Chief Brian Beppel joined the Mt. Ephraim Police Department in 1990 as a Special Law Enforcement Officer, Class II. In 1993, he was promoted to Patrolman and in 1996 he was assigned to the Detective Bureau, as a Patrolman, on an as needed basis. He moved quickly through the ranks; proving at each level that he was ready to take on more responsibility: in 1997 he was promoted to Corporal, 1999 he was promoted to Detective Sergeant, and in 2002 he was promoted to Captain. On January 3rd, 2013, Brian Beppel was sworn in to the office of the Chief of Police of the Mount Ephraim Police Department; after serving as the Acting Chief for almost a year in the positions vacancy.
After graduating from Bishop Eustace Preparatory School, he began the educational process toward becoming a commercial pilot. The Chief decided that this was not the career that he wanted to pursue. He wanted a career that would challenge him and fit his natural leadership qualities. So, he switched to Law Enforcement and began to take Law Enforcement classes at Camden County College. Also during this time, he attended the Cape May County Police Academy. After graduation, Chief Beppel was employed with the Ocean City Police Department where he spent the summer of 1990 assigned to a patrol car as a Class II patrolman. That September, he joined the Mt. Ephraim Police Department.
During his time at MEPD, he has made and continues to make many positive changes to the department. From operations to training to personnel, the Chief has worked hard to keep MEPD up to date, in compliance and trained in order to serve the community better. An advocate for continuing education, Chief Beppel has attended many Law Enforcement courses provided by, among others, Penn State University, The International Association of Chief’s of Police, and The New Jersey State Association of Chiefs of Police. The Chief attended and graduated as the Valedictorian of his class from the West Point Leadership and Command School. Chief Beppel has completed the New Jersey Department of Personnel’s Certified Public Manager Program, which is sponsored by Fairleigh Dickinson University.
Chief Beppel also has been awarded many commendations. He has received professional awards, like the Service Award for a CPR Save. But of all his commendations, his favorite ones are the thank you letters that he has received from the people of the community.
Off duty the Chief enjoys spending time with his family, traveling and is involved in many activities. He is a Second Degree Black Belt in Kenpo Karate, which he also teaches, and he holds a belt in Aikido. He also enjoys golf, motor cycles and flying hot air balloons. He and his wife, Laurie, have two children. Chief Beppel is a member of the International Association of Chiefs of Police, The Fraternal Order of Police, The Camden County Detectives Association, The Camden County Juvenile Officers Association and MAGOLCLEN.
Captain Conte joined the Mount Ephraim Police Department in 1999 as a full time Patrolman. He quickly rose through the ranks becoming a Corporal, Sergeant, Detective Sergeant and in 2013 he was promoted to his current rank of Captain.
Captain Conte graduated from St. Joseph's Prep High School; lettering in multiple sports including Wrestling and Tennis. He continued his education while pursuing his dream of becoming a Police Officer, ultimately earning a Master's degree from Fairleigh Dickinson University. Captain Conte has completed the New Jersey Department of Personnel’s Certified Public Manager Program, which is also sponsored by Fairleigh Dickinson University. In addition to his many duties as Police Captain; Brian is also the Emergency Medical Service Coordinator for M.E.P.R.I. Ambulance squad (Mt. Ephraim Police Reserves Inc), Executive President of Fraternal Order of Police Lodge 76, an adjunct professor in the Criminal Justice department at Camden County College, and an instructor at the Camden County Police Academy.
Brian is a lifelong resident of the Borough of Mt. Ephraim. In his spare time he enjoys playing softball, coaching junior wrestling and riding his Harley Davidson Motorcycle.
The Patrol Division of the Mount Ephraim Police Department consists of fourteen uniformed officers; two Patrol Sergeants, eight full time Patrol Officers, and four part time Class II Special Officers. The Sergeant's primary responsibility is to supervise the patrol officers under their command as well as participate in patrol activities. The primary responsibility of the Patrol Division is to patrol the streets of Mount Ephraim to create and maintain a feeling of security in the community. At the most basic level, this is accomplished by identifying and apprehending criminal offenders, responding to a wide variety of citizen calls for assistance, and enforcing traffic laws. In addition to basic law enforcement duties, Mount Ephraim police officers engage in a wide range of activities aimed at making Mount Ephraim a safe and enjoyable place to live. Our Class II SLEO program allows us to put more of our resources where they are needed most, without drastically increasing the operating costs of the Department or neglecting any other responsibilities we have to the residents of the Borough. We currently have three officers assigned to the multi-jurisdictional Zone 5 Critical Incident Team (SWAT), two officers that take part in the DARE program, one officer that is assigned as a School Resource Officer as well as many other programs and shared services that our officers are involved in above and beyond their normal duties, in order to help maintain services without exceptional increases in cost.
The Detective Sergeant is responsible for investigating a broad range of crimes, mostly indictable offenses. A majority of these crimes are those that require specific knowledge, skills, and abilities. Our Detective is well trained and equipped and is constantly involved in networking and information sharing with local, county and state law enforcement agencies to ensure efficient and effective operation. Other duties that fall under the auspices of the Detective Division are; maintaining crime statistics, maintaining all evidence, conducting license inspections, and other duties as assigned by Administration. The Detective Division is supervised by the Captain, who also supervises drug investigations conducted by the Patrol Division.
The Administration Division of the Mount Ephraim, Police Department consists of three employees; the Chief of Police, the Captain of Police, and the Administrative Secretary. It is the function of the Administrative Division to plan, direct, coordinate, control and staff all activities of the Department. It is also responsible for the Department's continued and efficient operation, for the enforcement of rules and regulations, and for completion and forwarding of such reports as may be required. The Administrative Division is also responsible for its relations with local citizens, local government and other related agencies.
As a law enforcement agency, the mission of the Mount Ephraim Police Department is to provide safety and security to the residents of, and the visitors to, the Borough of Mount Ephraim. As members of the Mount Ephraim Police Department, we are committed to protecting, defending, and serving the community through modern policing methods, with an emphasis on working in partnership with residents and businesses. By maintaining ongoing, direct communications with our residents and businesses, we will be better able to identify problems affecting the community and determine effective solutions to those problems. As proud members of the law enforcement profession, we will constantly strive to conduct ourselves in a manner worthy of the public's confidence and respect.
What is now the town of Mount Ephraim, back before 1926, was Centre Township. There existed two Justices of the Peace in 1855, John W. Chester and Joseph Fish. By 1856 the Justice System in Centre Township began to grow and nine more Justices were hired. They included Joseph Bud, Joseph C. Zone, Fredrick Lister, Abraham Rowand, John P. Curtis, John W. Hax, T. Oliver Goldsmith, Henry Charman, and Hiram E. Budd.
Between 1898 and 1905, Mt. Ephraim and Haddonfield worked on establishing their first, organized crime prevention working party. They were called the Mount Ephraim and Haddonfield Mutual Pursuing and Detective Company which was located in the Borough of Haddonfield. Its purpose was for the “pursuit, detection, apprehension, arrest and prosecution of thieves, tramps, marauders and other depredators on the persons and property of the members of the said Association in the County of Camden and in the State of New Jersey, and elsewhere. . . ” (Mount Ephraim and Haddonfield Mutual Pursuing and Detective Company Certificate of Incorporation).
Due to the overwhelming amount of residents living in the Mount Ephraim area, on January 27, 1930 an ordinance was passed to establish a Police Department for the Borough. Between the years 1930 and 1948 there were several different Constables who were in charge of Mount Ephraim Police operations. The men who served in that capacity were Constable John Aaronson-1931 and Constables John McFarland and Thomas Feeser-1932.
During the years of World War II, 1941-1945, the men were appointed by Herbert Phillips, the Mayor of Mount Ephraim at that time, to be Police Reserves. The Mount Ephraim Police Reserves were then summoned to act as Block Wardens. Each warden was assigned to a block and then was to protect and look after the safety of the residents on the block in the event of an Air Raid. The men of the Police Reserves, who also had other occupations, assisted the full-time Officers whenever they were called to do so.
After the time of war, the Mount Ephraim Police Reserves decided to continue working as volunteers. Headed by the late Harry Harrison they decided to call themselves the Mount Ephraim Police Reserves Inc. and were chartered by the State of New Jersey on September 26, 1945. Their intention was to stay concerned with the safety and health of the Mount Ephraim residents. The Police Reserves bought a second hand truck which was then converted into an ambulance.
As time progressed, the police cars were black and white Chevrolets or Fords and strongly resembled police cars used in the popular television series, Adam 12. Mount Ephraim Police Department did not have Sergeants or Captains, only Special Officers, Patrolmen, and a Chief. The police department was located on West Kings Highway, near what is now MEPRI Hall.