A History of... Evesham Township Police
Photo from a 1961 Township publication showing the volunteer force, known as the Police Reserves. This photo was taken in front of the old Cooper Estate at North Locust Ave. and Main Street in Marlton.
Prior to 1966, Evesham Township had a volunteer police force which was on duty from 6 PM to 6 AM. N.J. State Police patroled the Township during the day.
In the late 1950's, part-time paid officers - known as Special Officers - were added to supplement the volunteers. This photo from 1961 shows Evesham's part-time paid force at that time, left to right Chief William Bradley, Sgt. Wilbur Ivins, Patrolmen Webb Lingle and Robert McDaniel.
This photo was also taken in front of the old Cooper estate.
In the mid 1960's with Evesham's population nearly doubling, the Township began to plan a full-time paid force.
In January, 1966 the Township Committee created the Advisory Committee for Law Enforcement, which was a five-member body who studied state and local laws governing police departments and were responsible for drawing up the ordinance which was the blueprint for a paid full-time force.
By March, 1966 the committee turned the suggested ordinance to the governing body following a survey of police operations in 30 New Jersey municipalities. This proposed ordinance caused disapproval from the part-time paid officers and volunteers, who dissaproved of an age restriction of 30 years and a requirement of taking exams to continue thier service. In protest Chief William Bradley and Sergeant Wilbur Ivins along with the two part-time officers resigned in May, 1966, followed by all but five of the volunteers. The remaining five volunteers were promoted to part-time patrolmen and given authorization to carry firearms. The State Police continued to supplement patrols. Despite the controversy, the ordinance was successfully passed by the Township Committee following a public meeting. The Committee then began securing applications from prospective police officers. Exams for police chief and patrolman were conducted in June, 1966
A chief for the department, Andrew Janssen, was appointed on June 22, 1966. Next, Burlington County Civil Defence coordinator Edmond Maguire gave permission for the township to use a building at the County Civil Defence Center, the former Nike base, on Tomlinson Mill Road and donated equipment for temporary use. Chief Janssen began the department here with the help of the five former volunteer officers who were promoted to part-time paid status when the former force resigned. A radio base station was installed on July 9, 1966 with a township police channel and the county-wide channel for communicating with neighboring departments. Soon afterwards a base station was added for the fire band to allow communication with township fire trucks. In mid-July, 1966 the first two full-time patrolmen, Walter Ward and Joseph Leedom, were appointed by the Township Committee. Radio dispatchers were then hired to man the radio base and the Evesham Jaycees, a community service organization, volunteered time to paint the building at the CD Center used by the department.
In this photo from July 1966, Evesham Mayor George DeChurches is handing the keys for one of the two 1966 Ford patrol cars purchased for the new force to Chief Andrew Janssen. The cars were light green and colonial white. The green was to represent the color of marl. Police Headquarters were located in the Administration Building at the former Nike missile base on Tomlinson Mill Road, shown in the background.
Patrolman Nick Matteo mans the original dispatching desk in 1966. Matteo eventually became Chief. In front of him is a vintage
Motorola base station. The township police dispatch frequency was 154.980.
Residents needed only to dial one number for help now, 983-1111, instead of a list of several numbers previously used.
Note the manual typewriter under the hat in the foreground...no computers yet!
Joseph Leedom was the first member of the department to become Sergeant. He became the department's second Chief in 1970 when Chief Janssen resigned.
Note the "Ten-Gallon" hat worn with the original, all-gray uniform.
The hats were later changed to the conventional style, and the triangle patch was replaced with a shield design.
In December, 2001 a new uniform was introduced, with light gray shirts and black pants with gray sidestripes. As a tip of the hat to the past, the shoulder patch was returned to the triangle style.
Early in 1967, the department moved to the
basement of the newly constructed Municipal
Building at 125 East Main Street.
This was the dispatching desk there, with
Angelo "Bud" Meglio - one of the five former volunteer officers who assisted at the beginning of the department - at the microphone.
By 1971, the department grew to a 13-man force. Here we see one of the four Plymouth Fury III's used at this time.
The department also dispatched the Marlton and Kettle Run Fire Companies and Marlton First Aid Squad as District 22. In this 1971 photo, Police Dispatcher Nancy Gallagher activates the newly installed Plectron Alert radio dispatching system that was used for this purpose over the county fire band. Ambulances would radio in to the dispatcher on the police channel and fire units used the fire band. In 1977, All District 22 Police, Fire and First Aid dispatching was transfered to Burlington County Central Communications.
Marlton Fire Company and First Aid Squad
member Thomas Bird receives the call on his
A History of the Evesham NJ Police Department is an unofficial page,
YouTube video I made demonstrating Fire and Ambulance dispatching in Evesham before going to Burlington County Central..... View Video