Operational Services is one of two functional bureaus within the Department. Operations is the largest and most visible bureau, in that it is home to the Patrol Unit. It also contains the Community Service Officer (CSO) program, Bike Unit coordination and special event planning.
Being the most visible, the largest unit, and the heart and soul of the department, the Patrol Unit, is divided into 3 squads of officers, supervised by a Corporal. Each squad rotates through 3 shifts providing 24 hour/365 day a year coverage.
In 2005, the department changed from a solid white paint scheme on patrol vehicles to a more traditional black and white. The idea was to create a highly visible and identifiable vehicle for the police officers. With the exception of SUVs and CSO vehicles, all vehicles now have this paint scheme with a new lettering and reflective stripes.
All members of the Patrol Unit subscribe to the philosophy of Community Policing. For many residents and visitors their first contact with an official from the Township is a police officer. Therefore, each officer understands solving problems in the early stages can prevent more serious problems down the road. Almost every patrol officer or supervisor has completed Crime Prevention Practioner training sponsored through the PA Commission on Crime and Delinquency. Officer will be assigned specific Crime Watch Neighborhoods as “their” neighborhoods. The officer will be a point of contact with the neighborhood group to address crime problems as well as other quality of life issues.
Bike Patrol Unit
In 1992, Lower Allen Township was the first agency in Cumberland County to initiate a Police Bike Unit. The new unit was show cased during our National Night Out activities that year. The unit has expended to include officers and supervisors of the Patrol and Investigations Units. The bikes are mainly used during special events, such as high school football games and graduations and large public events, such as National Night Out and events with large crowds. However, officers are encouraged to use the bikes, when manpower allows, as part of their regular patrol duties. The bikes have also been used to address specific crime problems such as vehicle entries or vandalism complaints in neighborhoods.
The Department’s Honor/Color Guard was developed in response to a request from the family when a former Township Commissioner passed away in the late 1980s. The Honor Guard was used again a short time later during the funeral services for Lemoyne Patrolman Richard S. Phelps. Since that time the Honor Guard has been asked to assist in the coordination of funeral services for police officers, firefighters and other local dignitaries. The Honor Guard has also participated in National Law Enforcement Officer Memorial activities.
The Department’s Color Guard was the next obvious development from the Honor Guard. The Color Guard has participated in numerous parades, funerals and memorial ceremonies throughout central Pennsylvania.