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.
On 12/21/2021, Chief Howard Burton officially retired from the Penn Hills Police Department. Chief Burton served the Penn Hills community with honor and integrity for 52 years. We would like to take a moment to recognize Chief Burton’s accomplishments and dedication to the community.
Chief Burton began his career with the PHPD in 1969 when he was hired as patrol officer. It was obvious early in Chief Burton’s career he was going to be a valued asset to the department. After spending several years as a patrol officer, Chief Burton was promoted to the position of Detective in the Criminal Investigations Division. Chief Burton spent years investigating violent crime and narcotics complaints. Chief Burton always put victims and the community first.
After working as a Detective, Chief Burton was promoted to Patrol Sergeant where he supervised patrol officers in the field. Chief Burton was then promoted to Lieutenant where he was the administrator of both the Patrol and Investigative Divisions. Chief Burton spent several years in these positions overseeing departmental operations. Chief Burton honed his leadership skills during this time which prepared him for his next step as Chief of Police.
Chief Burton took over command of the department as the OIC from 1995-1999. In 1999, Chief Burton was officially promoted to Chief of Police. The roll he would hold for the next 22 years before his retirement in December of 2021.
Chief Burton was one of the most well respected and well known Law Enforcement Officers in Western Pennsylvania. Chief Burton earned the respect of every officer that served with him. Chief Burton was a true leader in every sense of the word and led by example. Chief Burton’s experience and knowledge will be missed by the entire PHPD. From all of us at the PHPD, enjoy your retirement Chief!
The Penn Hills Police Department recently had two officers retire from the force. Sgt. Michael Hutchison retired with 23 years of service and Officer David Pine retired with 20 years of service. The Penn Hills PD wishes Sgt. Hutchison and Officer Pine the best in retirement.
On June 18th 2021, Officers Cullen Bugel and Evan Mignogna graduated from the Allegheny County Police Academy. Chief Burton was selected as a speaker/award presenter for the graduation and presented the officers with their graduation certificates.
Officers Bugel and Mignogna graduated following six months of intense educational and physical training. Both officers were among the select few members of their class to receive awards at the graduation. Officer Bugel was chosen as most likely to succeed and Officer Mignogna was awarded for driver proficiency and selected as the speaker for his class.
The Penn Hills Police Department is proud to be one of a few Municipal Police Departments in Allegheny County that will hire qualified applicants and send them to the Academy.
Yesterday, Sergeant David Wilkinson finished his career with the Penn Hills Police Department, having served the community for the last 30 years. We would like to take a moment to recognize Sergeant Wilkinson for over three decades of service with our agency.
On April 1, 1991, David Wilkinson began his career in Penn Hills as a patrol officer. David worked as a patrol officer for several years and later served in the Canine Division. He handled three different police service dogs for over fifteen years, a demanding and challenging role within the department.
Following a successful career as a canine handler, David was promoted to the rank of Sergeant in 2015, remaining in the Uniform Patrol Division to supervise police officers in the field. He fulfilled the duties of this position for the last six years.
David, from all of us at the PHPD, we wish you the very best in retirement. Your many years of service to the Penn Hills residents is a testament of your commitment to policing, and we extend our sincere appreciation for all your hard work.
Please be advised that PennDOT is closing Frey Road (SR2063) between Cameron Drive and Laurie Drive on April 26, 2021, at 7:00 AM for road repair work. Detours will be posted, and motorists should plan an alternate route. PennDOT expects the project to last two weeks with a reopening date no later than May 10, 2021.
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.
We will always remember Sergeant Schrott and Officer Connolly for making the ultimate sacrifice serving the residents of Penn Hills. Our thoughts and prayers are with their families on this 49th anniversary of their passing.
Today we take a moment to reflect on the passing of Penn Hills police Canine Joker, who loyally served our community until his death in the line of duty.
Joker was three years old when his police service was cut short, only working for one year with his handler, Officer Paul Schawalder.
Joker’s memory will forever remain in our hearts. He was a faithful and loyal four-legged servant who loved coming to work to take a bite out of crime!
Today marks the eleventh anniversary of Michael Crawshaw’s untimely death in the line of duty, while serving the citizens of Penn Hills. As we reflect on Michael’s passing, we remember a young man who devoted his life to service, without contemplating or worrying about the risks he took daily to protect others, including his colleagues.
Our thoughts and prayers are with Michael’s family and friends. His memory will forever remain in the hearts of his fellow officers with the Penn Hills and University of Pittsburgh police departments. Thank you for your service, Michael.
There is no greater love than to lay down one’s life for one’s friends. – John 15:13
On behalf of the Allegheny County District Attorney’s Office, we want to warn residents about several scams involving the current COVID-19 pandemic. Unfortunately, during a time uncertainty and worry, some seek to capitalize on others’ misfortunes.
Two scams circulating in our area involve robocalls and the expected stimulus checks from the federal government. For detailed information on both scams and how to avoid falling victim to them, click here to read the full document from the district attorney’s office.
As always, if you suspect that you may be the target of a potential scam, call 9-1-1 and request to speak with a police officer before following any requests made by the scammer.
Please read the “Stay at Home Order” issued by Governor Wolf and the Commonwealth of Pennsylvania. Full details of the order are viewable at pa.gov/COVID-19. The order took effect at 8:00 PM on March 23, 2020 and will now last until April 30, 2020. The order affects all residents of Pennsylvania.
We ask that residents be mindful of the “Stay at Home Order,” and understand that this is an unprecedented situation we are all experiencing right now. Those who are most at risk (the elderly and persons with underlying health conditions) from the COVID-19 virus may, and more than likely, comprise our own family members, friends, and neighbors. It is important to follow the CDC guidelines that help prevent the spread and transmission of the COVID-19 virus, including frequent hand washing and maintaining social distancing practices, which consist of keeping a distance of at least six feet from others in public settings.
If you have questions about the “Stay at Home Order,” COVID-19 symptoms and local statistics, or anything related to the current local emergency, please contact the Penn Hills Emergency Operations Center by calling (412) 342-1199. The center operates around the clock.
If you can afford to, please consider the many local takeout food options available here in Penn Hills. Our restaurants are counting on your patronage right now more than ever.
Penn Hills police officers will continue to provide all essential policing services to residents and visitors of the municipality. Despite some rumors circulating, we are not conducting random traffic stops to determine compliance with the “Stay at Home Order.” Regardless of which walk of life you hail from, we are all in this together, and we look forward to working with our fellow citizens to overcome this world crisis and resume our normal lives as soon as possible. Thank you and be safe!