History of the Medford Township Police Department
The Medford Township Police Department was formally created as a full-time, full service law enforcement agency in 1957. Previous to this, the Department was comprised of just a few full-time officers, supplemented by Part-time Special Officers. Upon its creation, the first full-time members of our agency consisted of eight sworn officers, including a Chief of Police, a Lieutenant, two Sergeants, four Patrol Officers, and four Dispatchers. The Department was headquartered in a converted Train Station located on N. Main Street, adjacent to Kirby’s Feed Store. This building served as our home from 1961 – 1993.
A separate facility was constructed in the mid 1970’s on Fostertown Road to house the newly formed K-9 Unit. This facility contained housing for four K-9’s as well as training equipment. During the 1970’s, the creation of the Detective Bureau provided round-the-clock criminal investigation services to the rapidly growing Township. The Traffic Safety Bureau was also created during the decade in response to the increase in traffic, and related motor vehicle accidents. Both of these units continue to serve our community.
With the growth of the Township that occurred in the late 1970’s and 1980’s, the Department grew from its original complement of eight officers and four dispatchers, to twenty-seven officers and six dispatchers by the end of the 1980’s. In 1982, the department began issuing badge numbers to our officers. These numbers follow an officer throughout their career, and are removed when the officer retires or separates from service.
As the 1980’s came to an end, the need for additional space to house the police officers, dispatchers, staff, and equipment became evident. The cramped quarters could no longer be renovated to meet the continuing needs of our growing agency. Subsequently, land was purchased at the corner of Jones Road and Union Street and a new facility known as the Public Safety Center was opened in April 1993. The new facility is home to the Police Division, the Municipal Court, and serves as the chambers for the Township Council and various other Township Boards.
The new Public Safety Building was equipped with state of the art equipment and a full service, 24 hour a day 9-1-1 dispatch center. Other features included office space for the police administration, the detective bureau, traffic safety bureau and supervisors. The facility also included a self-contained sally port system and holding cells for suspects. In 2010, due to budgetary constraints, Police Division dispatching and 9-1-1 duties were discontinued. The Police Division is currently dispatched by Burlington County Central Communications in Westampton Township.
Throughout the 1990's and into the first decade of the new millennium, the Police Department continued to grow to meet the needs of the increasing demands of the community and reached its highest staffing level in 2009 with a full complement of 49 sworn police officers. Since that time, the Police Department has been forced to undergo significant downsizing, due to fiscal constraints, that was accomplished through attrition and lay-offs.
Currently, the Medford Township Police Department consists of 37 full time sworn officers and is supported by 4 full-time and 2 part-time clerical staff members. The Police Department serves a population of approximately 23,000 residents and is responsible for patrolling approximately 40 square miles.