Wildwood Crest Police Department
6101 Pacific Avenue, Wildwood Crest, NJ 08260 | Emergency: 9-1-1 | Phone: (609) 522-2456 | Fax (609) 523-8243
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HISTORY of WCPD
The Borough of Wildwood Crest is a small shore community located in Cape May County, New Jersey. The Borough is situated between Victorian Cape May and Wildwood City. Wildwood Crest is mostly residential with a large motel business district bordering its expansive beach.
The Wildwood Crest Police Department was created by Ordinance #2 in May of 1910 and has seen several changes to its structure and organization throughout the years. Originally the Borough was patrolled by a Town Marshall and from its founding until the mid 1940's the department ranged in size from one to seven men. In 1922, the Borough hired Charles Young as the first Chief of Police and in 1945 the department grew to twelve men. In 1962 the first Detective was added to the department and in 1964 the rank of Sergeant was established. Between 1967 and 1970, the ranks of Captain and Lieutenant were also added and the department grew to fourteen men. Between 1970 and 1977, the department grew to twenty one officers.
Tragically in 1995, the Department suffered a devastating loss with the Line of Duty death of Patrolman Eugene J. Miglio III.
Through the years, the department used several methods to patrol the town and provide services to the public. From its founding until the 1940's most of the patrolling was done on foot. In the 1930's, a Ford Model T was added to the department but was rarely used. From 1946 until 1960 the Police Department had two patrol vehicles and in 1960 a Jeep style vehicle was added to the fleet for night patrol of the beach during the summer months. As the needs of the department grew and changed so did the amount and types of vehicles used. Today the department utilizes specialized patrol cars and SUVs equipped with camera and computer systems, ATVs, and bicycles to patrol the town.
As it stands today, the Wildwood Crest Police Department consists of 27 full-time officers who protect 2.7 square miles and nearly 4,000 year round residents. During the busy summer season, from Memorial Day to Labor Day, the population number swells to over 100,000 on any given day. During these months the Police Department hires additional seasonal officers to assist with increased calls for service, traffic, and parking enforcement.
The department consists of a Chief, Captain, and two Lieutenants who oversee two main divisions, Patrol and Administration.
The Patrol Division is the backbone of the agency and handles the day to day calls for service while also enforcing criminal statutes, traffic laws and Borough ordinances. The Division is made up of four patrol squads with each having a Sergeant, Corporal, and three Officers. The squads are supplemented with two additional seasonal officers during the summer months. In 2022 the department added the first K-9 Officers to its ranks with police dogs trained in narcotics detection, explosives detection, and patrol work.
The Administrative Division consists of the Detective Bureau and Administrative staff. The Detective Bureau is staffed by a Sergeant, Corporal and Detective who handle advanced investigations, evidence processing, employment backgrounds, and firearm's applications. The administrative staff assist in the daily operations of the department and consists of two records clerks and one administrative assistant.
The department and its members are also active in several specialty areas, including training, tactics, community outreach, and juvenile programs. The Department has several members who are certified Instructors at the Cape May County Police Academy and ongoing training is a core component of each officer's duties. The department also has four members assigned to the Cape May County Regional SWAT team who assist with search warrant executions, barricaded suspects, dignitary protection and other advanced tactical needs. Our Community Outreach Program consists of several officers who run various events and initiatives to better connect the Police Department with the community we serve. Additionally, the department has always had a strong connection with the youth in town and several officers are involved with various juvenile programs including our Adopt-A-Cop and LEAD programs in partnership with Crest Memorial Elementary School.
The Wildwood Crest Police Department prides itself on forward thinking and modern policing. The department was one of the first in Cape May County to deploy Body Worn Cameras and continues to seek out innovative ideas to better serve our community. As the needs and expectations of the community change with time, we will continue to adapt and evolve to meet and exceed them as we have done throughout our over one hundred year history.
WILDWOOD CREST POLICE DEPARTMENT