to head the Middlesex County Utilities Authority in March.

Parham served for nearly 25 years in the Linden Police Department, becoming the first black police chief in Linden on Sept. 1, 2016.
Just nine days later, the LPD received national attention when officers apprehended terror suspect Ahmad Khan Rahimi following a shootout.

In 2017, Rahimi was sentenced to life in prison for detonating pressure cooker bombs in New York and New Jersey. Thirty-one people were injured when he set off a bomb in the Manhattan neighborhood of Chelsea.

Parham, who grew up in Linden, served in each rank from officer to captain before being promoted to chief and retiring in December 2017.
“Upon Undersheriff Cryan’s retirement, we conducted an exhaustive search for the next undersheriff whose vision and leadership aligns with our goals for the Union County Sheriff’s Office,” Corvelli said in the press release.

“While there were a number of talented candidates, Jon Parham’s name and experience stood above the rest. I am very happy that he will be with my office as we continue to move forward to provide the type of services that Union County residents expect to receive.”