Home Moorestown News Lee R. Lieber to be sworn in as Chief of Police

Lee R. Lieber to be sworn in as Chief of Police

He has served the Department since he was sworn in during August 1978 as a patrolman.

Moorestown born and raised Lee R. Lieber was sworn into the Moorestown Township Police Department in August 1978 as a patrolman. Since then, he has served a number of roles within the township, but is scheduled to be sworn in as police chief at the Moorestown Town Council meeting on Monday, Dec. 12.

“It is truly an honor for me,” Lieber, the town’s first chief of police in more than 45 years, said. “I came on the department never thinking that I would have the opportunity to one day command operations. The reinstitution of the chief’s position moving forward is important for the department as a whole.”

Lieber first developed an interest in criminal justice in high school when he became friends with a peer whose father was an officer with the Moorestown Township Police Department. After graduating high school, he attended Temple University but did not finish due to work constraints.

Providing consistent service to the MTPD, after six years of service as a patrolman, Lieber was assigned as the department’s first K9 handler — an initiative he researched and presented himself. Next, in 1988, he was assigned to a traffic safety unit where he subsequently became certified as an accident reconstructionist. Then, continuing to climb the career ladder within the department, Lieber was reassigned to criminal investigations in 1992.

More than a decade later, he was appointed township emergency management coordinator in 2004, and promoted to detective sergeant in 2008 where he oversaw the Criminal Investigations Bureau. In 2013, he was promoted again to lieutenant, in charge of overseeing field operations.

In April 2015, Lieber became the acting director of police, which was combined with his lieutenant position when former Police Director Harry Johnson took ill. After the tragic passing of Johnson, township manager Scott Carew began to consider the idea of transitioning from a police director, a civilian position, to a police chief, a law enforcement position. This was designed to make the department a more efficient law enforcement agency.

“After consulting a number of people in the law enforcement field, I brought the idea of transitioning to a chief to town council, and they in turn took the necessary steps to officially change the organizational structure of the department,” Carew said. “At this point, Lee had already been running the department and demonstrated all of the qualities of the type of police chief that Moorestown deserved.”

In December 2015, Lieber was asked to serve as acting chief of police. He was only named acting chief because Moorestown is a Civil Service town, meaning it has a merit system under which state and municipal employees may be hired and promoted, and Lieber was initially required to take an examination for the position. However, after ringing endorsements from leading members of the law enforcement community, Civil Service recently decided to waive the testing requirement in the case of Lieber. As a result, council is enabled to swear Lieber in as the permanent chief at on Monday, Dec. 12, but Carew made the announcement of Lieber’s appointment prior to the meeting so there would be more people in attendance.

Although Lieber now holds the official title of chief of police, he said nothing will change. He plans to continue to efficiently provide the best policing services possible to the residents and visitors of Moorestown.

“Just another day at work,” Lieber said. “I have been leading the department since April of 2015 and will continue moving us forward, just a different but appreciated title change.”

Looking back at his law enforcement career, Lieber said although he misses the challenge of investigating cases, he enjoys interacting daily with the officers and residents who keep him wanting to come to work each day. He believes the Moorestown community is especially great because it has people from all walks of life, many of whom are actively engaged in making Moorestown the great place it is to live and work.

In continuing to strengthen the community, Lieber noted the department has recently deployed body worn cameras that will provide increased transparency of operations, building on the in-car cameras already in service. It will also continue its outreach to the community, with interest in residents bringing their concerns directly to the department. Another major project the department will be beginning in 2017 is accreditation of the department by the NJ State Association of Chiefs of Police, because accreditation acknowledges the implementation of policies and procedures that are conceptually sound and operationally effective.

In his spare time, Lieber enjoys photography and going saltwater fishing at the Shore on his boat. A “dog person” from his K9 assignments, he also enjoys spending time with his Shiloh Shepherd, Samantha.

For 20 years, Lieber was additionally served as an active volunteer fireman with Lenola Fire Company, eventually rising to the rank of deputy chief. He also served a term as fire commissioner for Fire District 2. He said if he had not entered a career in criminal justice, he most likely would have entered the fire service. However, after having received recognition and awards for cases he has worked on with federal agencies as well as the Burlington County Prosecutor’s Office, being named Investigator of the Year by the local Delaware Valley Chapter of the International Association of Financial Crimes Investigators on May 7, 2002, and now becoming chief of police, he is thankful for his opportunities within the police department.

“I have to thank Maj. Lloyd Barrentine, a retired U.S. Army veteran, who as director of police hired me back in 1978,” Lieber said. “Scott Carew and Tom Merchel have also had a big influence assisting me with the administration end of running a township department.”

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