F.A.Q.

(Frequently Asked Questions)

Q:HOW DO I CONTACT AN OFFICER?

A: IF YOU HAVE AN EMERGENCY, SUCH AS A CRIME IN PROGRESS, FIGHT IN PROGRESS, INTRUDER, ACCIDENT WITH INJURIES, FIRE OR MEDICAL EMERGENCY DIAL 9-1-1 Otherwise, to report on-going criminal activity not in progress, a minor "fender bender" accident, or to speak with an officer, call The East Cocalico Township Police Department at (717) 336-1725. If you live outside of the area, call the number listed in the phone book for your local police.

Q:WHAT MUNICIPALITIES DOES THE DEPARTMENT SERVICE?

A: The East Cocalico Township Police Department covers two townships, and two boroughs through a contractual agreement. The municipalities covered are:

East Cocalico Township, West Cocalico Township, Adamstown Borough, Denver Borough.

Q:HOW DO I REPORT THAT A CRIME IS NOW OCCURRING, OR WILL OCCURR IN THE NEAR FUTURE?

A: CALL THE POLICE DEPARTMENT NOW!!! In many instances, citizens delay calling the police because they feel that the police are too busy, or that the officers will belittle them for calling. In most cases, officers would rather err on the side of caution, than to wait until the actor is gone, and try to put the pieces together later. As far as being busy, few departments (with the exception of larger cities) are so busy that they can not respond to an investigation of suspicious persons.

Q:IF I CALL THE POLICE AND GIVE MY NAME AND PHONE NUMBER, WILL THE OFFICER GIVE IT TO THE PEOPLE I AM CALLING ABOUT?

A:In most cases, NO. However, if you are a material witness to certain crimes, you may be asked to appear at a future time to testify before a District Justice, or Trial Court Judge / Jury, explaining exactly what you saw or heard.

Q:WHAT ARE MY RIGHTS AND OBLIGATIONS IF I AM CHARGED WITH A TRAFFIC VIOLATION?

A: If you are charged with a serious traffic violation, you should first consult with an attorney to see what options are available to you. In Pennsylvania, your RIGHTS and OBLIGATIONS are explained in detail on the reverse side of your citation. Basically, you MUST respond to the citation within 10 days to the District Justice Office in the area in which you are charged. This address should be located on the front of the citation. You respond by entering a plea. If you plea GUILTY, which means you agree that you committed the offense, then you simply pay the fine and cost shown on the front of the citation. If you plea NOT GUILTY, which means that you do not agree with the information shown on the citation, a Summary Trial is requested, and a date is set in which you would be able to testify before a judge why you feel that you were wrongfully charged with the violation.

Q:WHAT HAPPENS AT THE SUMMARY TRIAL?

A: The Officer and any witnesses will testify or explain to a judge what they saw, and the Officer will explain why he arrested you. Then you may ask the Officer and witnesses questions as to what they saw. Then If you wish, you can explain why you feel that you are not guilty of the offense, or have witnesses who were with you to explain what they saw, and the officer can then ask you or your witnesses questions. Then after all witnesses have testified, you may give a CLOSING STATEMENT, which basically sums up the testimony which was just presented. The officer may then give his closing statement. Finally, the Judge would decide if he or she agrees that the officer properly charged you for the offense.

Q:WHAT IS VASCAR / ESP / ENRADD? HOW DO THEY WORK?

A: VASCAR is an acronym for Visual Average Speed Computer And Readout, ESP is an acronym for Excessive Speed Preventer and ENRADD is an acronym for Electronic Non RAdar Detection Device. These devices are speed timing devices which measure a vehicles elapsed time between two measured points. The devices then compute the speed by using a common mathmatical equation by computing the distance, and the elapsed time of a vehicle to arrive at the speed.

Q:ARE THESE DEVICES LEGAL FOR USE BY MUNICIPAL POLICE?

A: Yes. Current Pennsylvania law allows municipal police officers to use Electronic, Electrical, and Mechanical devices to measure speed of vehicles. Current legislation prevents municipal Police from using RADAR. Currently only Pennsylvania State Police officers may use RADAR. However, there are efforts being made to change current legislation to allow the use of RADAR by municipal officers to effectively increase our public highway safety.

Q:HOW DO I BECOME A POLICE OFFICER?

A: You must become certified under ACT120 through Municipal Police Officer Education Training Commission (MPOETC). This means you must attend and successfully complete training at a certified Police Academy. This can be done in one of two ways:

One way is to pay your own tuition, and complete the training as a PRE-SERVICE cadet, then attempt to seek employment. Some departments require new employees already be certified under ACT 120 prior to employment.

The other option is to apply to a Police Department, and upon your appointment, your department will pay for your tuition. If you would like more information about ACT 120 PRE-SERVICE contact a Police Academy in your area.

Most departments have a process that they follow when hiring new officers.ALTHOUGH OUR DEPARTMENT DOES NOT CURRENTLY FOLLOW A SET PROCEDURE, Larger Boroughs, and City departments follow a guideline called CIVIL SERVICE. Basically the hiring process includes:

1) Submitting an application for employment, or a resume'

2) Taking a written test

3) Taking an oral examination, or interview - usually before a group of persons, sometimes includes Municipal Officials, and Police Administrators.

4) Taking a physical agility test - such as an obstacle course, running, jumping, pull-ups, sit-ups, push-ups etc.

5) Taking a medical, psychological, and optical examination and drug screen.

6) Criminal history/ background check.

7) Taking a Polygraph (lie detector) test.

8) Entrance into the Police Academy or start of Field Training (on the job training) if already certified under Act 120

Q:DO OFFICERS GIVE TOURS OF THE STATION?

A: Yes. Tours of our building are provided free of charge by appointment only. Tour groups of Boy/Girl Scouts, Classrooms, Community watch groups etc. are encouraged to come take a tour. Contact Sargeant Ray Burns for more information.

Q:HOW CAN I SET UP A NEIGHBORHOOD WATCH

A: East Cocalico Township Police Department is an active participant in Neighborhood Watch. You can get most if not all of the information you need through us. Contact Sargeant Ray Burns for more information.

Q:HOW CAN I HAVE MCGRUFF THE CRIME DOG COME TO MY SCHOOL OR FUNCTION?

A: East Cocalico Township Police Department is an active participant in the McGruff The Crime Dog program. You can get most if not all of the information you need through us. Contact Sargeant Ray Burns at (717) 336-1725 for more information.

Q:DOES YOUR DEPARTMENT HAVE A BICYCLE PATROL

A: Yes. The East Cocalico Township Police Department currently has 3 specially trained officers on the Bicycle Patrol Unit: Officer John DePaul, Officer Josh Sola, and Officer Gail Sizer. They are currently using Trek 26 inch, 24 speed mountain bikes, specially modified for police patrol duties.

Q:I WANT TO MAKE MODIFICATIONS TO MY VEHICLE (ADD EXTRA LIGHTING, WINDOW TINTING, BIGGER TIRES ETC.) IS THIS LEGAL?

A: Almost all aftermarket equipment and lighting which was not available from the manufacturer as original equipment is NOT legal!!! Check our legal links to the PA VEHICLE CODE and PA TITLE 67 for better clarification. If you can not find an outline there, contact an officer, but be sure the officer has been trained in the Pennsylvania Inspection Regulations. You can also find out more information BY CLICKING HERE

Q:DO I NEED TO WAIT 24 HOURS PRIOR TO REPORTING A PERSON AS MISSING?

A: No. If the person meets certain criteria such as a medical condition or juveniles, they may be entered as a missing person immediately.

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