Many police officers start out as patrol officers as they begin a career in law enforcement. Their duties typically consist of writing tickets, regulating traffic, responding to calls for help, crowd control, and enforcing laws and ordinances. Patrol officers are permanently assigned to a neighborhood sector to patrol by foot, car, bicycle, or horseback.
Our department has a total of four platoons that operate on rotating shifts. At full staffing, each platoon is assigned 4 sergeants and 16 officers. Every platoon has designated Field Training Officers who provide essential hands-on experience and necessary training to newly hired officers. Captain Kurt Miller currently leads the Patrol Division.
The Patrol Division includes:
- 4 Patrol Platoons
- Selective Enforcement Unit
- Patrol Services
- Parking Enforcement
- Traffic Enforcement
- Animal Control
- Special Events
- Office of Community Engagement
- K9 Unit
- Mounted Unit
- School Resource Officers
- Team Officer
- Police Social Workers
Criminal Investigative Division
The Criminal Investigative Division (CID) is responsible for investigating serious crimes that occur. CID is broken down into three detailed sections: Violent Crime, Property Crime, and Special Victims. Each unit is responsible for the investigation and clearance of certain types of crime.
All Lancaster City Detectives are experienced officers who receive specialized training and education to prepare them for the job. They continue to receive extensive education and training opportunities to ensure that every officer is capable of performing their duties to the best of their abilities. Det. Lt. Robert Whiteford leads the Criminal Investigative Division.
Property Crime Unit
The Property Crime Unit (PCU) investigates property crimes such as thefts, burglaries, fraud, and forgery. The Auto Crimes Unit, included in the PCU, addresses the ongoing problem of vehicle thefts, items stolen out of vehicles, and attempts to defraud insurance companies. Det. Sgt. Shawn Gunnet leads the Property Crime Unit.
Special Investigative Unit
The Special Investigations Unit (SIU) investigates crimes against children, child pornography, human trafficking, sex crimes, missing persons, and elder abuse. SIU works closely with federal, state, and local law enforcement agencies and has one detective assigned as a Task Force Officer with the FBI Child Exploitation Task Force. Det. Sgt. Matthew Odenthal leads the Special Investigations Unit.
Violent Crime Unit
The Violent Crime Unit (VCU) investigates all crimes of a violent nature, as well as crimes involving firearms, gang members, and drug trafficking organizations. In addition to working closely with our Federal, State, and local law enforcement partners, VCU has one detective assigned as a Task Force Officer with the FBI Capital City Violent Crimes Task Force. Det. Sgt. Tom Ginder leads the Violent Crime Unit.
Administrative Services Division
The Administrative Services Division provides administrative support services to the Patrol and Criminal Investigative Divisions. This division is responsible for the Records Department, Jail and Communications Section, Training Department, and the Office of Professional Standards. In addition, the Administrative Services Division ensures that the Bureau is operating efficiently to help us better serve Lancaster City. Captain Randell Zook leads the Administrative Services Division.
Office of Professional Standards
The Office of Professional Standards serves as a liaison between the community and the Police Bureau. This office investigates civilian complaints against police officers and other employees of the Bureau.
The Records Department is responsible for several administrative tasks that include archiving reports, gathering files for court cases, providing incident information to insurance companies, and filing records. This department manages all the information that comes in and out of the department.
The Training department is an integral part of the department hiring process. Sgt. Eric McCrady arranges all training for officers and civilians in the department. Training can vary from simple classroom instruction to hands-on firearm, first aid / CPR training, and use of force training.