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  Home   News   Officer Email   Parking Ordinance  

 

On-line Forms   Stats for 2008   Towing
Info
  How to get Reports  
  History of WTPD   About  WTPD   Links    In Tribute  

 

                        The History of the Washington Township Police Department
                            
(as recalled by some of the past Officers listed below)

  1953-Washington Township created a police department about this time with the appointment of the first Police Chief- Don Gardner. This was a one man department for the first year or so.

1954- The Supervisors appointed Art Coulter as the new Police Chief. There were 2 other Officers hired about this same time- Harold Bush and Harold Simpson. The department then consisted of 3 men, and continued this way until 1959. 
 About this same time, the Washington Twp. Civil Defense had started and also had 8 Auxilary Police Officers. The Civil Defense was also instrumental in starting the Washington Twp. Fire Company, along with a water rescue unit.

 1959-The members of the Civil Defense Police Unit were sworn in as Special Police by the Township. 
  (click on image for larger view)
1959 1/2-Francis Paustenbach was hired as part-time Patrolmen.

1960- This was the time for major changes in the Washington Twp. Police Dept., Bill Bush was appointed as Captain. 
          The Township found out that a problem arose with the authority of the Special Police, and took the Special Police and made them Washington Township Patrolmen. The following was now the department roster :
 Chief- Harold Bush, Captain- Bill Bush 
        Patrolmen: Mel Beighley, Dan Huth, Paul Huth, Leonard "Dutch" Aulerich, Mike Zerby, Harold  Simpson 
Other  members that did not become Township Patrolmen were: Don Wigle, Homer Miller, Robert Aulerich, Harold McElhatten, and Art Aulerich, they still remained Special Police as a part of the Civil Defense.
 
Civil Defense Police armband- 1958
1967
- Russ Coking was added to the department

1969
- Harold Simpson resigned from the department

1971
- The Township purchased the first Township Police Car- 1971 Rambler Ambassador. Prior to this time the Officers used their own vehicles for patrol activities.

1973
- Francis Paustenbach was appointed as Police Chief with the resignation of Harold Bush.

1974
- Russ Coking was appointed as police Captain. Things continued along smooth for the next several years, most of the original Officers were still here.

1982-George Clay was hired as Patrolman and Code Enforcement Officer

1985 - January , Francis Paustenbach resigned as Police Chief and Russ Coking was appointed to the position. Also this year saw the retirement of many of the original group of Patrolmen, and the hiring of Charles Lott as a Patrolman and later as code enforcement Officer.

1986- George Clay resigned to take a position with the Palm Beach Garden Police Dept. in Florida, this and the retirements of the past year left the Department with only 2 Officers, Chief Coking and Charles Lott. August of  this year Joseph Huth hired as a Patrolman.

1987- Scott Slagle hired as a Patrolman.

1990- The first full-time Officers were added : Chief Coking, Joseph Huth, Scott Slagle, and John Michelli. The Police Department moved to the "new" Municipal Building near Kunkle Park.

1996- Russ Coking retired as Police Chief and Scott Slagle was appointed to the position. Patrolman Dave Shero was hired. Washinton Township residents are served by a full time, 24/7  Police Department for the first time.

1997- Patrolman Steve Aulerich was hired

1998- Patrolman Tim Yesho was hired

1999- Patrolman Vince Surace was hired

2001- The Department currently consists of 6 full time Officers and 3 part time Officers, 4 Patrol cars and 1 Ford Explorer. The Police Department currently is housed in the 1st floor of the Municipal Complex at Kunkle Park.  

2002- Patrolman Jason Montgomery and Robert Kirkland were hired as part-time patrolmen.

2003- Patrolman Ken Hollis and Mark Junod were hired. Bringing the department roster to 9 patrolman, 6 full time and 3 part-time. Jason Montgomery promoted to full time position, Robert Kirkland resigned to accept a full-time position with Vandergrift Police.

2004-Department creates a sergeant position- Dave Shero was appointed to this position. Patrolman Yesho resigned to accept a position as investigator with the State Attorney General. Patrol Officers Uniform was changed from Gray shirt and black trouser, to a black shirt and trouser with gold stripe.

2005- Patrolman Hollis was appointed to a full time position. Cole Speer was hired as part-time Patrolman. Westmoreland County switches over to 800 mhz. for dispatch frequencies, much to the dismay of scanner-land.

2006-Patrol Officers issued Tasers as a non-lethal alternative weapon. WTPD is the first department in the area to make this a standard issue to Patrol Officers. Tim Turner is hired as part-time Police Officer.

2007- Brandon Nedley and Dakota Drew are hired as part-time Patrolmen. Patrolman Junod resigned to accept an Officer position with the Allegheny Twp. Police. Patrolman Cole Speer resigned to accept a full time position with Upper Burrell Police.

2008-Phillip Huth hired as part-time Officers. Patrolman Joe Huth retires after 22 years with the department .