The largest division within the Department consists of 45 highly trained officers who provide police protection and service 24 hours a day, 365 days a year. The Patrol Division is separated into two platoons. Each platoon consists of two eight man squads which are supervised by a sergeant and administered by a squad lieutenant. The day to day operations of the squads are handled by the road sergeants. The squad lieutenants, not only act as tour commanders and cover for the sergeants when they are off, but are also assigned various administrative tasks by the Operational Division commander.
The squads are supported by two covering officers, one being the K-9 unit who work flexible shifts to accommodate any pro-active patrol programs that are being scheduled or fulfill Administrative Assignments. In addition, there are four civilian 9-1-1 Telecommunicators who rotate with each squad along with two power shift Telecommunicators and two per diem dispatchers who are responsible for receiving and dispatching calls for service as well as answering 9-1-1 calls from other jurisdictions.
Patrol Officers complete a minimum 24 week training program at the Police Academy and are continuously enrolled in in-service training to help prepare them for handling a variety of situations.
A concerted effort has been made by the Department post 9/11 to send as many officers as possible to receive training on terrorist scenarios. Some sample courses were “Domestic Preparedness: Weapons of Mass Destruction” and “The Terrorist Threat and Police Safety Issues”.
ENFORCEMENT OF MOTOR VEHICLE LAWS
Enforcement of motor vehicle laws is an important component of the officer=s daily tasks. In today’s society citizens are constantly on the move, driving cars over two trillion miles a year. Criminals are also on the move driving on our streets and highways. In our increasingly mobile society, automobiles are often used to facilitate the commission of a crime. Often a simple motor vehicle stop may result in a criminal arrest or investigation. Officers are trained to look beyond the traffic ticket when conducting stops in an attempt to detect and uncover other types of criminal activity. The visibility of a marked patrol car serves as a valuable deterrent to crime related activities. In 2006 the Patrol Division issued 6,568 motor vehicle summonses for traffic violations.
The greatest number of summonses issued was for the offense of speeding. As in past years speed has proven to be a crucial factor in serious injury or fatal motor vehicle accidents, and increased enforcement efforts have been
concentrated on this violation.
Frequently the Police Department receives complaints about speeding in specific areas of the Township and radar details are assigned to reduce the speed of motorists. Additionally the Police Department deploys our radar trailer in these targeted areas. In addition high accident incident areas are targeted for enforcement details. Seatbelt enforcement has become a targeted area on enforcement. This is accomplished through grants the department receives throughout the year.
The Patrol Division has a Captain as a Divison Commander. The division has four Lieutenants and four Sergeants and is often referred to as the nucleus of a police agency, comprising the bulk of manpower for the Department. Every officer in the Department has his or her roots in the Patrol Division and when an officer moves into specialized areas within the organization it is always realized that their skills were honed in the Patrol Division.