Three Officers Move Up In Rank At MOPD
By Cheryl Conway
The Mt. Olive Police Department has started 2013 with a new captain, its first female sergeant and a new lieutenant.
On Dec. 11, 2012, Mt. Olive Twp. Mayor Rob Greenbaum read the oath of office to newly promoted Captain Stephen Beecher and Lt. Jim Dunn. One week later, Amy Clymer was sworn in as Mt. Olive’s first female sergeant. Their promotions were effective on Dec. 18, 2012
Beecher’s promotion is a result from the retirement of Captain Donald Gardner who worked his final shift on Nov. 30, 2012. Beecher, 52, is in his 26th year of serving on the MOPD and will now serve as the Operations Commander, which is the second in charge overall. All Divisions report directly to him including Investigations, Support Services, Communications and Records and Patrol.
“Steve Beecher is a results oriented guy who utilizes a system similar to New York City’s Command Statistics (COMM-STAT) Model in order to effect positive change in our township,” says Mt. Olive Police Chief Mark Spitzer. Beecher has modified the system to work in Mt. Olive Township but perhaps his best accomplishment is the development of our Directed Patrol List which assures regular patrols to problem areas in order to interrupt or move crime and nuisances by arresting violators or lowering their comfort levels.”
Beecher, of Randolph, who applied for the position of Captain about two months ago, says “I was both humbled and honored to be selected as Captain.” His father, Stephen Beecher Sr., is a retired Detective Sergeant with the Morris County Prosecutor’s Office.
“During my career I have enjoyed the unpredictability of police work, the fact that you can make a genuine difference in the lives of the people we serve, and the mentoring of new officers and supervisors,” says Beecher. “The latter will be especially important as our department has had a number of new officers join our ranks.
“As Captain, my goals are to explore ways in which to reduce the heroin problem in our community, reduce traffic fatalities, reduce burglaries, and to maintain the professionalism of our police department by mentoring our new officers and supervisors,” he says.
A 1979 graduate of Morris Knolls High School, Beecher attended Lebanon Valley College in Annville, Pa., where he played football there for four years. After graduating with a degree in Psychology/Social Service in 1983, he worked as a social worker for the Morris County Juvenile Detention Center, a lock up facility for juveniles.
In 1985, he started work with the Division of Youth and Family Services in Intake, which investigated all initial reports of child abuse and neglect.
“It was while I was out on an investigation in Boonton Township I was told there was an opening at their police department and encouraged to apply,” says Beecher. “As I enjoyed the investigative aspect of my work and felt law enforcement was a better fit for me, I applied there as well as in Mt Olive. I was given a conditional offer from Mt Olive in Jan. 1987 by then Chief Edward Kane. I entered the Morris County Police Academy in February that year and graduated June.”
Serving for the MOPD for the past 25 years, Beecher has had many roles. He has served as Patrolman, Sergeant in Patrol, Administrative Sergeant, Lieutenant in the Support Services Division, and for the past eight years as a Lieutenant in the Patrol Division.
“During my career I have been a member of Task Force (a high impact motor vehicle enforcement and warrant Unit); Special Operations Unit (the department’s former SWAT team); and detailed to assist the Morris County Prosecutor’s Office Fugitive Unit,” says Beecher.
Beecher has been a Field Training Officer for new officers and for the past 20 years has served as a Recruit and Selection Coordinator for the MOPD. He has received advanced training in hostage negotiations, interview and interrogation, physical fitness assessment and training, and accident investigation. Beecher’s awards include Honorable Service, Educational Achievement, and Program Development.
Also recently promoted is Lt. Jim Dunn, who will serve as the Investigations Division Commander.
“Jim Dunn is a 27 year veteran who spent the lion share of his career in the investigations division; he is an expert on everything from property crimes to narcotics,” says Spitzer. “He is a well respected and well liked man who has developed many contacts with the residents over his career. He will lead two sergeants and two squads of detectives.”
In addition, Amy Clymer has been promoted as the first female sergeant of the MOPD. She will serve in the Patrol Division as a squad sergeant.
“Amy Clymer has served for 17 years and will run a patrol squad,” says Spitzer. “She has served in a supervisory role for the past eleven years as she has been a corporal for that period of time. Throughout those years she has served in the absence of the sergeant.”
There are currently three female officers on the MOPD, says Spitzer, out of 45 officers, and Clymer is the first woman to reach the role as sergeant.
“To be promoted to sergeant one needs to have served on the department for at least three years and then take a written examination proctored by the New Jersey State Association of Chiefs of Police (NJSACOP),” explains Spitzer. “If the candidate passes the test they then are given an Oral Examination that is conducted by the Lieutenants and Captain. At the conclusion, the top three remaining candidates are interviewed by the Chief and Captain for final selection. In this case about 28 officers began the process and Amy rose to the top. She is the first woman to do so in Mt. Olive Township.”
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