Pennsylvania State Police History Continued...

Following the retirement of Commissioner Paul J. Evanko, Major Jeffrey B. Miller was appointed acting commissioner in January 2003 and eventually was confirmed as commissioner in March 2003.
 
The Core Purpose and Core Values statements replaced the Department's Vision proclamation originally established in 1991.  The mission statement was changed to read:  Police Service with Professionalism.
 
Core Purpose
To seek justice, preserve peace, and improve the quality of life for all.
 
Core Values
Honor, Service, Integrity, Respect, Trust, Courage, Duty

In 2003 the Pennsylvania State Police and New Jersey State Police signed an agreement with the Delaware River Joint Toll Bridge Commission to jointly patrol the bridges under the authority of the DRJTBC.
 
The Department's Problem Specific Policing (PSP) initiative was implemented May 1, 2003, as an incident analysis and police management tool.  The program relies on collecting incident information to identify areas of need so a plan of action can be developed to concentrate existing resources to effect a positive change in the area targeted. Selective Traffic Enforcement Programs were instituted as a direct result of the PSP initiative, replacing Operations Centipede and Tag-D programs.
 
On August 27, 2003, the Department announced the creation of the Pennsylvania Criminal Intelligence Center.  PaCIC supplies law enforcement agencies with various intelligence needed for tactical and strategic planning in real time, 24 hours a day, seven days a week.
 
Also in 2003, the State Police, along with 12 other states, join the U.S. Department of Justice MATRIX (Multi-state Anti-Terrorism Information Exchange), a project that allows for the exchange of sensitive criminal activity and terrorism information among local, state and federal law enforcement agencies.

On March 3, 2004, Commissioner Miller appointed John R. Brown to the newly created position of deputy commissioner of professional responsibility. The creation of the new deputy position – the fourth in the Department – was consistent with recommendations made by Kroll Associates Inc., a firm appointed in 2003 by Gov. Edward G. Rendell to serve for a period as an independent monitor of State Police.  In the new position, Brown was to focus on all issues related to police misconduct.  In 2007, the position of deputy commissioner of professional responsibility and the position of deputy commissioner of administration were combined into one position titled deputy commissioner of administration and professional responsibility.  As a result, the number of deputy positions in the Department returned to three.
 
The Harrisburg Consolidated Dispatch Center, the Department's first regional CDC, became operational June 8, 2004.  A Hazardous Device and Explosive Unit was formed in the Bureau of Emergency and Special Operations in 2004.
 
A second Operation CRISP (Crash Reduction in South Central Pennsylvania) was implemented in March 2004 to take drunken drivers off the road in Adams, Cumberland, Franklin, Lancaster and York counties.   It was conducted for 12 months and featured increased patrols and sobriety checkpoints.
 
Act 71 of 2004, The Pennsylvania Race Horse Development and Gaming Act, legalized slot machines in Pennsylvania and designated the Department with law-enforcement responsibilities.   The law exempted troopers assigned to enforcement of the act from the authorized legislative enlisted complement.
 
Two State Police Weapons of Mass Destruction Response Teams were created in 2004. Each team consisted of 10 members, with one based in the east and the other in the west.  The teams' mission was to enter the “hot” zone at hazardous material incidents where criminal acts are suspected, process the scene for evidence, and further investigate the incident.   Members are specially trained and nationally certified in chemical, biological and radiological WMD procedures.
 
Act 185 of 2004 expanded the collection of offender samples of DNA to all persons convicted of felonies.  Act 141 of 2004 provided for DNA collection from all unidentified human remains.
 
A new four-year contract arbitration award for members was issued effective July 1, 2004.  One change added a list of disciplinary violations that can result in termination of employment for members.  Another change established the new enlisted rank of trooper first class for veteran troopers with 12 years or more of service, effective July 1, 2006.
 
Act 180 of 2004 required each state, county and local law enforcement agency in Pennsylvania to report statistical information as to the number and nature of crimes in their jurisdiction to the State Police for incorporation in the annual Uniform Crime Reporting System.   Prior to this, participation in the UCR was voluntary.

State Police begins training troopers for Operation SHIELD, which is designed to help troopers identify and interdict fugitives, weapons, contraband and terrorist movements on state highways.
 
A Highway Safety Corridor Pilot Project was initiated to improve highway safety by identifying those locations where overall crash rates or speed-related crashes are statistically higher than average and designating them as highway safety corridors.  Within these corridors, State Police provide dedicated enforcement.  Increased penalties are accessed for certain moving violations.
 
On Jan. 1, 2005, the motor carrier enforcement activities of PennDOT were consolidated into the State Police.  Former civilian PennDOT inspectors were transferred to the Department, along with a few administrative staff, to improve the effectiveness of the operations associated with the program. 
 
A State Police task force assisted the Washington, D.C., Metropolitan Police Department with security during the Presidential Inauguration in January 2005.
 
The Department in 2005 joins the national Drug Evaluation and Classification program to train troopers and municipal police officers to become drug recognition experts, or DREs.  The program is under the supervision of Tpr. David Andrascik, who completed the training in 2004. DREs are trained to determine if a driver is under influence of illegal drugs, prescription drugs, other substances, or suffering from a medical condition.  The program was developed by the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration and approved by the International Association of Chiefs of Police.

In January 2005 the Department unveiled its expanded Megan's Law Web site, providing information to the public on all registered sexual offenders in Pennsylvania.

State Police marked its 100th Anniversary on May 2, 2005, with a weekend of activities and events.

Commissioner Jeffrey B. Miller announces in May 2005 that homeland security alerts and other critical information will be sent to troopers directly through e-mail under a new technology enhancement.

During an Operation Maximum Effort conducted May 11-14, 2005, State Police made 85 criminal arrests, detained 117 illegal aliens, placed 959 commercial vehicles out of service and issued 4,394 traffic citations.  The operation led to the seizure of counterfeit goods valued at $1.5 million, about 100 pounds of illicit drugs, 27 firearms and 11 vehicles.  The operation was conducted by teams of troopers who had received Operation SHIELD training.

The State Police Centennial Committee and the Pennsylvania Historical and Museum Commission on Sept. 13, 2005, dedicate a historical marker at the site of the original State Police Training Academy at Cocoa and Elm Avenues in Hershey.

State Police members in December 2005 participate in Desert Snow, an advanced training program designed to help troopers identify potential terrorists and smugglers who may be crossing Pennsylvania highways in commercial vehicles.

During an Operation Maximum Effort on May 2-6, 2006, State Police make 172 criminal arrests, apprehend 24 fugitives, detain 100 illegal aliens, place 1,994 commercial vehicles out of service, issue 2,397 speeding citations and charge 172 motorists with DUI.  In addition, members seize 10 weapons, 12 vehicles, nearly 1,900 baggies of heroin, 1,405 grams of marijuana, 79 grams of cocaine and a small amount of methamphetamine.

Deputy Commissioner Coleman J. McDonough on May 22, 2006, unveils a pilot program under which Troop J, Lancaster, begins using the new Statewide Public Safety Radio System.

State Police in 2006 joins with local police departments in 12 counties and PennDOT to initiate Smooth Operator, a program to crack down on aggressive drivers.

A prison escapee and suspect in the killing of a New York State Police trooper on Sept. 8, 2006, surrenders to members of the Pennsylvania State Police Troop E in northern Warren County following an extensive five-month manhunt.  Ralph "Bucky" Phillips had been added to the FBI's "10 Most Wanted" list just a day before he was taken into custody.  Phillips pleaded guilty to various counts and was sentenced to life in prison.

On a day that will be remembered as one of the most tragic in Pennsylvania history, the Pennsylvania State Police gained the respect and admiration of people around the world for their professional and compassionate response to the horrific shooting of 10 girls on Oct. 2, 2006, at an Amish school in Lancaster County.  Members forced their way into the school just as Charles C. Roberts IV took his own life.  Moments before, Roberts had shot the Amish children at point-blank range.  Commissioner Jeffrey B. Miller was praised for his efforts in keeping the public informed about developments in the case and for respecting the privacy of the Amish community.

State Police in June 2007 unveiled a new Web site, www.patrooper.com, to provide answers to frequently asked questions about the cadet recruitment process and the various careers available with State Police.

The Department's Commercial Vehicle Safety Section on Oct. 21-28, 2007, takes part in Operation Safe Driver, a national program aimed at the unsafe driving behaviors of commercial and non-commercial vehicle operators.

The Office of Attorney General and State Police on Nov. 19, 2007, announce charges against seven key participants in a prescription drug distribution ring which operated out of an Adams County residence and distributed drugs to juveniles and young adults.

The Department on March 13, 2008, announced the opening of a high-tech firearms training facility on the grounds of the State Police Academy.  The facility is to be used to train law enforcement officers to deal with volatile situations requiring the use of firearms.

Commissioner Jeffrey B. Miller announces in July 2008 that the Department is issuing Tasers to its members.  Miller noted that the Department initiated a pilot program in 2006 by providing Tasers to 18 officers statewide.

Commissioner Jeffrey B. Miller announces his retirement effective Aug. 8, 2008, to take a position with the National Football League. Gov. Edward G. Rendell appoints Lt. Col. Frank E. Pawlowski to serve as acting commissioner.  Gov. Rendell eventually nominated Pawlowski for the commissioner's post and the Senate confirms the nomination on Oct. 7, 2008.

The Bureau of Patrol in 2008 takes part in several traffic safety initiatives, including the Commercial Vehicle SAFE (Seatbelt and Fatigue Enforcement) Driver Enforcement program, Operation Road Check and Operation Airbrake.  The Department also participates in a Ticketing Aggressive Cars and Trucks (TACT) campaign which focuses on a 33-mile stretch of Interstate 81 from the I-83 split in Dauphin County to the Newville Interchange in Cumberland County.

 

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