Police

Blue-Police-Patch - CopyWelcome to the West Deer Township Police Department home page. I am very pleased to introduce our department and assist you through the site.

The Township of West Deer Police Department is dedicated to enhancing the quality of life of our residence and guests by providing the very best enforcement and public safety services. The West Deer Police Department consists of 19 sworn officers, an Administrative Assistant, and a Police Canine. Our fleet consists of eight vehicles, one all terrain vehicle (ATV), and three mountain bikes that are used for a variety of patrol and enforcement operations. All our officers and civilian Administrative Assistant take great pride in serving the community in a professional and pro-active manner.

Please check out the operations of the department and the many services that we provide, and do not hesitate to contact me, or any of my personnel, should you be in need of any assistance.

Sincerely,

Robert J. Loper
Chief of Police
 
Police Department Reports/Minutes
Police Personnel Contact Info
Police Personnel Contact Info
Contact Information

EMERGENCY:   Dial 911

NON-EMERGENCY:   412.473.3056   (Allegheny County Dispatch)

POLICE DEPARTMENT OFFICE:  724.265.1100
As a reminder: if you have an emergency, call 911 immediately to be connected to Allegheny County Emergency Dispatch.  For all non-emergency police calls which require police assistance, or to request to speak with an on-duty officer, you can call the Allegheny County Emergency Dispatch non-emergency number listed above. The Police Department office number is not to be used for emergencies.

The Township encourages anyone with small children to teach them their address and how to properly call 911. Under the “Forms” tab there is an Emergency Numbers form that you should fill out for your children and post it on the refrigerator or near the telephone. This will assist them in the event they have to make a call to 911.

Fax: 724.265.1140
Email: wdpd@westdeertownship.com
Address:
109 East Union Road , Cheswick, PA 15024
Administrative Assistant Hours:
Monday thru Friday  7:00am – 3:00pm
Administrative Assistant: Jennifer Borczyk
724.265.1100 x303
jborczyk@westdeertownship.com

OFFICER TITLE BADGE EMAIL   PHONE NUMBER
Robert Loper
Chief of Police 2301 bloper@westdeertownship.com   724.265.1100 x301
Darren Mikus
Police Sergeant 2311 dmikus@westdeertownship.com   724.265.1100 x311
Michael Shurina
Police Sergeant 2336 mshurina@westdeertownship.com   724.265.1100 x336
Robert Petosky
Police Sergeant 2348 rpetosky@westdeertownship.com   724.265.1100 x348
Timothy Burk
Police Sergeant 2343 tburk@westdeertownship.com   724.265.1100 x343
Tina Gizienski
 Patrol Officer 2312 tgizienski@westdeertownship.com   724.265.1100 x312
Edward Newman
Patrol Officer 2310 enewman@westdeertownship.com   724.265.1100 x310
Brian Wikert
Patrol Officer 2344 bwikert@westdeertownship.com   724.265.1100 x344
Matthew Evan
Patrol Officer 2345 mevan@westdeertownship.com   724.265.1100 x345
Thomas Trocki
Patrol Officer 2351 ttrocki@westdeertownship.com   724.265.1100 x351
Zakary Fedunok
Patrol Officer 2342 zfedunok@westdeertownship.com   724.265.1100 x342
Trevor Elza

K-9 Midas
K-9 Officer 2355 telza@westdeertownship.com   724.265.1100 x355
Dominic Rigous
Patrol Officer 2359 drigous@westdeertownship.com   724.265.1100 x359
Bret Vulakovich
Patrol Officer 2347 bvulakovich@westdeertownship.com   724.265.1100 x347
Damian Brand
Patrol Officer 2357 dbrand@westdeertownship.com   724.265.1100 x357
Andrew Lindner
Patrol Officer 2350 alindner@westdeertownship.com   724.265.1100 x350
Ross Orler
Patrol Officer 2353 rorler@westdeertownship.com   724.265.1100 x353
Connor Dobransky
Patrol Officer 2358 cdobransky@westdeertownship.com   724.265.1100 x358
Michael Hutchison
 Patrol Officer  2360  mhutchison@westdeertownship.com    724.265.1100x360
Colin Kadlick Patrol Officer 2354 ckadlick@westdeertownship.com   724.265.1100 x354
           

District Magistrate:

Magisterial District:  05-3-04
Judge:  Honorable Tom Swan
Address:  2060 Saxonburg Blvd. Gibsonia, PA 15044
Office:  724-265-2380

Police Services
Fingerprinting
Any resident needing their fingerprints taken for reasons such as employment or membership may contact the West Deer Township Police Department for an appointment. If you were given a fingerprint card by your employer or organization, please bring the card with you along with valid identification.
The West Deer Township Police also conduct sessions at community events at which time parents can have their child’s fingerprints taken. The parent is given the fingerprint card for safe keeping. Any organization wishing to set up a child fingerprinting session is encouraged to contact the West Deer Township Police Department to set up an appointment.
Police Department Tour
The West Deer Township Police Department does schedule tours of the facility. Groups of citizens, students, cub scouts, brownies, and other organizations can request a tour of the station. Tour groups learn about the responsibilities of the station, its personnel, and the assigned equipment through fun and educational activities. The tour includes squad room, holding cell, police cars, and any other offices. The information is tailored to the group’s specific needs and age group. The department recommends that arrangements be made at least two weeks in advance. To arrange a tour for your group, please call 724.265.1100.
Notary Services
Notary-PublicWe are happy to assist residents of West Deer Township with notary services (excluding vehicles). Please contact West Deer Police Administrative Assistant at 724-265-1100 to schedule a notary appointment, or come to the Police Department during Administrative hours. For our residents who have a difficult time leaving their homes, we will gladly make arrangements to come to you. Please call us to schedule an appointment.
House Watch
Any resident that is going to be away from home or on vacation for a long period of time – for example, one or two weeks – may request a house check be done by the West Deer Township Police Department. While you are away, an officer will visually check your house each shift to make sure that it is secure. If there are any problems, you or your contact person will be notified. To sign up for a house check, you must complete and sign a House Check information sheet which can be obtained form the link below, visiting the West Deer Township Police Department, or under the “Forms” tab of this website.

SECURITY REQUEST FORMS
K-9 Demonstration
Police K-9 demonstrations can be arranged for any group or organizations that are interested in gaining knowledge on the activities of the K-9 unit.

Demonstrations are performed on both drug and patrol functions of the K-9. If interested, please contact the West Deer Township Police Department at 724.265.1100 for more information regarding the demonstrations.
Bicycle Safety
Bicycle safety is an essential practice that young children (and adults) must follow to stay safe while having fun on their bicycles. Whether riding on the roadway or in the driveway, everyone must know how to inspect and properly operate their bicycle. To arrange a bicycle safety class or rodeo, please contact the West Deer Township Police Department.

Remember: Pennsylvania Law requires all children under the age of twelve to wear an ANSI or SNELL approved helmet when operating – or riding as a passenger – on a bicycle, tricycle, or other pedal cycle.
Handicapped Placards and Registration Plates
Handicap placards and license plate applications are available at the police department from the Administrative Assistant or under the “Forms” tab of this website. Applications require name, address, social security numbers, and date of birth. Once the application is completed, the applicant must take the form to his/her physician for final completion prior to submission to the Pennsylvania Department of Transportation.
Criminal Record Checks and PA Child Abuse Clearance
Criminal Record Checks and PA Child Abuse Clearance forms are not available at the police department. If you are in need of these clearances, you must go through the Pennsylvania State Police website by clicking here.
Child Seat Installation
West Deer Township Police Department is proud to be a car seat installation location. Please call Police Administrative Assistant at 724-265-1100 to schedule a car seat installation or check during administration hours. You can also visit pasafekids.org for other locations or visit patechs.com to schedule a car seat check with a technician.

Upcoming events for car seat installation.

  • NONE AT THIS TIME
Please click here for further information regarding PA Child Passenger Safety Laws.
Police Programs
Safe Return Resident Identification Program
Safe Return Resident Identification Program

Alzheimer’s Disease and dementia affects millions of Americans each year. Victims may become disoriented and lost in locations that were once familiar to them.

In an effort to streamline the return of victims to their loved ones when this scenario occurs, the West Deer Township Police Department implemented a safe return program.

Caregivers of individuals who suffer the effects of these disheartening diseases are asked to complete an information form that will be retained by the department. The form provides personal information, any medical conditions they may suffer, specific characteristics that would enable officers to identify them, and emergency contact information. We ask that a recent photograph of the patient also be included.

These illnesses are not only devastating to the victims, but their caregivers as well. It is our intention that the information provided will enable officers to identify the patient and return them to their loved ones as quickly as possible. We hope that residents who provide care to Alzheimer or dementia patients will take advantage of this free service.

Please call the departments Administrative Assistant for more information.
D.A.R.E. Program
PURPOSE

Project DARE is a drug and alcohol abuse prevention program offered by the Deer Lakes School District in cooperation with the West Deer Township Police Department. It is based on a model that originated in Los Angeles as a joint project of the police department and school district.
DARE is a new approach to educating young people. Recent research shows that the traditional scare tactics preaching the harms of drugs are of limited effect. Instead, project DARE helps students recognize and resist the many subtle pressures that influence them to experiment with drugs. By focusing on feelings relating to self-esteem, interpersonal and communication skills, and decision making and positive alternatives, students can develop a definite strategy to resist drugs.

RESISTANCE EDUCATION

Kids don’t want to be told what not to do. Teens want to act grown-up. Many of them think smoking, drinking, and using exotic drugs are the passport to adulthood. DARE tries to teach students what being grown-up really means: not giving in to peer pressure, making your own decisions, and learning to cope with life’s problems in positive ways.

A HEAVY DOSE OF INSTRUCTION

One unique feature of project DARE is the use of a police officer as an instructor. This office has literally been assigned a classroom beat. DARE officers are selected for their talents in human relations and communication skills, and receive intense training to present a special eleven-lesson instructional unit. The focus is on fifth grade students who will soon be attending junior high school. Each classes visited once a week for 11 consecutive weeks. The lessons focus on four major areas:

  1. Providing accurate information about alcohol and drugs
  2. Teaching students decision-making skills
  3. Showing them how to resist peer pressure
  4. Giving them ideas for alternatives to drug use
A variety of activity oriented techniques involves students in group discussions, healthy exchanges of ideas and feelings, and roleplaying exercises. The program does not just end with the kids. Workshops are held for parents and teachers to make them aware of the signs of substance abuse, how to intervene, and where to seek assistance.

PROJECT DARE CURRICULUM

Decision Making Model
The Real Truth
Role Models
Tobacco and You
Friendship Foundations
Response Styles
Smoke Screen.
Putting it Together
Alcohol and You
Personal Action
Project DARE
Taking a Stand Essay

TIPS FOR PARENTS

  1. Learn all you can about drug and alcohol abuse so you can discuss it with your children.
  2. Establish family rules that prohibit the abuse of drugs and alcohol. Be sure to enforce these rules.
  3. Talk with other parents. Try to establish uniform rules that limits your children’s access to drugs and alcohol.
  4. Examine yourself. What kind of message are you sending to your children? Do you smoke? Do you abuse alcohol? Do you abuse drugs?
Click It or Ticket Campaign
West Deer Township Police partners with PennDot’s Click it or Ticket Campaign each year. This year, the campaign was held from May 13, 2019 until June 2, 2019. Officers were out on assigned details at certain locations that have been the subject of our resident’s concerns. Officers monitored the various Vascar Lines around the township, as well as the school zones during school hours. Officers made contact with 120 drivers. Of those drivers that were stopped, officers wrote 115 citations for various moving violations. The top violations officers observed was speeding. Other violations observed included not wearing seat belts, careless driving, expired registration/ inspection/ emissions, obedience to traffic control, and driving under suspension/ revocation.

In conjunction with the Click It or Ticket Campaign, the department listens to the residents of West Deer Township and assigns details based on where our residents are seeing traffic problems and violations.

If you are seeing unsafe driving where you live, feel free to contact the police department’s traffic supervisor.
D.U.I. Task Force
The West Deer Township Police Department has been a member of the North Hills DUI Task Force since its inception in 1994. In 2012 our department became the coordinating agency for the project. The department appoints two officers to act as the Project Director and co-coordinator.

The task force is comprised of officers from the following departments: Etna Borough, Indiana Township, Northern Regional, Ross, Shaler, O’Hara, West View, and West Deer. Funds for the project are obtained through a grant filed with the state. The state obtains federal funding to provide funds for the project.

Stationary checkpoints and roving patrols are conducting throughout the year.
Toys for Children
Holiday-Toy-DriveWest Deer Township Police are sponsoring the annual “Toys for Children” program for children of low-income households. The program is directed towards students of the Deer Lakes School District between the ages of 1 – 14.

We are being assisted by Cub Scout Pack 965. The Scouts drop off bags at residences throughout the township soliciting toys for the program. We request the toys be new. Toys will be distributed to the children who fall under the above guidelines. Any resident or business that wishes to make a monetary donation can do so by making checks payable to:

West Deer Toys for Children Christmas Fund,
109 East Union Road Cheswick PA 15024.

The money will be used to purchase additional toys, winter clothing and wrapping paper supplies. If there are any remaining monies, perishable items may be purchased for the families. Toys can be dropped off at the West Deer Township Police Department:

Questions pertaining to the program can be directed to the West Deer Township Police Department by calling 724-265-1100 between the hours of 7:00 a.m. to 3:00 p.m. Please join in and make the holiday season a little brighter for some special children of our community. West Deer Police and West Deer Township Board of Supervisors appreciate your support.
Police K-9 Unit
Police K-9 Unit
The West Deer Township Police K-9 unit is on call 24 hours a day, seven days a week. The unit operates throughout the Township and is a team of Officer Edward Newman and his partner Nitro.

History

The unit began in December of 1998 with funding from a combination of federal grants and a grant from the Allegheny County District Attorney’s Drug Forfeiture Fund. A German Shepherd – a breed with intelligence, strength, and loyalty – was selected and imported from Czechoslovakia to train as our police service dog. His name was Bars.

Bars underwent extensive training with his handler. The training was conducted by Strategic Law Enforcement K-9 Training in North Huntington, PA and was certified by North American Police Work Dog Association.

Bars faithfully served the township from 1998 to 2007. In 2007, he was retired and was replaced by the Township’s new K-9, Jimmi.

Jimmi was purchased using funding from the same sources which enabled the Township to purchase Bars. He was trained by Shallow Creek Kennels and was put into service in 2007. Jimmi is a Belgian Malinois from Czechoslovakia and is dual-certified in patrol and narcotics detection by North American Police Work Dog Association.

Jimmi was retired in 2015 for medical reasons, and continues to live with Officer Newman and his family.

Listed below are a sample of Jimmi’s accomplishments throughout his career:

  • Assisted with tracking and locating a burglary suspect.
  • Located an autistic child that walked away from his residence.
  • Assisted and located an armed bank robbery suspect.
  • Assisted the Pennsylvania State Police with locating a suspect that had a knife and threatened to harm his mother.
  • Assisted with the apprehension of a suspect who stole a vehicle and lead police on a pursuit. The suspect abandoned the vehicle and was running on foot across a river and into the woods. Jimmi was able to find the suspect along with stolen articles from the vehicle.
  • Participated in many school searches that resulted in obtaining illegal drugs and the resulting arrests.
K-9 Nitro was purchased in 2015 from a donation by Mr. and Mrs. Kevin (Tracy) Walsh and the Allegheny County District Attorney’s office. Nitro was purchased and trained by Shallow Creek Kennels and was placed into service in November 2015. He is also a Belgian Malinois, but is from the Netherlands. He is dual-certified in Patrol and Narcotics Detection by North American Police Work Dog Association.

K-9 Abilities

  • Track and find wanted criminals or missing persons in urban, rural, or rugged wooded areas
  • Search all types of buildings for criminals in hiding
  • Search for evidence or property connected with crime
  • Search for illegal drugs
  • Chase and apprehend criminals escaping arrest who may be armed and dangerous
  • Act as a deterrent and back up in dangerous situations such as fights, riots, and disturbances
  • Provide high profile foot patrols of places such as schools, shopping complexes, and parks
  • The police dog team is available to assist police departments in other jurisdictions when needed
Public Requests and Donations

The K-9 Unit visits schools and performs demonstrations for public and civic groups. To inquire about and/or request a K-9 demonstration, please contact Officer Newman.

K-9s are budgeted for by the Township, and serve as officers. However, the West Deer Township Police Department kindly asks for donations to continue providing the K-9 service. With increasing health insurance costs for the K-9 – and expensive safety equipment for the handler – the Township keeps a separate fund specifically for the K-9 that is replenished with donations and fundraisers. Anyone wishing to donate to the West Deer Township K-9 fund can do so by sending donations to:

West Deer Township Police Department K-9 Fund

Attention: Officer Edward Newman
109 East Union Road
Cheswick PA 15024
724-265-1100
enwman@westddeertownship.com
Crime Watch
Crime Watch
 HELP US
“TAKE A BITE OUT OF CRIME”

scruff-mcgruffWe need your help in “Taking a bite out of crime”. If you have any information regarding a crime that occurred – or any knowledge of a crime that may occur – please drop us a line. You can email us at:

wdpd@westdeertownship.com

If you are concerned, you can send an totally anonymous email so nobody will know who sent the message. You are permitted, however, to provide us with your name, phone number, etc. if you wish. It’s up to you.

Once again, we need your help. By getting involved, you will be doing your part in making this township a safer and more enjoyable place to live, work, and play.
History of the Department
History of the Department
Early History

Prior to the mining communities emerging in West Deer Township, the only law enforcement officers in the Township were the elected constables. While serving in their positions, they were not much more than figureheads.

With the coming of the mining towns – and the associated increase in population – there came an obvious need for more police. The mining companies furnished their own “company police” and generally took care of their own problems. In fact, they had their own private jail.

1940s

In the 1940s as the coal companies began selling their company houses to the public and turning their company streets into public streets, it became evident that West Deer would need a police department.

November 4, 1943 marked the beginning. Albert Sabatini became our first police officer. He was issued a uniform by the Township and had to use his own vehicle. Officer Sabatini would keep detailed records and present them to the Board of Supervisors the first day of each month.

Three years later, in 1946, William “Scotty” Thompson was appointed as an additional police officer under the same terms. Officer Sabatini was made the Township’s first Chief of Police.

Working conditions for police at this time were poor. Pay was low, there were no holidays, and they were continuously on call. In 1948, however, conditions improved for the officers. They were given limited sick leave and a modest pension plan.

In 1949 the Board expanded police authority by authorizing them to cooperate with the state police, county detectives, and other municipal police in the pre-investigation of crime. Only one township officer was to do so at one time, however.

The first police car was purchased in February of 1949. It was a Chevy sedan costing $1,757.64. During the early years, the Department also bought Fords, Hudsons, Plymouths, and Studebakers.

1950s

Officer Thompson resigned on November 2, 1950 and his position was filled by Stephen Radage of Bairdford.

In 1956, Chief Sabatini had just completed a new brick home on Reaghard Drive when he unexpectedly died of a heart attack. Samuel DiSanti was appointed as a police officer to fill the vacancy, and Officer Radage would become Chief of Police.

When he retired in February 1979, Chief Radage had served a total of twenty-eight years of faithful service for his community. He was the first recipient of the Deer Lakes Business Association Hall of Fame, and his picture and plaque are still on display in the Municipal Building.

Under Chief Radage’s leadership – and in conjunction with a population explosion and developmental growth – the West Deer Township Police Department grew both in numbers and in complexity. There were now many more incident reports to be taken, and a police officer was expected to take a wide range of courses on law enforcement, narcotics, child abuse, accident procedures, first aid, and firearm use.

On June 4, 1959, the Township entered into a mutual aid agreement with Richland Township, Middlesex Township, and Butler County. Each municipality would assist each other to expand coverage and improve service. In September of 1960 the Township also entered into an agreement for two-way police dispatch service with Richland Township.

1960s

In July 1964, Don Simonetti became a part-time police officer and was hired full-time one year later.

Sam DiSanti had served as a Deputy Constable for twelve years in West Deer prior to his appointment as a police officer, and in August 1965 he was promoted to the rank of Lieutenant.

In June 1968, Rudy Truckley became a full-time police officer and worked for twenty-four years. He retired in 1992 as a Sergeant.

1970s

As the Township continued to grow, more police officers were necessary. In February 1974, Stephen Chearno and Marty Fleischer were hired.

1980s

Lieutenant DiSanti was later appointed Chief Radage’s successor as Chief of Police in January 1980. In March 1982 he and the department received a commendation from the Board of Supervisors in response to the arrests of twenty-eight people and the recovery of over $50,000.00 in stolen property.

Officer Fleischer was promoted to the rank of Lieutenant in January 1982.

Chief DiSanti implemented the Crime Prevention Program in 1983, and Officer Chearno was placed in charge of the program. Officer Chearno and his volunteers conducted numerous Crime Watch activities to help enhance our community.

Also in 1983 – in an effort to further expand the Department’s effectiveness – the Board of Supervisors hired seven part-time officers. This move served to relieve our full-time officers in addition to creating flexibility in covering shifts.

1990s

Chief DiSanti retired as Chief of Police in 1986 with honor. Officer Simonetti was appointed to Chief of Police as Sam DiSanti’s successor and retired in 1992.

Lieutenant Fleischer was appointed Chief of Police in November of 1992 to replace Chief Simonetti.

Officer Chearno was promoted to the rank of Lieutenant in 1993 to fill the vacancy, but passed away in 1994 prior to his retirement.

As you saw, the West Deer Township Police Department has grown steadily along with the Township since 1943. January 1993 marked what could be thought of as “the modern era” of the Department. It was the year many of the faces you know today began being hired.

The beginning of our current roster of officers began with the hiring of full-time officers Bill Bailey, Brian Dobson, and Frank Huffman in January of 1993. In September of the same year, Officer Jon Lape was hired as a full-time officer. This brought the police department’s contingent to seven full-time officers and four part-time officers, and Officers Huffman and Lape were promoted to Sergeant in later years.

In June of 1994 Officer Darren Mikus was hired as a full-time officer, and was also later promoted to Sergeant at the same time as Officer Lape.

In 1995 Officer Tina Gizienski and Officer Edward Newman were hired as full-time officers as well.

Officer Newman became the department’s first K-9 Officer in 1998 with the addition of a German Shepherd named Bars. Since then Officer Newman has had partners in our former K-9 officer Jimmi and our current K-9 Nitro.

2000 till Today

Officer Robert Loper was hired as a full time officer in March 2000.

In March 2001, the Police Department reached a total of ten full-time officers with the hiring of Officer Michael Shurina.

With the retirement of Chief Fleischer in February 2003, Sergeant Jonathan Lape was appointed to take the position of Chief of Police. Officer Bailey was promoted to Sergeant to fill the vacancy created by Chief Lape’s promotion.

Officer Brian Wikert was hired as a full time officer in May 2003, and was followed by the full-time promotion of Officers Timothy Burk and Robert Petosky in March 2006.

Sergeant Frank Huffman retired from his duties September of 2016. Officer Loper was promoted to Sergeant in June 2017. Replacing newly promoted Sergeant Loper was Officer Evan who was promoted from part time officer to full time officer.

The Board of Supervisors voted to expand the department by two full time officers and one sergeant in June of 2019. Officer Michael Shurina was promoted to Sergeant. Sergeant Shurina has been with the West Deer Township Police Department since 1995 as a part time officer, and obtained a full time position in 2001. Sergeant Shurina is the department’s forensic expert, the IT guru, and works closely with Deer Lakes School administration. Sergeant Shurina is a School Resource Officer at Deer Lakes High School, as well as a D.A.R.E. instructor.

Officer Thomas (TJ) Trocki and Officer Zakary Fedunok were promoted from their part time role to a full time officer at the same meeting. Officer Trocki has been with the department since 2017. Officer Fedunok has been with the department since 2013. Both officers played crucial roles in the Deer Lakes Schools, as well as patrol officers. Officer Trocki and Officer Fedunok are also the department’s bicycle patrol officers in the summer months.

To learn more about each of our current officers please see the WDPD Personnel section of this site.
Frequently Asked Questions
Frequently Asked Questions
Listed below are some of the most frequently asked questions regarding the police department and its services. Click on the question to find out more information about the subject. If you need further information, please contact the department at any time via email or phone.
Emergency
When should I call 911?
In the event you need the services of the Police, Fire, or EMS immediately – or if something that requires police attention is occurring “at that moment” – please dial 911. If the situation is a non-emergency administrative call (see examples below), you want to call the police department directly.

If you are not sure if your situation needs immediate attention or not, the best practice is to call 911. It is safer to have trained emergency personnel respond and make that decision. If you have young children please make every effort to teach them how and when to call 911. It is important that young children know that they can call for help in an emergency.
Examples of situations that do not constitute an emergency:

  • You need to speak with an officer regarding a prior investigation.
  • You wish to obtain information about a K-9 Demonstration.
Examples of situations that are emergencies and require immediate response:

  • You have just returned home and found that your house has been burglarized.
  • You see or hear something suspicious and feel that criminal activity is taking place.
How and when should I report suspicious and criminal activity?
Anytime you observe suspicious or illegal events – or suspect the occurrence of one – you should report the incident to the police department. Always contact the police as soon as you discover a crime has been committed or is in the process of being committed. Never assume that another observer will make the call, or that there is time to talk the event over with friends and family. Call the police immediately to ensure the most effective response to the problem. If the incident has just occurred or requires emergency response to protect life and property, call 911.

What is Suspicious?

Many people have questions about what constitutes suspicious activity. It could be a stranger who enters your neighbor’s home while your neighbor is away with no apparent lawful purpose, or someone carrying property such as TVs, radios, or stereos at an unusually late hour or in an unusual place. It could be non-public utility employees using or damaging public utilities. It may also be juveniles out on the street during early hours of the morning. Other suspicious activity is the sound of shattering glass, which could be the sign of a burglary or vandalism in progress. Anyone being forced into a vehicle could be the victim of a possible abduction. In general, any activity which you observe that is out of the ordinary and potentially illegal should be reported.

Making the Report

When you make your report, the police officer or dispatcher will ask for your name, address, and phone number for informational purposes; however, you may remain anonymous and any information you provide will be kept confidential. An officer will gather pertinent facts about what you witnessed, such as what happened, where, when, and who was involved. It is always helpful if you can provide information like names, physical descriptions, facial features, types of clothing, and estimated ages of the people involved. If a vehicle is involved, a physical description as well as the color, model, year, and license plate number are very helpful. Any detail you can remember will greatly assist police in the apprehension of criminals. If you are reporting a crime such as a burglary, breaking and entering, or theft, provide the police with as much information as possible about the property taken, including property value and serial numbers.

Investigating Your Report

After you file your report, remember that the Police Department receives numerous reports every day and that it may be some time until your report is investigated. The department must prioritize reports by the nature and severity of the crime committed and the factor time plays in a particular investigation. Be assured that officers make every effort to quickly and comprehensively follow up on each situation. For more information about detecting criminal or suspicious activity, or to file a criminal report, contact the West Deer Township Police Department.
What information do I need when calling 911?
What information do I need when calling 911?
When you dial 911 for emergency assistance, the dispatcher will answer the phone and ask you for information regarding your call. The information requested will be:

Your name (remember, you can ask to remain anonymous)
The address of the emergency
The telephone number from which you are calling
A brief description of the emergency such as “An intruder is in my house,” or “There is an accident at the intersection of Middle Road and Rt. 910”
If you have young children please make every effort to teach them how and when to call 911. It is important that young children know that they can call for help in an emergency.

Emergency dispatchers agree that remaining calm is the most important thing you can do to help them help you. Dispatchers ask standard questions to help them make evaluations, decisions, and forward the necessary information to those responding to your call. The responding emergency service will use this information to assign personnel and equipment. In police emergencies, a computer tells the dispatcher which police units are to be dispatched, the name of the subdivision in which the address is located, and the closest intersection to the address. The dispatcher then sends the assigned units to the scene.
What do I do if I am involved in a vehicle accident?
Legal Requirements

No matter how safely you drive, chances are someday you will be involved in an accident. Regardless of who is at fault, it is important that you know what to do.
If you are involved in an accident, there are several things you are legally required to do:
  • First, you must stop at the scene of the accident or as close to the scene as possible without blocking traffic. Notify Police by dialing 911 immediately. Only move vehicles from the accident scene if they are a traffic hazard. If this is the case, move them as soon as possible, even before the police arrive.
  • Second, give any help you can to someone who is obviously injured. Do not attempt to move an injured person from a wrecked vehicle unless you have the necessary medical training or there is an immediate danger (such as fire).
  • Third, report the accident to the responding police officer as quickly as possible, regardless of whether the accident occurred on public or private property. The police officer will note all relevant facts and information about the case and file a traffic accident report.
  • Fourth, exchange information with other people involved in the accident. This includes:
  1. Drivers name, address and telephone number
  2. The names, addresses and telephone numbers of all passengers
  3. Names and addresses and telephone numbers of any witnesses
  4. The other vehicles make, model, registration plate number and the damage that was done
  5. Insurance company and policy number

An Accident with an Unattended Vehicle or Property

If you have had an accident with an unattended vehicle or property, you must make a reasonable effort to find the property owner at the time of the accident. If no one can be located, leave a note that can be easily found at the scene of the accident, include:

  1. Your Name
  2. Address
  3. Driver’s license number
  4. An estimate of the damages

You should report the accident to the police

Serious Accidents

In addition, if you are the driver of a vehicle involved in an accident resulting in personal injury or death – or if there any vehicles involved that require towing due to the accident – you must, by law, report the accident to the police. Failure to file this report may result in summary or misdemeanor charges being filed against you. Accident report forms are available from the West Deer Township Police Department.

Accident Reports

The Township of West Deer maintains accident reports following any incident reported to the department. Copies can be obtained by visiting the police station. For more information, or to file a traffic accident report, contact the West Deer Township Police Department.

****** At the time of any accident the call for police should be made by calling 911*****
General
How can I obtain a police report?
Motor vehicle accident reports and police incident reports can be obtained at the police department from the administrative assistant, Monday through Friday 7 a.m. until 3 p.m. Only those persons listed as drivers, victims and/or complainants are entitled to copies. You must present a picture ID, such as a valid driver’s license, military ID, or passport. The costs for these items are as follows:

Reportable motor vehicle accident reports  $15.00
Non-reportable motor vehicle reports   $10.00
Incident reports  $10.00
What is a School Resource Officer (S.R.O.)?
The School Resource Officer (SRO) program is the next step in Community Oriented Policing (COP). The SRO is an asset used by the community and the school in an attempt to address situations in the lives of students in a forum other than the judicial system.

The SRO program is a nationally accepted program involving the placement of a law enforcement officer within the schools. The officer is involved in a variety of functions aimed at prevention. Besides being a high profile law enforcement officer, the SRO is a resource for students, parents, teachers, and administrators regarding legal issues.

Another duty for the SRO is being a link to other service agencies – which provide preventive and counseling services – within the schools. Working hand in hand with the Principals, the SRO assists with finding solutions to problems affecting the school age children of the 21st century.

Some of the basic objectives of an SRO Officer are:

  1. Creating and maintaining a safe, secure, and orderly learning environment
  2. Assisting the staff with problems that may occur with a child
  3. Education through mentoring
  4. Enhancement of existing school safety and security measures
  5. Conducting regularly scheduled quarterly meetings in order to monitor and alleviate deviant, truant, and potentially delinquent behavior
  6. Establishment of a closer working relationship with students, staff, and administration
  7. Provisioning of basic law enforcement related services to include, but not limited to: investigation of crimes, assisting with truancy issues, and acting as a liaison between the school district and the police department
  8. Promote citizen awareness of the law – thus enabling students to become better informed and effective citizens – while empowering students with the knowledge of law enforcement efforts, obligations regarding law enforcement, and the consequences for violations of the law
  9. Serve as a confidential source of counseling for students and parents concerning problems they face as well as providing information on community resources available to them.
Many of the departments officers are SRO certified and assigned to the Deer Lakes School District on a rotation.  Please feel free to contact the police department with any questions or requests regarding the program.
How do I report an animal complaint or an animal bite?
If you wish to file a complaint regarding the behavior of an animal – or the neglect of an animal – you can do so by calling the West Deer Township Animal Control Officer at 724.265.2780. If the situation is an emergency and the Animal Control Officer is unavailable, call the West Deer Township Police Department.

Remember – The behavior of an animal is the responsibility of the owner.

Animal Bites

Reporting Animal Bites

If your pet has bitten a person or another animal, or if you or your pet is the victim of an animal bite, you are required by law to report such incidents within 24 hours to the West Deer Township Police Department. This requirement is specifically important because known cases of rabies in animals have been confirmed in West Deer Township. It is also important to get a description of the offending animal. If the owner is unknown, try to keep the animal in sight until the Police Department arrives.

Treating Animal Bites

There are three things to consider when treating animal bites:

  1. Preventing infection
  2. Preventing rabies
  3. Stopping bleeding
If the bleeding is not severe, the wound should be washed with mild, soapy water for three to five minutes. It should then be covered with a clean dressing. Applying direct pressure over the wound with a clean, dry cloth may control bleeding.

Watching for Infection

If the wound does not need stiches, it should be observed for the next 24 to 48 hours for signs of infection. If the wound becomes infected, a healthcare professional should be consulted. The provider should also be contacted if the person has not had a tetanus shot in the past five years.

Seeking Emergency Care

Emergency care should be sought immediately in these situations:

  1. A significate amount of flesh has been lost
  2. The person has been bitten by a strange animal
  3. The person is suffering from severe blood loss
  4. There are many bites
  5. There are serious injuries
How do I report a lost or found pet?
The Township of West Deer receives numerous calls on lost pets. If your pet is lost, the best way to assure their safe return is to follow the steps below.

  1. Immediately notify the West Deer Township Animal Control Officer at 724.265.2780 (if not available, notify the West Deer Township Police Department).
  2. Ask neighbors and local children if they have seen the pet.
  3. Place an ad in the local paper and post sign and pictures of your pet where they can be seen by the public.
Remember – Licensing your pet is always the best way to insure their safe return. Owners failing to maintain a current license for their dog may be fined $300.00.

If you happen to find an animal that you believe is someone’s pet, the best practice is to ask your neighbors if they know who the pet belongs to. If you are unable to find the owner, call the Animal Control Officer (if unavailable, contact the West Deer Township Police) and report the found pet.
How do I report a traffic problem?
The West Deer Township Police Department investigates numerous traffic complaints and problems each and every day. Any resident that has knowledge of drivers consistently violating traffic laws are encouraged to contact the West Deer Township Police Department regarding the problem.

If you witness or are a victim of a traffic violation or road rage incident, please call 911 immediately. Also, please attempt to obtain vehicle information like license plate number and vehicle make, color, and direction of travel. This information will greatly assist the responding officer with their investigation.
What are the regulations for canvassing and/or soliciting in West Deer Township?
Anyone desiring to engage in canvassing or soliciting shall first make application to the Township Police Department. The application shall be given in person at the time of application. A criminal background check, to be completed by one’s own accord, completed by the Pennsylvania State Police must be administered for every person applying to solicit.

The application shall contain the following information verified by oath or affirmation for each applicant: for what reason they desire to canvass or solicit; the dates of the registrant’s canvassing or soliciting; their name and home address; a statement as to whether they have ever been convicted of a criminal offense and, if so, the date of conviction and disposition; the make, model, year, color, and registration of the vehicle, if any, they will use; and a copy of a current driver’s license.

A signature denotes authorization to conduct a criminal history inquiry. If all information is in order, the Township will issue the applicant a permit within one to five business days from the date of filing the application.

Permits may not be transferred from one person to another. Each person who is to solicit is required to have their own permit.

The principal registrant shall carry the permit at all times when in the township and shall produce it to any Township resident or official upon request. All approved solicitors must prominently display on their outermost garment an identification badge, which signifies authorization to solicit within the Township for a specified period.

No person shall canvass or solicit in the Township on Sundays. No person shall canvass or solicit before 9:00am or after 7:00pm. This restriction shall apply to all persons to whom a permit has been issued.

No person shall canvass or solicit in the Township without first obtaining from the Chief of Police, Township Manager, or his or her delegate, a list of all residences and dwelling units in the Township where the owner/occupant has notified the Township in writing that they do not wish to be visited for purposes of canvassing and/or solicitation. No person – including approved permittees – may canvass or solicit any dwelling unit designated on said list. Any such written notice from an owner/occupant to the Township may be revoked in writing at any time by the owner/occupant.
Please contact the West Deer Township Police Department, at noknock@westdeertownship.com, if you wish for your residence to be place on the No Canvassing and/or Soliciting List.

EXEMPTIONS:
********Any person who works for an organization which has been registered with the Pennsylvania Department of State, as required by Act No. 337, approved August 9, 1963, known as the “Solicitation of Charitable Funds Act”, 10 P.S. § 160-1 et seq.,[1] shall not have to register with the Township of West Deer, but such organization shall cause notice to be given to the Police Department that such person will be canvassing and soliciting in the Township of West Deer; any such person shall carry an appropriate identification card issued by the organization for which he or she works.

See now the Solicitation of Funds for Charitable Purposes Act, 10 P.S. § 162.1 et seq.

For further information, please see the Township of West Deer Code, Chapter 99, CANVASSING AND SOLICITING under the “Government” tab.
Am I a victim of Identity Theft? What should I do?
Identity theft occurs when a criminal uses another person’s personal information to take on that person’s identity. Identity theft is much more than misuse of a Social Security number, it can also include credit card and mail fraud.

How can someone steal your identity? By co-opting your name, social security number, credit card number, or some other piece of your personal information for their own use. In short, identity theft occurs when someone appropriates your personal information without your knowledge to commit fraud or theft.

Here are some ways that identity thieves work:

  1. They open a new credit card account using your name, date of birth, and Social Security number. When they use the credit card and don’t pay the bills, the delinquent account is reported to your credit report.
  2. They call your credit card issuer pretending to be you and change the mailing address on your credit card account. The imposter then runs up charges on your account. Because your bills are being sent to the new address, you may not immediately realize there is a problem.
  3. They establish cellular phone service in your name.
  4. They open a bank account in your name and write bad checks on that account.
If you think you have been a victim of Identity Theft, or for further information on this crime, please contact the following agencies:

If you have been a victim of Identity Theft, do these three things immediately:

  1. Contact the fraud department of each of the three major credit bureaus and report that your identity has been stolen. Ask that a “fraud alert” be placed on your file and that no new credit be granted without your approval.
  2. For any accounts that have been fraudulently accessed or opened you should contact the security department of the appropriate creditors or financial institutions. Close these accounts immediately. On new accounts you open put a new password, do not use your mother’s maiden name.
  3. File a report with your local police or the police where the identity theft took place. Obtain a copy of the report in case the bank, credit card company, or others need proof of the crime in the future.
What can be done about telephone solicitations?
Beware of any organization soliciting cash or credit card donations by the telephone. Before your purchase from or donate to anyone soliciting by phone, check with the local Better Business Bureau. Be sure to request the name of the company, the tax identification number, a call back number and the name of the representative of the business that has called you. Even if a business is legitimate, it may not be permitted to solicit by telephone. For information concerning the business contact the Better Business Bureau at 877.267.5222.
How can I reduce the risk of home burglary?
Burglary is a serious crime to which we all are vulnerable. It is, however, one of the most preventable of crimes. A few simple precautions will greatly reduce the possibility that you will become a victim of this crime. Follow these guidelines to help prevent crime in your home.

  1. Make your home looks occupied at all times
  2. Leave interior lights on when you go out for the night and utilize exterior lighting or motion sensitive outdoor lighting
  3. Lock your exterior doors and windows before you leave the house or go to bed
  4. Do not allow daily deliveries such as mail and newspaper to accumulate. If you will be away, have a neighbor pick these items up for you and arrange to have your lawn cut in the summer and walks cleared in the winter.
You should maintain a detailed description as well as the serial numbers of all appliances, tools, radios, televisions, firearms, and other valuables you own. Whenever possible inscribe or label your valuables with your driver’s license number.
Who is the Magisterial District Judge and what do they do?
Magisterial District Judge Thomas Swan serves the citizens of West Deer Township by: issuing arrest and search warrants and summons; establishing bonds and bonding out citizens who have been arrested; issuing temporary Protection from Abuse (PFA) orders; giving general advice to citizens regarding the criminal justice system; holding summary hearings; and holding preliminary hearings in more serious criminal violations.

The Magisterial District Judge will also handle any civil complaints up to $12,000.00.

Magisterial District Judge Swan can be found at:

District Court Number 5-3-04
2060 Saxonburg Blvd.
Gibsonia PA 15044
724.265.2380
Simple Texting Alerts
Sign Up For Simple Texting Alerts
Text "westdeer" to 833-554-0940 to sign-up for the Township's Simple Texting alert system. Any resident who signs up will receive any emergency alerts that require immediate attention sent by the Township. These alerts can include, but are not limited to, road closures, warming shelters, major weather event, natural disaster, etc.