Regional police focus stays friendly, unified Warwick supervisors updated on staff transitioning

By on March 1, 2012

By: GARY P. KLINGER Record Express Correspondent, Staff Writer

Since its inception as a new regional police force, the Northern Lancaster County Regional Police Department (NLCRPD) has put a solid focus on doing things right. In a report to the Warwick Township Supervisors Feb. 15, Police Chief David Steffan updated township officials on the progress being made.

The new force has made every effort at being as customer friendly as possible; that is, unless the customer in question happens to be breaking the law. In the first full month of service, the new police force logged nearly 30,000 miles of patrol service, yielding 84 traffic citations and 35 crash reports; 113 vacation checks were completed; and 15 misdemeanor and one felony arrest were made. It was a busy first month indeed.

NLCRPD is a new regional police force made up by incorporating the former police forces of Warwick, Penn and Clay townships into a joint force. Since becoming NLCRPD at the end of December, the new force has adapted a unified look, from new uniforms to re-badging patrol cars with department’s new graphics and logos.

Steffan’s report detailed agency staffing and transitional services to a regional police delivery plan.

"The NLCRPD began to transition services during the month of December and continued this process into the month of January," reported Steffan.

The transitional process required signatures on memorandums of understanding and cooperation between the NLCRPD and outside law enforcement. These were then signed, returned and retained on file at the new police headquarters.

"This means that while the NLCRPD has agency members assigned to participate in multi-agency task force activities, the participation is brief, limited in scope and driven by availability, need and existing expendable agency resources," explained Steffan.

Part of this process included conducting an audit of all force officers to determine training status. This was done through the Municipal Police Officers Education Training Commission. All officers have valid certifications. This action was deemed necessary to insure a baseline of certification for all sworn staff. Certification avoids liability and insures the agency members are lawful in the execution of their duties as peace officers.

According to Steffan, one NLCRPD officer has been sworn to serve the Lancaster County District Attorney’s Computer Crimes Task Force, two have been sworn to serve the Lancaster County District Attorney’s Office Auto Theft Task Force and one NLCRPD Officer continues assignment to the Lancaster County Emergency Response Team.

Steffan also updated supervisors on the process of organizing the new agency’s administration. Over the past month there has been a thorough review of policy, practices as well as the vehicles and equipment used by the agency. As part of the organizational process, safety committees in each of the three participating agencies were formalized and established.

"This means that the NLCRPD has written and adopted policy that is in compliance with best practices, accreditation standards and risk management principles," stated Steffan. "Over 180 policies and procedures have been drafted and signed in to practice regarding the operational and administrative practices of the NLCRPD."

For a wealth of additional information on the NLCRPD, visit their website at nlcrpd.org. For additional information on Warwick Township, visit warwicktownship.org. Gary P. Klinger welcomes comments, questions and suggestions at klingerglobal@gmail.com. More WARICK TWP, page A16

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