Zip Code

Police Department Receives Donation March 21, 2018


Grimasuckas Honored As Officer Of The Year February 22, 2018

Southern Regional Police Department (SRPD) has named Officer Charles "Grim" Grimasuckas as Officer of the Year for 2017. The award was presented at SRPD's annual Officers Appreciation Dinner sponsored by the Friends of the Southern Regional Police Department. Grimasuckas was honored for showning outstanding commitment to his job, family and community.

Grimasuckas had worked for the SRPD part time since 2009 while working at another Lancaster County police department full time. In June 2017, he left the other department and transitioned to full-time work at SRPD. After beginning to work with SRPD full time, he led the department in traffic citations and had the second greatest number of driving under the influence arrests. He is also among the leaders in criminal arrests.

In November 2017, Grimasuckas was credited with his lifesaving efforts on a male who was in cardiac arrest due to a drug overdose. Grimasuckas arrived on the scene and quickly applied an AED to the unconscious man. While the AED was processing, Grimasuckas searched the subject's vehicle and found evidence of drug use. He administered a dose of naloxone, after which the male began breathing on his own and ultimately regained consciousness.

In October 2017, Grimasuckas and other bystanders worked to apply a tourniquet to a severely injured motorcyclist after a crash on Marticville Road. Doctors credited the use of a tourniquet with saving the woman's life.

In December 2017, Grimasuckas worked with an anonymous donor to obtain 30 new bicycles for children in a Pequea Township neighborhood.


Police Department Receives Donation February 21, 2018


Agencies Post Highway Safety Information February 21, 2018

To encourage safer driving in the state, the Pennsylvania Department of Transportation (PennDOT) and the State Police recently urged drivers to review and obey driver safety laws that may not be well known among the public. In conjunction with the state's Highway Safety Law Awareness week, which took place from Feb. 18 to 25, the agencies advised drivers of the following updates and safety reminders.

Pennsylvania's Blind Pedestrians law mandates that the driver of a vehicle yield the right of way to any totally or partially blind pedestrian carrying a visible white cane or accompanied by a guide dog. The driver of the vehicle shall take any precaution necessary, including bringing the vehicle to a stop, to avoid injuring or endangering the pedestrian. This is a summary offense and in punishable by a fine of not less than $50 nor more than $150.

The Prohibiting Use of Hearing Impairment Devices law prohibits any driver from wearing headphones while behind the wheel. The section does not prohibit the use of a headset in conjunction with a cell phone which provides sound through one ear and allows surrounding sounds to be heard with the other. Wearing headphones while behind the wheel limits the driver's ability to hear sirens belonging to emergency responders.

Title 75, Section 3112 under Traffic Control Signals dictates laws surrounding traffic lights. As part of a 2016 amendment, the law includes instruction on what may be done if a driver believes the traffic light is not functioning properly. This includes when the light's sensor does not detect the vehicle. In this case, drivers are instructed to stop in the same manner as they would at a stop sign and proceed when it is safe to do so.

The Unattended Motor Vehicle law limits where a vehicle may be left running and unattended. The law states that a person may not leave a vehicle unattended while the engine is running or while the key is in the ignition. The law, however, does not apply to private property such as private driveways.

The agencies also reminded drivers to always wear a seatbelt and to never drive while impaired.

For more information on highway safety, readers may visit Readers may join the conversation on social media using #PATrafficLaw on Twitter and Facebook.


Organization Thanks First Responders February 15, 2018

Columbia-Middletown Elks 1074 hosted a dinner in honor of Columbia's first responders to thank them for their daily sacrifices. The Columbia Borough Police Department, Columbia Borough Fire Department, Columbia EMS and Susquehanna Valley EMS were honored at the event on Feb. 10 at the Columbia Borough Fire Department.

Attendees were treated to a barbecue dinner, music by disc jockey Mike Nikolaus and a slideshow presentation by police officer Holly Oster, featuring pictures of the four organizations. Mayor Leo Lutz and several council members recognized the sacrifices of the first responders.

Judge David L. Ashworth was the guest speaker. He spoke about the Lancaster County Drug Court and the overuse of opioids. Ashworth is on his second 10-year term with the Lancaster County Court of Common Pleas and also serves as a senior adjunct professor at Franklin and Marshall College and a drug court technical consultant with the Federal Bureau of Justice Assistance.


Police Department Takes Pledge February 9, 2018

The East Hempfield Township Police Department has pledged to take action in support of the International Association of Chiefs of Police's One Mind Campaign. The intent is to unite local communities, public safety organizations, and mental health organizations in such a way that the three become "of one mind."

The local department is one of the first in Pennsylvania to have taken the pledge and will likely be one of the first to complete the components. Trainings took place all day on Feb. 6 and 13.

The One Mind Campaign seeks to ensure successful interactions between police officers and persons with mental illness. To join the campaign, the department has committed to implementing four promising practices over a time frame of 12 to 36 months: establishing a clearly defined and sustainable partnership with one or more community mental health organizations, developing and implementing a model policy addressing police response to persons affected by mental illness, training and certifying 100 percent of the agency's sworn officers in Mental Health First Aid for Public Safety, and providing Crisis Intervention Team training to a minimum of 20 percent of the agency's sworn officers.

For more information on the One Mind Campaign, readers may visit A copy of the full report, "Improving Police Response to Persons Affected by Mental Illness"; links to additional resources; and a list of all agencies that have taken the pledge are also available on the website.


Sheriff Receives Public Service Award January 24, 2018

Citing a long and distinguished career of outreach, the Exton Region Chamber of Commerce (ERCC) bestowed the 2017 Sen. Robert J. Thompson Public Service Award on Chester County Sheriff Carolyn Bunny Welsh on Jan. 9. More than 100 people attended, including all three county commissioners.

State Rep. Becky Corbin, a past recipient, presented the award at the ERCC annual Review Luncheon at the Desmond Hotel and Conference Center in Malvern. She explained that Thompson, a former state senator, had set the bar high during his 30-year career while maintaining a sense of humor often punctuated by Snoopy neckties and red suspenders.

Corbin detailed Welsh's achievements, including her election as the first female sheriff in Chester County and her leadership roles with state and national law enforcement agencies. Corbin described community initiatives such as "Shop with the Sheriff," a program that annually brightens the holidays for 100 elementary school students, and a recent effort that delivered thousands of pounds of relief supplies to hurricane victims in multiple states.

Jeannie McGinn, an ERCC member, submitted Welsh's nomination for the award, and the ERCC board voted unanimously.

Welsh said that the award was special because of her personal connections to Thompson. She expressed gratitude to Thompson and to her office, including her 95 employees, both deputies and civilians. Responsibilities of the Sheriff's Office include serving civil papers, transporting prisoners, overseeing firearms permits, apprehending fugitives, and maintaining security at the county's government buildings.

In addition to the Sen. Robert J. Thompson Public Service Award, Welsh received citations from the Chester County Board of Commissioners, the state Senate, and the state House of Representatives. Chester County Commissioners' Chair Michelle Kichline, who presented the commissioners' citation, called Welsh a mentor as well as an inspiration to other women in public service.

During the luncheon, Laurie Kerkering, ERCC's president, explained that Thompson helped ensure the construction of the Exton Bypass, a decades-long process that represented the foresight of a group of Exton businesspeople who created the ERCC.

Welsh, the 10th recipient of the Thompson award, has served as Chester County sheriff since January 2000. She is active in many community organizations, including the Rotary Club of West Chester. She is vice president of the Chester County Hero Fund and serves on the boards of the Chester County Family Academy, the Pennsylvania Leadership Charter School, the National Flag Foundation, and the Chester County Industrial Development Authority.

Thompson, who died in 2006, served the 19th Senatorial District from 1995 to 2006. Prior to that, he was a Chester County commissioner from 1979 until 1986. Thompson was a resident of West Goshen and was a West Goshen Township supervisor. He served as the founding executive director of the Chester County Chamber of Commerce. His community service also included the boards of the Chester County Historical Society, the Westtown-Goshen Rotary Club, the West Chester Area Day Care Association, and SEPTA.


Artist Turns Gratitude Into A Fundraiser For The Force January 12, 2018

The bucolic scene of sheep grazing in front of the 1719 Hans Herr House as imagined by local artist Roy Peters offers no hint as to the trauma that prompted its creation.

On April 15, 2016, Peters was finishing a project in his West Lampeter Township home when the table saw kicked back and pulled his left hand into the blade. His wife, Miriam, called 911, and West Lampeter Township Police Department Cpl. Jeremy Schroeder responded almost immediately, as the couple lives just a few miles from the township's municipal office.

"The car door opened even before the car stopped completely, and (Cpl.) Schroeder jumped out with a tourniquet," Peters recalled. "He reassured me with his confidence and words of concern as he tended to my injury. He knew he had the tourniquet and was empowered to use it."

When Peters was transported to the hospital, the staff members were impressed by the device used to stanch the flow of blood.

"'That's a military tourniquet! How did you get that?'" Peters recalled one person asking.

The combat application tourniquets - 13 in all - were purchased for the police department by the Friends of the Force in December 2014 at the request of Chief Brian Wiczkowski. The chief had researched the devices and considered their purchase a wise investment.

"We carry them with us," Wiczkowski said, pulling a tourniquet out of a cargo pocket on his uniform pants. "The intent was to have them and never have to use them."

Peters has been the only person who has required deployment of a tourniquet thus far. Although he lost parts of two fingers, he did not lose his life, and he is deeply grateful. As a demonstration of his gratitude, Peters painted a view of the Herr House and donated it to the Friends of the Force, who are offering it for sale in a silent auction. The proceeds will be used by the group to purchase items for the police department.

Recently, the Friends group paid for another year of online training for the department's officers, and the group is also financially supporting the transition to an electronic records management system. Additionally, the Friends purchased equipment that facilitated the department's participation in a new crash team comprised of police departments from East Lampeter Township, East and West Hempfield townships, Manor Township, and Columbia.

"As much as we try to plan ahead, a lot of these things come up, and they're not budgeted for," Wiczkowski remarked. "(Regarding the tourniquet purchase), sure, you can wait, but at what cost?"

"I'm glad you didn't wait," Peters responded.

The donated painting, which features the oldest homestead in Lancaster County, measures 12 inches by 24 inches and is framed. It may be viewed at the municipal office, 852 Village Road, Lampeter, during business hours through Monday, July 3, and from Monday, July 17, to Monday, July 31. It will be displayed at Darrenkamp's, 106 Willow Valley Square, Lancaster, from Thursday, July 6, to Friday, July 14, and at the Friends' booth during National Night Out at the Lampeter Fairgrounds on Tuesday, Aug. 1.

Bids may be submitted via the contact form at through Aug. 1. Final bids may be placed in person only at National Night Out and then only until 7 p.m., after which the winning bid will be announced.

Peters invites other local artists to follow his example by contributing artwork for Friends of the Force fundraising efforts. Interested individuals may contact him at


EMS Plans Food Drive January 12, 2018

Northwest EMS is accepting donations for the local food banks that are located in its primary response area.

The food drive will run through February, and donations will be accepted at Northwest EMS station locations at 380 W. Bainbridge St., Elizabethtown; 188 Rock Point Road, Maytown; and 60 W. Colebrook St., Manheim.

Suggested items include peanut butter, canned fruit or vegetables, canned soups, foods for those with special dietary restrictions (low sugar/sodium), bottled juice, applesauce, pasta, canned meats, crackers, and rice.

For details, call Lori Shenk at 717-371-8282.


Fundraiser Supports Officer's Brother December 1, 2017

Northwest Regional Police Department, 8855 Elizabethtown Road, Elizabethtown, has announced that fellow officers of Officer Seth Arnold decided to take part in No-Shave November, a fundraiser that was held throughout the month of November. The officers were required to donate and/or get sponsors to donate in order to be permitted to grow a beard, which is normally prohibited by department policy.

Proceeds raised benefited Seth's brother, 29-year-old Erik Arnold, who was diagnosed with a brain tumor earlier this year. The purpose of the fundraiser was to help lessen the financial, physical, and emotional impact on Erik.

Officer Gavin Kline organized the effort with other officers, including Chief Mark Mayberry, taking part in the effort by donating and growing a beard. As of Nov. 29, the total amount raised was almost $1,400.

For additional information, readers may contact Kline at 717-689-5657, ext. 120, or the Northwest Regional Police Department at 717-689-5657 and ask to speak with any officer.


Deputies Complete Motorcycle Training November 1, 2017

Two members of the Chester County Sheriff's Office recently completed an intensive, two-week, motorcycle training course, graduating at the top of their class.

Deputy Jeffrey DiVito and Deputy Peter Gardner logged the highest scores on the final exam of the 80-hour course, which was designed by Northwestern University. Certified instructors staffed the program at the Philadelphia Police Training Bureau.

The course offered a grueling regimen that offered both physical and mental challenges. The deputies, both of whom own motorcycles and have years of riding experience, spent hours daily navigating an obstacle course on motorcycles that weighed twice as much as the ones they were used to riding. The program consisted of more than half a dozen exercises in precision that involved slow course riding - about 4 mph - with emphasis on high-speed braking and evasive maneuvers. Other skills that were covered included negotiating curves, managing hazardous conditions, and handling car stops.

Course participants needed to achieve a 75 percent on the final exam in order to pass. Gardner scored a 96, and DiVito scored a 90. DiVito and Gardner were slated to join the Chester County Sheriff's Wheels Unit, a detail that requires duties that range from toy runs to funeral escorts.


Walk To School Initiative Announced October 3, 2017

The Township of Derry, Derry Township Police Department and Derry Township School District (DTSD) will promote Walk to School Day on Wednesday, Oct. 4. The goal of Walk to School Day is to encourage students, parents, teachers, and community leaders to walk to school and work every day.

New this year, students and their parents may participate in Walk With a Cop to School. Attendees may meet a Derry Township police officer at the tennis courts on Areba Avenue or at Memorial Field and learn safe walking tips while they get some exercise. To underscore the link between exercise and good nutrition habits, participating students will receive a healthful snack of apple slices as they arrive at school.

As an incentive to participate in Walk to School Day, any DTSD student who pledges to walk or bike to school on Oct. 4 will have opportunities to win prizes donated by local individuals, merchants, companies, and organizations. To be eligible for prizes, students and a parent or guardian should complete the survey at

Families who live too far to walk or bicycle to school and families with limited safe routes for walking and bicycling may still participate. Prior to the event, these participants should pick a place to park within a safe walking or bicycling distance of the school. On Oct. 4, these individuals may drive part of the way to school, park, and then safely make their way to school.

Walk to School Day is part of an international effort to raise awareness of the need to create safer routes for bicycling and walking and emphasize the importance of issues such as increasing physical activity among children, pedestrian safety, crosswalk enforcement, reducing traffic congestion and concern for the environment. In 2013, Derry Township participated in a Safe Routes to School Audit and is continuing to implement recommended improvements to make walking and bicycling safer and easier.

For additional information, readers may visit or


Police Taxi Message Posted August 30, 2017

The DUI Council of Lancaster County recently unveiled its Police Taxi billboard in Lancaster County, located along the westbound side of Route 462 in Mountville. The Police Taxi is a mobile message board reminding observers that there are other options available instead of driving while under the influence.

One way it accomplishes this goal is by listing the cost of one ride compared to the other ride. A DUI (a term commonly used to reference driving under the influence of alcohol) or a DUI-D (a term used to reference driving under the influence of a drug, other than alcohol) will result in a ride in a police car and will cost upwards of $10,500 when considering legal fees, court costs, insurance increases, and more.

On the other hand, a responsible drinker would choose to ride in a taxi that would cost, on average, $20. The total average costs of a DUI/DUI-D are listed on the hood of the vehicle. The Police Taxi is available to attend any event, activity, social gathering, or training free of charge. A member of the DUI Council of Lancaster County can deliver it to an activity where it can serve its purpose.

Council membership is free and open to anyone from the private or public sector. The council meets the second Wednesday of each month at 8:30 a.m. at Compass Mark, 630 Janet Ave., Lancaster.


Auction To Benefit Police Unit August 11, 2017

The K-9 unit of Northwest Regional Police Department will receive 100 percent of the proceeds from a benefit auction set for 6 p.m. on Friday, Aug. 25, at 2327 S. Market St., Elizabethtown.

There will be one item, a 2001 Acura 3.2CL, up for bids at the auction. The vehicle, which has 128,000 miles on it, has had one owner, and all components are in working condition.

For more information, readers may visit or call 717-664-5238 or 877-599-8894.


Medication Take-Back Event Posted August 9, 2017

South Central York County Senior Center, 150 E. Main St., New Freedom, will host a medication take-back event on Friday, Aug. 25, from 9 to 11 a.m.

The Southern Regional Police Department will collect unused or out-of-date prescriptions medications at the senior center. The medications will then be sent to a hazardous waste facility for disposal.


Tobias Named Officer Of The Year August 3, 2017

The Northwest Lancaster County Regional Police Department has named Officer Charles A. Tobias as its Officer of the Year for 2017. The Northwest Lancaster Regional Police Officers Association members presented the award to Tobias at the July 25 meeting of the Northwest Regional Police Commission.

Tobias was recognized for his dedication and initiative in coordinating the department-wide aggressive driving and buckle-up enforcement details conducted by the police department to increase the safety of the community roadways.

As a field training officer, Tobias guides, motivates and properly instructs newly hired officers in the department's policies and procedures and helps them develop into outstanding community officers. Tobias is also an evidence technician for the Lancaster County Forensic Team.


Northwest Regional Police To Host National Night Out July 24, 2017

The Northwest Regional Police Department (NWRPD) will host its fifth annual National Night Out (NNO) event from 6 to 9 p.m. on Tuesday, Aug. 1, at the West Donegal Township building and grounds, located at 1 Municipal Drive, Elizabethtown. Area residents are invited to stop by to meet and interact with local police, firefighters, emergency medical services (EMS) personnel, and neighbors. The free event will take place rain or shine.

In addition to NWRPD, participants will include Rheems Fire Department, Elizabethtown Fire Department, and Northwest EMS. Police cars, fire trucks, and ambulances will be on display.

"We just want to have as many residents as possible come out to meet us and the fire and EMS personnel on a not-so-emergency basis," explained NWRPD officer Mike Shetter, who has organized the event for the past several years. "This is a time they can look at the cars and trucks and talk to us. It's more personable."

Local nonprofit organizations and community groups will host booths that will offer information about the variety of services they provide, and there will be an assortment of activities for children, such as pony rides, a bounce house, a reptile show, and an obstacle course. Several costumed characters and mascots will be strolling the premises and interacting with attendees.

A variety of food and beverages will be available for purchase, including snow cones and milkshakes.

Shetter said that last year, NWRPD's event drew approximately 1,500 to 2,000 individuals. "Every year it's getting bigger and bigger, because now people know about it," remarked Shetter. "The feedback we get every year is amazing. People are coming up to us and thanking us for what we do and telling us the event's a success for their kids and they love it."

The evening will conclude with a fireworks display.

NNO is an annual community-building event held in thousands of towns across the United States on the first Tuesday in August. According to, the campaign promotes police-community partnerships and neighborhood camaraderie to make neighborhoods safer, more caring places to live. Aside from that, the events offer an opportunity to bring police, firefighters, and EMS personnel and residents together under positive circumstances.


Columbia Borough Police To Host National Night Out July 20, 2017

The Columbia Borough Police Department will host its sixth annual National Night Out (NNO) event from 6 to 9 p.m. on Tuesday, Aug. 1, at Glatfelter Field, 1249 Lancaster Ave., Columbia. "We encourage community members to come out and spend some time with their local police officers and to interact with the various organizations and businesses in town that will be there," said Columbia Borough Police Chief Jack Brommer.

Organizers noted that the hours for this year's NNO have changed from previous years to accommodate the addition of a grand finale fireworks display. "We wanted to do something special," Brommer said.

The free event will offer an assortment of activities ranging from bounce houses and vehicle displays to kayak paddling and pony rides. Free food such as hot dogs, potato chips, ice cream, and beverages will be served.

Waterways conservation officer Jeff Schmidt will present on water safety, and he will bring along several live reptiles and amphibians for visitors to meet. A canine demonstration will be performed by officers from Lancaster County Prison. Local emergency responders will perform a reenactment of the scene of a vehicle accident, including cutting a vehicle open.

Attendees who bring donations of new school supplies will receive tickets to use in the second annual Jail and Bail. "We lock up local celebrities," explained Columbia Life Network director Jamie Quinn. Individuals including Columbia Mayor Leo Lutz, Brommer, and principals and teachers from schools in Columbia will be locked up in jail cells at the center of Glatfelter's football field. Folks may submit the tickets they receive for bringing donations to help the celebrity of their choice to earn enough votes to be released.

More than 2,000 school supply items were collected at last year's NNO event when the Jail and Bail feature made its debut. "We (more than) doubled our collections last year by adding the Jail and Bail," said Quinn, noting that the Jail and Bail idea came from Columbia resident Robin Gamby. The school supplies will be distributed to students in need at all of the public schools in Columbia Borough, as well as Our Lady of the Angels Catholic School and Head Start of Columbia.

Brommer emphasized that National Night Out is supported entirely by community organizations, including the Columbia-Middletown Elks, Catholic War Veterans, Owls Club, Sunsnappers, American Legion Post 372, Forresters, Hambones Social Club, and Loyal Order of Moose.

NNO is an annual community-building event held in thousands of towns across the United States on the first Tuesday in August. According to, the campaign promotes police-community partnerships and neighborhood camaraderie to make neighborhoods safer, more caring places to live. Aside from that, the events offer an opportunity to bring police officers, firefighters, and EMS personnel and residents together under positive circumstances.


National Night Out Event Set July 20, 2017

Manheim National Night Out will take place on Tuesday, Aug. 1, from 6 to 8 p.m. at the Manheim Community Pool, 504 E. Adele Ave., Manheim.

Attendees will enjoy a swim night with free admission, along with displays of local first responder personnel and equipment that will include Manheim Borough Police Department, Northwest EMS, Manheim Hope Fire Department, Mastersonville Fire Department, and Penryn Fire Department.


Departments Plan National Night Out Event July 20, 2017

Four police departments, along with numerous other organizations, will be represented at a National Night Out event to be held from 6 to 8 p.m. on Tuesday, Aug. 1, at Leisure Lanes Bowling and Golf Center, 3440 Columbia Ave., Lancaster. Everyone is encouraged to attend.

"It's a time to bring the public out to meet the police and firefighters," said event coordinator Sgt. Kim Geyer of the Manor Township Police Department (MTPD). "It's a good, fun night that's inexpensive," she continued, adding, "Everybody looks forward to it - participants and citizens."

Geyer has once again assembled a lengthy list of exhibitors. Police departments from Manor Township, Millersville borough, Millersville University (MU), and East Hempfield Township will be represented. MTPD will host a dunk tank - Chief Todd Graeff has agreed to take a turn in the device if other volunteers are not available - and have its latest acquisition, a 2017 Ford F-150, on display.

The F-150 replaced a Ford Explorer that had accumulated 135,000 miles.

"That's a lot of miles for a police car," Geyer explained.

The new truck will enable officers to transport bicycles and large pieces of evidence. A winch on the front will be used to remove downed tree limbs from roads and to assist in rescues.

In contrast to the other vehicles in the MTPD's fleet, which are white with red and blue lettering, the truck has "ghost lettering" that blends with the black body until hit with light.

"We wanted to do something different," Graeff said, adding that he polled the department members for ideas.

Other vehicles on display will include several from Blue Rock Fire Rescue, the Lancaster County-Wide Communications command center, and the Salvation Army's mobile food truck. While the DUI Council will not have its taxicab at the event, the organization will be represented.

A K-9 unit from East Hempfield Township is slated to perform a demonstration, and animals that work with Hope Animal-Assisted Crisis Response will meet with attendees. The Pet Pantry of Lancaster will accept donations. Geyer noted that the organization is in need of food and litter for cats.

Pilot International will offer information about Project Lifesaver, the program that enhances the tracking of individuals with cognitive challenges who are missing.

An alarm company will highlight home security problems and solutions. A local bicycle shop will host a display, and bicycle lights will be given away, thanks to a partnership between the shop and a Lancaster Bicycle Club grant received by the MTPD.

The Wilshire Hills Lions Club will run games. Geyer noted that the club also provides a facepainter, who will accept donations for the service. The funds, along with donations gathered from the dunk tank challenge, will be donated to Concerns of Police Survivors, a national organization dedicated to supporting the survivors of police officers who have been killed in the line of duty.

Reformation Lutheran Church will give out water. Additional beverages from a local producer will be available, and dipped ice cream and novelties, as well as Italian ice, salty snacks, and hot dogs, will be offered free of charge.

Music will be provided by a local radio station. MU mascot Skully is also slated to appear.

The pet-friendly National Night Out event will be held rain or shine.

For more information, readers may call Geyer at 717-299-5231.

View More