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.
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 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!
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!
On Saturday, February 23, 2019, several Penn Hills police officers, including Chief Burton, participated in the 2019 Polar Plunge, held near Heinz Field in downtown Pittsburgh.
The “plungers” tackled cold temperatures and ice cold water in an effort to raise money and awareness for Special Olympics PA. The Penn Hills Police Department has been participating in this event since 2011. Thanks to all who participated, including the many officers from other local law enforcement agencies in Western Pennsylvania.
We want to take an opportunity to recognize and thank Detective William Trogler for his service with the Penn Hills Police Department. Today, Detective Trogler will finish out his 26-year career with our agency and move forward into the next chapter of his life, retirement.
Bill began his journey in Penn Hills in 1992 as a patrol officer, having previously worked for ten years as a police officer with the Murrysville, New Kensington, and Pitcairn police departments. During his tenure here, Bill has served our agency in many roles, which have included working as a patrol sergeant, heading up the crime prevention program, teaching the Drug Abuse Resistance Education program at Linton Middle School, starting the annual PHPD golf outing with former Penn Hills detective Paul Snowden, and working as a juvenile detective in the Criminal Investigative Division, which has been his primary role for many years now.
One of Bill’s most notable accomplishments with our agency has been his instrumental role in the Citizens’ Police Academy that is conducted semi-annually with the Monroeville Police Department. With Chief Burton’s approval, Bill worked closely with Monroeville police Chief Doug Cole to start the program in 2011, dedicating 16 weeks of his time each year to help educate interested residents in the dynamics of 21st-century police work, which has been an enormous success.
Heading into retirement, Bill plans on spending his time with his grandchildren, improving his golf game, and continuing to teach part-time at the Allegheny County Police Training Academy as a certified law enforcement instructor through the Municipal Police Officers’ Education and Training Commission.
From all of us at the PHPD, we wish Bill the best of luck in his future endeavors and again thank him for all the great years of service to our community!
Today we reflect on the ninth anniversary of the passing of Officer Michael Crawshaw. On Sunday, December 6, 2009, Michael lost his life in the line of duty while serving our community.
Michael left a legacy of heroism and human decency that will forever be embraced by the men and women of the Penn Hills Police Department, especially for those who had the privilege of serving with him.
We offer our prayers and thoughts to Michael’s family and to all of those who knew him. Not a day passes that he is not missed. May peace be with you on this day of mourning.
We are pleased to announce that we now offer residents and visitors a safe place to meet for internet purchase exchanges. Located within the visitor parking lot at the new municipal complex are two parking spaces reserved for internet transactions, marked by the sign pictured below.
Monitored by video surveillance, the parking spaces are close to the municipal building, which houses the police department and is always accessible to visitors in need of police assistance.
Sadly, law enforcement agencies throughout the country have been taking reports for robberies that have occurred during meetups for internet transactions. Though most people have good intentions when posting offers on sites like Craigslist, OfferUp, letgo, and Facebook’s Marketplace, some are not legitimate and are merely attempting to lure unsuspecting buyers/sellers carrying cash or valuables, with the intent of robbing them.
We also encourage buyers and sellers to read the advisory content posted by most internet marketplace sites, warning of potential scams and other issues. Remember the adage “If it sounds too good to be true, it probably is.”