Former Deputy Chief County Detective Edmund H.C. Justice has been chosen to replace Oscar Vance as head of Montgomery County's detectives, officials have announced.

Vance will retire as chief on Jan. 17 after a 48-year career in law enforcement. He has spent the last 30 years as chief county detective.

Justice will step up on Jan. 23, announced Montgomery County District Attorney Risa Vetri Ferman.

Justice served in the U.S. Navy from 1966 to 1970. He began his local law enforcement career in 1971 as a patrolman for the Horsham Township Police Department.

From 1973 to 1985, he served as a police officer in Hatfield Township, beginning as a patrol officer and rising to the rank of detective sergeant.

In 1986, he made the transition to the Montgomery County Detective Bureau where he served for 14 years as a homicide detective and then for six years as deputy chief.

While working in law enforcement, Justice attended night school. In 1978, he earned a bachelor of science degree in criminal justice from Trenton State College.

In 1995, he earned a master of science in criminal justice from West Chester University. He is known throughout the region as a skilled polygraph examiner.

Since 2006, Justice has owned and operated Justice Investigations in Harleysville.

   - Bonnie L. Cook