BYRAM - He’s a local hero to the Byram residents whose lives he’s touched. To township officials, he’s the right man for the job. The township manager ended a seven-month search by promoting Byram native Raymond F. Rafferty to chief of the police department, succeeding John M. Gutwerk, who retired earlier this year. “He (Rafferty) has a good understanding of police work,” said Greg Poff, who was charged with making the selection under Byram’s Faulkner Act form of government, which calls for the manager to serve as chief executive officer and administrative official in township decisions. “He has demonstrated qualities of leadership, which is what police work is all about.” Rafferty had served as lieutenant in the department since September 2004. After serving 2 ½ years as an officer in Mendham Borough, he joined the Byram force in November 1990 and worked his way up to the rank of sergeant by May 2000. Poff had narrowed the selection process, which included oral and written exams and independent evaluation, to three candidates before making his decision after a series of interviews. “(He) Rafferty is a very qualified individual, very organized with the right disposition to understand the police department’s role in the community,” said Poff. “The appointment of chief of police is an important milestone in the life of the community. I take this selection very serious.” Byram mayor Eskil “Skip” Danielson was the township’s first-full time police chief from 1971-1993 and took part in the selection process when Rafferty was hired in 1990. Poff said Rafferty has performed in distinguished roles with the Sussex County Prosecutor’s Office Narcotics Task Force from December 1991 to December 1992. Rafferty is a certified Radar and a PR24-Side Handle Baton instructor. He has completed numerous specialized training courses in crime scene photography and arson investigation. Rafferty graduated from the Morris County Police Academy in 1988. He holds an associate’s degree in criminal justice from the County College of Morris Rafferty and his wife and family reside in Byram.