Below you will find information on recent activity involving the Penn Hills Police Department, as well as information on current events happening around the municipality that our department may be involved with. This is not a list outlining all police calls for service and incident descriptions, though, at times, we may deem it necessary to post information or photos seeking tips on unsolved crimes or missing persons.
Sunday, December 6, 2009. What began as a quiet day in Penn Hills suddenly became everyone’s worst nightmare and would forever alter the lives of many.
For a group of Penn Hills police officers, the image of a friend and colleague slain in his police car will never disappear. Phone calls to those not working, reporting the unthinkable, became a reality. For most police officers, it’s something you only hear about. All police officers understand the dangers of the profession, but most believe they won’t make the ultimate sacrifice – that the tragedy won’t strike so close to home. Unfortunately, it did.
For two loving parents, a brother, many close friends and extended family members, it was news nobody could dream of receiving. The kind that makes your heart sink into the pit of your stomach, after being torn apart. A son that would not be returning home. A brother that would no longer share work stories with his sibling, both of whom chose the same calling. A great friend never again there to watch the game, attend a concert, or just share a drink with at the end of a long week.
For a community, it was an act of violence shattering a sense of decency existing within many American towns. It left many angered and sad. Citizens offered their condolences and support to officers they didn’t necessarily know, left piles of flowers in a quiet police department lobby, and messages of hope and comfort adorned roadside signs throughout Penn Hills.
Ten years ago, Michael Crawshaw’s life was cut short while doing something that meant so much to him, being a police officer and proudly serving others with honor and integrity. Today, his legacy lives on.
Although a decade has passed since that fateful day, the heartache and grieving reminds us of what a special person Officer Crawshaw was, and the effect he had on those who knew him, and even those who didn’t.
Michael, we will never forget the decision you made to respond, without hesitation, toward looming danger, knowing you would likely arrive before your back-up did. It’s a true sign of courage and bravery – both qualities defining heroism. On that day, we will forever remember you as a hero. That can never be taken away.
Recently, the Municipality of Penn Hills partnered with Savvy Citizen™, a Pittsburgh-based notification program that allows localities to send out important messages to their communities. Citizens can participate for free to receive these messages.
A free mobile app can be downloaded by visiting Google Play (Android users) or the App Store (IOS users). You can register for your free Savvy Citizen™ account by using the mobile app, or through the company’s online registration page.
Upon registering for an account, select which communities you would like to receive notifications from. When information is posted, you will receive the notification immediately.
We want to take a moment to remind motorists of the laws concerning school buses. Now that the school year is beginning, it is imperative that drivers pay attention to stopped school buses picking up and dropping off students.
Passing a stopped school bus with its red signals activated and stop sign extended may result in a $250.00 fine, five (5) demerit points added to your driving record, a sixty (60) day driver’s suspension, and increased insurance premiums when your policy renews.
We are pleased to announce that we are now accepting applications for the 2019 Citizens Police Academy – Fall Session class. Class size is limited to twenty (20) students, with preference given to Penn Hills and Monroeville residents. Application packages are now available at the Penn Hills and Monroeville Police Departments, or they can be downloaded from this site by clicking here.
Please complete your application and other necessary paperwork/checks as soon as possible to confirm your spot in this class. Many local law enforcement agencies offer Citizens Police Academy classes at various times throughout the year; however we believe our program is unique, offering students a chance to drive an actual police car on a “skid pad,” and to participate in live firearms training on a state-of-the-art shooting range maintained by the Monroeville Police Department and the FBI.
For additional information on the program, and the requirements to apply, please visit our Citizens Police Academy page. The first class will be held at 7:00 PM on Wednesday, September 11, 2019, at the new Penn Hills police headquarters. Classes will continue each week through October 30, 2019, and will be held at the Monroeville Police Department Training Center.
We wanted to take a moment and thank everyone that attended last week’s canine fundraising event at McDonald’s. The event was very successful, and that directly results from the support we received from the community. A special thanks to McDonald’s franchisee Roy Draper, for sponsoring this event and donating proceeds from his restaurant’s sales to assist with the purchase of a new police service dog.
On Tuesday, June 4, 2019, several Penn Hills police officers took part in the 2019 “Be a Fan” Law Enforcement Torch Run. The 150+ mile run started at home plate in PNC Park and will finish today at Penn State University in State College, PA. The purpose of the event is to raise money, support, and awareness for Special Olympics Pennsylvania and the athletes who take part in the games.
Special Olympics segments the run into three days and it includes over fifty law enforcement teams throughout the state. Our agency committed to “own” one of the fifty-three segments of the course and has done so since this event returned to the area in 2011. Our portion of the course began on Business Route 22 at the Sheetz in Wilkins Township and finished at the first Sheetz coming into Monroeville.
A special thanks to Vigliotti Landscape & Construction, a Penn Hills’ business, for sponsoring our leg of the run. We greatly appreciated your support for the cause!
On May 2, 2019 Officer Ryan Walters lost his partner K9 Riggs to an unexpected bout with cancer. We immediately received an outpouring of support from the community; especially from those who appreciate the tremendous value police service dogs offer to the communities they serve.
As an iconic restaurant, McDonald’s has served Penn Hills’ residents with their delicious burgers and crispy French fries for decades. In a much appreciated gesture, they have reached out to us to extend their support to our agency.
Please join our canine handlers and their four-legged partners on June 6, 2019 at the McDonald’s on Saltsburg Road for a special fundraiser that benefits the PHPD Canine Division. McDonald’s will donate 20% of all food sales between 5:00 PM and 8:00 PM to assist with the purchase of a new police service dog.
Stop past for the famous fast food you love and help us as we begin our search to find Officer Walters a new best friend to patrol Penn Hills with!
It is with a tremendous amount of sadness that the Penn Hills Police Department announces the passing of police Canine Riggs. Riggs was diagnosed with an advanced stage of cancer that was incurable. His partner and lifelong friend, Officer Ryan Walters, made the decision to end his suffering, and he was gently put to sleep yesterday afternoon.
Riggs was twelve years old and served the community with Officer Walters since 2009. He was a Dutch Shepherd and came to us all the way from Holland. Riggs loved coming to work and riding around with his partner to fight crime every day. We are grateful for all the years he spent with us at the PHPD and will miss his energetic personality. Rest in peace Riggs. Thank you for all the wonderful years you gave us!
On Saturday, March 25, 1972, Sergeant William Schrott and Officer Bartley Connolly Jr. were killed in the line of duty while serving with the Penn Hills Police Department. They were the first Penn Hills police officers to lose their lives in service to our community.
Sergeant Schrott and Officer Connolly will always be remembered for the ultimate sacrifice they made serving the residents of Penn Hills. Our thoughts and prayers are with their families on this 47th anniversary of their passing.
At Monday night’s council meeting, Chief Burton was recognized for completing what is genuinely a fantastic milestone, fifty years of service with our agency! Chief Burton began his career with the police department in March of 1969. Over the years he worked his way up through the ranks, starting as a patrol officer, then working as a detective, supervising officers on the road as a sergeant, overseeing operations as a lieutenant, and finally being appointed to the position of Chief of Police in 1999. Chief, thank you for all the years of selfless service to the community!
In an ideal setting, the PHPD welcomed in a new generation of police officers to its ranks. Officers Amanda Duncan, Kevin Persichetti, Jacob Smith, and James Spade were sworn-in as the municipality’s latest crime fighters. We congratulate them on their appointment to our agency and wish them success in their careers as Penn Hills police officers!