Freeholder Director Louis Cappelli, Jr. has brought a fine legal mind, a fresh approach and innovative ideas to a lifetime in public service. He is a resident of Collingswood, where he was born and raised, and has five children.
A graduate of Rutgers Law School, Cappelli first began his public service with a six-year stint on the Collingswood School Board. In 1993, he was elected to the Collingswood Board of Commissioners, becoming an integral part of a team that revitalized the town, beginning with the transformation of Sutton Towers, a dilapidated high-rise complex of four buildings, into the Park View, a vibrant housing alternative with community and senior services and convenient transportation to local shopping.
The business community thrived with the formation of three business districts, the establishment of Collingswood Partners, and the recruitment of 46 new businesses. Haddon Avenue attracted new stores and trendy restaurants. Lou helped to support the arts through the leasing of the Scottish Rite Auditorium.
Since 2003, when he was first elected to the Freeholder Board, Cappelli has brought the same commitment to public service he demonstrated in Collingswood. He has sought to transform county government, cutting the tax levy for three consecutive years, and trimming the size of the County workforce by 600 jobs over six years while still delivering services to constituents. He has pushed for shared services and consolidation and has encouraged economic development. He was unanimously elected Freeholder Director in 2006, a position he still holds today.
Freeholder Director Cappelli is the architect of the Camden County Police Department. This law enforcement agency provides a more effective, cost-efficient way to fight crime throughout Camden County. The Camden County Police Department Metro Division puts hundreds of officers on the streets of Camden City to patrol its neighborhoods on foot and by bicycle. This enables police to proactively patrol the neighborhoods while cultivating relationships with residents and business owners. This police presence, along with a new model of policing that increases services and safety at reduced costs, is essential to our responsibility for keeping Camden County safe.
In conjunction with the formation of the Camden County Police Department, Cappelli oversaw the formation of the Camden County Law and Public Safety Academy at Camden County Technical Schools. High school students enrolled in the Law and Public Safety Academy will obtain the foundation they need to pursue job opportunities in various areas of public safety upon their graduation. This program also serves as a pathway to higher education for students seeking post-secondary degrees in law and public safety professions. Through a partnership with Camden County College, students in the program will be given the opportunity to earn college credit through articulation agreements with various courses in the program.
In addition, Cappelli spearheaded the effort to upgrade Camden County’s 911 system, enhancing communications between municipalities and jurisdictions, assuring a quick response to those in need. He has also implemented and expanded the Camden County Video Court, which allows defendants to testify remotely, streamlining the hearing process and easing the strain on an overburdened court system.
The Freeholder Director is the liaison to the Economic Development & Business Services team. The team consists of a variety of agencies such as the Camden County One-Stop, Workforce Investment Board, Camden County Improvement Authority, Camden County College and municipalities. These entities work together to attract new business and grow existing industries in Camden County through workforce readiness programs, business growth incentives, financing and other community improvement programs.
Recent success stories include the expansion of the education and medical industries in Camden City, including Cooper Hospital, Rutgers University and Lourdes Health System. The county was also successful in not only helping the Campbell Soup Company stay in Camden City several years ago, but in expanding its current headquarters. The company is now in the process of implementing plans to develop an office park adjacent to its headquarters.
Countywide, some recently expanding or new companies to our county include Puratos Foods, US Vision, Farmers Insurance and Pennock Wholesale Florist. Each of these companies took advantage of assistance from the Economic Development & Business Services team created by Cappelli.
He joined the law firm of Florio Perrucci Steinhardt & Fader L.L.C in 2008 and is a Managing Partner, bringing his experience in a wide variety of specialties to the firm while managing to find time for community volunteer work. He also serves as a member of the Greater Camden Partnership and as Chairman of the Delaware Valley Regional Planning Commission.
In August 2013, he was named one of South Jersey’s Top Attorneys by SJ Magazine, for his work in government law. The magazine described how the list of 2013 Top Attorneys was chosen:
“Each year, we ask SJ attorneys to tell us which of their peers deserve special recognition. We ask who they think excels at their profession, shows a commitment and a passion that stands out from others. Our Top Attorney list touts those law professionals who have made an impressive and lasting mark in SJ. We salute their excellence and applaud their success.”
Lou was named 2011 “Freeholder of the Year” by the New Jersey Conference of Mayors. He was the recipient of the South Jersey Freeholder’s Associations Southern Star Award in 2012.
Louis Cappelli, Jr. has been named the 2015 Public Sector South Jerseyan of the Year by the Walter Rand Institute for Public Affairs of Rutgers University-Camden in recognition of the valuable contributions he has made as Freeholder in Camden County.
Freeholder Cappelli is liaison to the following departments and offices:
- Clerk of the Board
- Department of Administration
- County Clerk
- Department of Taxation
- Department of the Surrogate
- County Counsel
- Information Technology
- Camden County Improvement Authority
- Department of Economic & Workforce Development
- Prosecutor’s Office
- Camden County Police Department
- Department of Constituent Services and Hispanic Affairs
- Addiction Awareness Task Force