Chief Conte joined the Mount Ephraim Police Department in 1999 as a full time Patrolman. He quickly rose through the ranks serving at the rank of Corporal, Sergeant, Detective Sergeant and in 2013 he was promoted to the rank of Captain. In December of 2015 Chief Conte was appointed "Acting Chief" of the Mount Ephraim Police Department and was sworn into the permanent role of Chief of Police on January 7th, 2016.
Chief 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. Chief 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 Chief; Brian is also the Emergency Medical Service Coordinator for M.E.P.R.I. Ambulance squad (Mt. Ephraim Police Reserves Inc), and has served as the Executive President of Fraternal Order of Police Lodge 76 until his recent promotion. He is also an adjunct professor in the Criminal Justice department at Camden County College and an instructor at the Camden County Police Academy. Brian has also served the Zone 5 Critical Incident Team (regional SWAT team) as a Tactical Medic.
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.
The Mount Ephraim Police Department is dedicated to discovering ways to provide our community with the best possible service at the highest possible value. That mindset has been the catalyst for our involvement and participation in many shared service agreements and opportunities over the years. These agreements can include equipment, intelligence, personnel and even property; allowing us to pool resources and personnel with other agencies in order to improve our efficiency, effectiveness and quality of service without the normally associated and burdening cost increases on the tax payers. These shared services have allowed us to maintain the exceptional level of service that our residents have come to know and expect from our agency, while still keeping the community in control of it's policing. Just a few of those shared services are outlined below.
Mount Ephraim / Oaklyn / Haddon Heights / Barrington Joint Municipal Court:
The joint Municipal Court of Mt. Ephraim / Oaklyn has been a model of success since it's inception in 2005. So much so, that in 2014 the Boroughs of Haddon Heights and Barrington also merged their Court systems into the Mt. Ephraim / Oaklyn join Municipal Court; allowing us to now share the costs of running the judicial system with four different jurisdictions. This unprecedented shared service has been a massive success in reducing the costs of the system on the tax payers of the involved municipalities and has allowed the system to operate more efficiently and effectively without duplicating resources and personnel.
Zone 5 Critical Incident Team
The Mount Ephraim Police Department currently has two officer assigned to the Zone 5 Critical Incident Team (Multi Jurisdictional SWAT team). Sgt. Siefert serves as the Team Leader and Sgt. Errigo serves as the Assistant Team Leader. Both Sgt. Siefert and Sgt. Errigo each have over 10 years of tactical team experience and are trained and certified Designated Marksman / Observers and firearms instructors. The Zone 5 C.I.T. team consists of highly trained and equipped tactical officers assigned from Mount Ephraim, Brooklawn, Haddon Heights, Audubon, Barrington, Runnemede and Bellmawr Police Departments. These officers are trained and equipped to respond to highly sensitive critical incidents within the cooperating jurisdictions. Further, their training and experience has proven invaluable in their own agencies. Aside from their obvious primary responsibility of responding to high risk critical incidents; the knowledge, training and experience that these officers are able to bring back to their agencies allows for administrators to better train all of their staff rather than just a select few, without the exponential costs associated with outside training organizations and aids. The Zone 5 C.I.T. hosts annual training opportunities to assist cooperating departments in such specialized fields as Active Shooter training, Tactical Firearms proficiency, Use of Force Protocol, Hostage Rescue, Tactical movements and Search and Rescue assignments.
NJ / Camden County C.A.R.T.
The Mount Ephraim Police Department currently has two officers, Chief Conte and Sgt. Errigo, assigned to the Camden County C.A.R.T. (Child Abduction Response Team). The C.A.R.T. team is a specialized cooperative of officers from jurisdictions throughout the County led by the Camden County Prosecutors Office and the New Jersey State Police. The C.A.R.T. team is activated to lead or assist with investigations and search and rescue operations upon the report of a missing or endangered child within the County and State.
Camden County Detectives Association / Police Intelligence Group
The Mount Ephraim Police Department is a member of the Camden County Detectives Association and the Police Intelligence Group. The CCDA is a shared service developed by the Camden County Prosecutors Office and Detectives from Police Departments within the County to share information and coordinate investigations in criminal activity reaching across municipal jurisdictions. The shared information and team work provided by this cooperative arrangement allows Detectives and Investigators from all agencies to pool resources and intelligence to better serve the municipalities in which they operate without incurring increased costs or duplicated efforts.
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.