The duties of a patrol officer are all encompassing. Patrol officers are often considered the “backbone” of a police department. These officers perform crime preventative patrols within a specific geographical area within the Borough of Conshohocken. These officers also conduct premise security inspections of businesses, churches, schools, and parks during the late night and early morning hours. Often times, patrol officers make contact with suspicious vehicles and persons and conduct field interviews to determine if a crime has been committed or to search for illegal contraband. Patrol officers are also the first identity of the police department when encountering citizens and are required to conduct themselves professionally and with respect to the public at all times.
Patrol officers are also considered the first line of defense for the Borough of Conshohocken in the event of an emergency. Officers within the borough quickly respond to public disturbances, family domestic altercations, suicides, violent crime reports, and to assist with medical and fire emergencies. These officers often engaged in dangerous and arduous conditions that endanger public safety. It is during these times a patrol officer will have to exercise independent judgment during these conditions and be mindful to employ officer and public safety practices and procedures.
A patrol officer in the Borough of Conshohocken is an extremely important job where the duties and responsibilities often go unnoticed by the public at large. A patrol officer within the Borough must maintain an enthusiastic, self-reliant, and self-motivated to accomplish all of the required responsibilities. These officers must anticipate and address potential safety conditions on the street while enforcing the traffic laws of the Commonwealth of Pennsylvania. Furthermore, a Borough patrol officer must exercise analytical judgment in identifying problems and situations as they occur and use specific decision making objectives.
Below is a list that includes, but is not limited to, the responsibilities of what patrol officers in the Borough of Conshohocken are required to do:
Provide for public safety by maintaining order, responding to emergencies, protecting people and property, enforcing motor vehicle and criminal laws, and promoting good community relations.
Identify, pursue, and arrest suspects and perpetrators of criminal acts through investigation and intelligence with local, state, and federal agencies assisting the Borough of Conshohocken Police Dept.
Record facts to prepare incident reports that document daily incidents and activities.
Review facts of incidents to determine if criminal act or statute violations were involved.
Render aid to accident victims and other persons requiring first aid for physical injuries.
Testify in court to present evidence or act as witness in traffic and criminal cases.
Patrol specific area on foot, bicycle (bike path) or patrol vehicle within the Borough, responding promptly to calls for assistance.
Monitor, note, report, and investigate suspicious persons and situations, safety hazards, and unusual or illegal activity in patrol area.
Investigate traffic accidents (Traffic Unit) and other accidents to determine causes and to determine if a crime has been committed.
Monitor traffic to ensure motorists observe traffic regulations and exhibit safe driving procedures.
Issue traffic citations or warnings to violators of motor vehicle ordinances within the Borough.
Provide victims of crime appropriate information of victim services within Montgomery County
Process prisoners, prepare and maintain records of prisoner arrests, maintain arrest folders and document prisoner due process through district court and common pleas court
Inspect public drinking establishments within the Borough to ensure compliance with rules and regulations.
Act as official escorts, such as when leading funeral processions or firefighters.
The Conshohocken Police Bicycle Unit was created in 1998 as a way for Officers to reconnect with the community. Modern policing in the 1990’s saw a focus on returning to community policing. As many departments throughout the country formulated new ways to reconnect with the community, the Conshohocken Police, along with others, decided to take advantage modern technology and older time tested police patrol methods of Police Officers on Bicycles.
Many police departments near the turn of the century used bicycles as a means of patrol. Officers on bicycles were noted to be more visible, and accessible to the public. It was not uncommon for an officer to complete his entire shift on the bicycle while making numerous friendly contacts with citizens along the way. The bicycle was also noted as being able to quietly reach destinations that patrol cars or foot officers were not able to.
In 1998 the Conshohocken Police Bicycle Unit formed with OfficersJohn Stortiand Shane Murray under the direction of then Sgt. Michael Orler, and Chief James Dougherty. The Officers attended the International Police Mountain Bike Association’s (IPMBA) forty hour training course at the University Of Pennsylvania. IPMBA was formed in the late 1980’s as a way to correctly train and certify public safety cyclist for the specialized functions of Police patrol on a bicycle. The IPMBA course teaches officers patrol procedures, arrest tactics, slow speed handling skills, and bicycle maintenance in addition to other necessary police bicycle related skills. All officers assigned to the bicycle unit are required to successfully complete this forty hour course.
The current department bicycle unit has four Officers and two Sergeant’s assigned to the unit. Officers are permitted to conduct routine day and night patrols while on Bicycle and are assigned to cover special community events such as Fun Fest, Fire works on July 4th, and the St. Patrick’s day parade. The department has three TREK and one CANNONDALE police specific bicycles for patrol. Each bicycle is equipped with headlights, taillights, emergency red & blue lights, and a siren, as well as an equipment bag containing bicycle repair tools and police specific equipment. The department has bicycle transportation racks so Officers can attach their bicycles onto their patrol vehicles and utilize them as needed.
Sgt. Lennon of the Bicycle Unit is an IPMBA certified Instructor and mechanic who is able to train officers of our department as well as surrounding departments in order to maintain a more efficient and cost saving program.
The Bicycle Unit in collaboration with the Patrol Unit initiated a bicycle helmet safety program in 2008. The department budgeted money for the purchase of children’s bicycle helmets. The program has risen in success since then and a few local businesses have gotten involved and made donations to purchase helmets for children. Any child in need of a bicycle helmet is encouraged to stop by the police station or ask an officer on patrol for a FREE bicycle helmet. The Bicycle unit also conducts safety lesson and safety checks from time to time. If your organization is interested in a safety talk from an officer please contact the Chief of Police, Michel Orler.
Detectives- The Detective Division consists of two detectives responsible for investigating crimes within the Borough of Conshohocken. Conshohocken Detectives are highly trained in many areas including, but not limited to; criminal investigation, interview and interrogation, crime scene processing, collection of evidence, surveillance, arrest and search warrant preparations.
Detectives are responsible for investigating serious misdemeanor and felony crimes that will result in the apprehension and prosecution of the offenders. The majority of the crimes often investigated by Detectives are the following; homicides, assaults, robberies, burglaries, thefts, sexual assaults, fraud, and drug investigations.
The detectives are responsible for collecting, processing, classifying, and sorting evidence which could assist in the case clearance and or the identification of witnesses, suspects, and victims. The identification of these persons are often done through extensive investigations and interviews by the detective division and other personnel assigned to assist.
The Traffic Enforcement Unit was developed in 2011 and is under the supervision of Sgt. David Lennon. Officer Matthew Foster will be the Traffic Safety Officer assigned to the unit. Officer Sean Gregory will supplement the unit and is the department’s truck inspector. The primary duty of the Traffic Enforcement Unit is to enforcement of traffic laws of the Commonwealth of Pennsylvania in order to reduce traffic collisions, their resulting injuries, and to facilitate the safe and expedient flow of vehicular and pedestrian traffic within the Borough of Conshohocken. These efforts of Officer Foster and the Traffic Enforcement Unit will result in safer roadways and streets, fewer fatalities, injuries, and reduction of property damage. The Traffic Unit concentrates its enforcement efforts in the areas within the Borough of Conshohocken and similar Traffic Enforcement Units in other police departments have proven to be effective in reducing the numbers of collisions in the City.
Speed, one of the leading causes of collisions, is enforced through the use of laser (ENRAD) and timing devices (ROBIC stopwatches). The speed limit on every road in the Borough is 25 MPH, except where designated 15 MPH in playground and school zone areas. Each police patrol vehicle is equipped with one of these devices to enforce the speed limit within the Borough. The Traffic Unit also utilizes mobile display trailers in order to combat speeding and display speeds within specific blocks in the Borough of Conshohocken. Mobile speed display radar trailers are rotated throughout the Borough are to inform motorists of their speeds and serve as a speeding deterrence.
Conshohocken Police Department is represented by SGT Michael Conner on the CMSWAT team. He has been a dedicated member of this highly specialized unit since 1999. His qualifications include, but are not limited to the following; Element leader in chemical dispersion team, pistol, rifle, and automatic weapons. He is also an instructor of chemical agent deployment, distraction devices and impact munitions.
"SWAT" (Special Weapons and Tactics) is comprised of many police officers from departments across Eastern Montgomery County. These officers are highly trained, both physically and mentally to respond to life threatening and critical incidents. These officers respond to incidents that may fall outside the abilities of patrol officers during the course of thier duties. SWAT officers respond to incidents such as hostage rescue, terrorism incidents, high risk arrests/search warrants, barricaded subjects, riots, and sniper fire.
Some of the equipment used on SWAT teams include; advanced body armor, ballistic shields, building entry tools, armored vehicles, advanced night vision optics, and motion detectors during hostage rescue incidents. The original SWAT team was formed in 1968 within the Los Angeles Police Deartment. Since its inception 44 years ago, SWAT has transcended police departments across North America and around the world. Many major police departments have specialized criticial incident response units and those names vary among police departments. Regardless of the tatical name, these specialized units are commonly refered to as "SWAT" in terms of colloquial usage.