Abington Township Police Department is a State and Internationally Accredited Police Agency with an authorized strength of 92 Officers and a total workforce of 160 employees. The Department is supported by an annual budget of over 20 million dollars. In 2018 the Department responded to 43,709 calls for service and handled 996 Part I Offenses which are the offenses that the FBI classifies as most serious. 351 individuals were arrested for committing a Part I Offense. The Department investigated 1,976 Part II Offenses. A total of 1,182 were charged with a Part II Offense. The Department issued 6,383 traffic citations, 6,618 warnings for traffic violations, and investigated 1,500 traffic accidents.
A Message from the Chief of Police, Patrick Molloy
The men and women of the Abington Township Police Department are honored and privileged to serve and protect this great community. As an organization, we remain committed to the philosophy of community-oriented policing, knowing that we cannot perform our duties effectively without the trust of our citizens. Sir Robert Peel, who is known as “The Father of Modern Policing,” outlined the foundation of policing in two of his 9 Policing Principles back in 1829.
“To recognize always that the power of the police to fulfill their functions and duties is dependent on public approval of their existence, actions and behavior, and on their ability to secure and maintain public respect. To maintain at all times a relationship with the public that gives reality to the historic tradition that the police are the public and that the public are the police, the police being the only members of the public who are paid to give full-time attention to duties which are incumbent on every citizen in the interests of community welfare and existence.”
These fundamentals continue to guide the members of our Department and our profession today, as we strive to meet the values and expectations of our community. We also strive to always put the needs of the community first as we work together to build a relationship based upon mutual respect and trust. Our officers work every day to improve the quality of life for all our citizens, while faithfully performing their duties in accordance with the United States Constitution, the International Code of Police Ethics, and all federal, state and local laws. “To Protect and Serve with PRIDE” has been our motto for decades, and we remain dedicated to the following core values: Professionalism, Respect, Integrity, Dedication and Esprit De Corps. I am proud of the work that all members of this Department do on a daily basis. As the Chief of Police for the Township of Abington, I am committed to these values, principles and goals, and I welcome an open dialogue with residents, business owners, and other members of this wonderful community in an effort to better serve you.
Patrick Molloy, Chief of Police
Get to Know Us
The mission of the members of the Abington Township Police Department is to protect the rights, safety and property of all persons within Abington Township and to otherwise provide professional service to all who come within our care and jurisdiction. The members of the Abington Township Police Department will be guided by the values of our community and will faithfully perform their duties in accordance with the United States Constitution, the International Code of Police Ethics and all federal, state and local laws.
To accomplish this mission more effectively and efficiently, the members of the Abington Police Department have adopted the motto, “To Protect and Serve with PRIDE”, along with the established goals, objectives, policies and procedures.
Abington Police was the first of three agencies that received the initial accreditation awarded by the Pennsylvania Law Enforcement Accreditation Commission (PLEAC) in 2002. In 2004 Abington Police received international accreditation from the Commission on Accreditation for Law Enforcement Agencies, Inc. (CALEA). In 2010 Abington Police received re-accreditation from CALEA with Flagship Designation which acknowledges achievement and expertise of successful CALEA Accredited Agencies. APD is one of only six municipal Police Departments (out of over 1,200 Departments in Pennsylvania) to be accredited by the Commission for the Accreditation of Law Enforcement Agencies (CALEA). Under a newly implemented process, APD undergoes a review with CALEA on an annual basis in order to maintain its accreditation status. The ongoing re-accreditation process ensures that Abington Police are following the best practices and protocols as established throughout the country. With the network of accredited agencies, oftentimes new policing strategies or areas of awareness are part of an information exchange that enables agencies to respond in a more efficient and relevant manner to the needs of communities.
Twice in the last six years, our Department has been recognized by the IACP with the prestigious Cisco Systems Community Policing Award, an award given to one agency throughout the country in the category of communities with at least fifty thousand residents and no more than two hundred and fifty-thousand residents. Three times in a row, Money Magazine has selected Abington Township as one of the “100 Best Places to Live” (among municipalities with a population between 50,000 and 250,000) and stated that “Safety” was the primary criterion. Abington Township Police Department has been at the forefront of instituting programs to protect the youth of our community and to deter them from crime, violence and addiction. Innovative programs like PAL, School Resource Officers (SRO), DARE, Police Explorers, “Citizens and Police Together,” “Youth Aid Panels,” “Adopt-A-Cop,” the “24 Hour Relay Challenge,” Community Policing, The HUB and “COPPStat” are just some of the proactive, results-oriented programs that have been implemented by the police officers, staff and the approximately 250 dedicated volunteers of the Abington Township Police Department.
Abington Police Department has an outstanding working relationship with the excellent Abington School District (ASD). This cooperative partnership along with others, especially the Abington Community Task Force - were instrumental in Abington repeatedly being recognized as “One of the 100 Best Communities in America for Children” by Colin Powell’s organization; “America’s Promise” (Abington has been a five-time winner). According to America’s Promise: “Abington is one of the 100 Best Communities for young people, in part, because of the work of the Abington Township Police Department and the Abington School District. Together, they address issues concerning children and youth from a reactive effort to a proactive approach.”
As we progress into the new millennium, one might not suspect that the modern, 91-officer Abington Township Police Department had rather humble beginnings. Organized in 1906 as a “police force and night watch,” the APD began with just seven officers, under the command of Chief Gideon Lever. In those days officers worked on horseback or on foot, patrolling a rural Abington Township that looked vastly different from today’s highly developed suburban landscape. Without automobiles or radios, officers relied on a call box system for communications with headquarters. By 1937, however, the Department had grown to 21 officers and replaced its horses with radio-equipped patrol cars.
Tragedy struck APD on June 29th, 1949 when Officer Thomas Mathews, a four-year veteran of the force, was gunned down while investigating a suspicious truck in the Rydal section of the Township. Investigators later determined that the assailant had committed a burglary of a nearby estate just before Ofc. Mathews came upon him. After an intensive manhunt, the killer was arrested in Virginia and subsequently convicted of Ofc. Mathews’ murder.
The Police Department’s modern era began with the arrival of Chief Bill Kelly in 1985. Under the leadership of Chief Kelly the Abington Police added an undercover drug investigation unit; modernized its SWAT team; increased it K-9 capability; initiated community policing and crime prevention as organizational priorities; started a bike patrol, added school resource officers; began a D.A.R.E. program; conducted minority hiring initiatives; and computerized the Department’s day-to-day operations.
Today’s Abington Police Officers cruise their beats in patrol cars or on bicycles. Some have K-9 partners that are trained to sniff out drugs or explosive. Seasoned detectives investigate criminal offenses, while school resource officers build bridges of trust and understanding with the youth of our community. Internet safety courses offered by the Police Department help kids stay safe online.
As a modern, diverse, and professional police agency with a rich organizational history, the Abington Township Police Department stands ready to meet the needs of its citizens in the 21st Century.
The Abington Police Department is committed to serving the Abington community through various programming and support. We have two focus areas our commitment to youth and community partnerships. To lean more, visit our dedicated web-pages by clicking the link below.
The Deputy Chief is currently the Patrol Division Commander and is responsible for all Patrol Operations along with that of included specialized units. The Patrol Division, being the largest division in the department, is comprised of four platoons, each working rotating shifts beginning and ending at 7 a.m. and 7 p.m. with daily roll call briefings scheduled at 6:30 a.m. and 6:30 p.m. There are four platoons consisting of one lieutenant, two sergeants, and 12 officers. Because each platoon oftentimes functions independently and patrol officers are expected to function in a variety of roles, it is critical that the Department distributes a diverse group of officers with special skills across all four platoons as much as possible. For example, platoons are typically comprised of a K-9 officer, Field Training Officers, tactically-trained SWAT officers, Motor Vehicle Accident Reconstructionist and Investigator, DARE Instructors, Firearms-Range Instructors, Crisis Negotiators, Evidence Technicians, Certified First Aid and CPR Instructors, Honor Guard Unit officers and members of our Bike Unit. Having these specialty officers assigned to each platoon enhances our capabilities to respond to the rapidly-changing nature of our community’s calls for service in a safe and efficient manner. Above all, it increases the likelihood that our citizens and our officers remain safe.
Officers are typically assigned to specific zones or geographic areas of the Township known as “beats”. Officers assigned to beats are expected to assume responsibility or adopt a “beat-ownership,” which fosters a sense of pride and teamwork for the beat officers and improves the overall level of accountability. Guided by the principles of community oriented policing, our Department developed a Patrol Division management and operations system merging and applying aspects of Community-Oriented Policing, Problem-Solving and Compstat (COPPStat). As part of this program, each patrol lieutenant and his two sergeants are assigned to one of four geographic quadrants in the Township. They, along with the beat officers, are responsible for traffic complaints, crime trends, neighbor disputes, and many other issues that impact the quality of life.
The Abington Police Department utilizes the latest technology and equipment in their Patrol vehicles and they are outfitted with an essential amount of equipment. Some of this equipment includes emergency lights and sirens, allowing for safer operation of each patrol unit in emergency mode and to protect scenes and citizens. Each vehicle has a computer known as a mobile data terminal (MDT). This computer is essential to today’s law enforcement professional because the communications that are transmitted through various software applications. This software includes our Records Management Software (RMS), Computer Aided Dispatch (CAD), and access to the Justice Network for the Commonwealth of Pennsylvania (JNET). The MDT is also where officers complete their reports prior to the end of each shift. The use of video recording in each patrol vehicle. The Axon Fleet cameras are essential in providing the professional service that we provide in Abington Township. There has been Mobile Vehicle Recording (MVR) equipment in patrol vehicles for sixteen years. Currently the department has a fleet of approximately 27 vehicles.
The Patrol Division has always maintained other first aid equipment that has been used successfully to save many lives over the past decades. This equipment includes an Automatic External Defibrillator (AED) and Bag Valve Mask (BVM) respiratory device for use in respiratory and cardiac arrest. These devices have become common place for all first responders to be trained in all available Basic Life Support techniques. With the current increase in heroin overdoses and potentially deadly forms of other stronger opioids, the Department has installed in all patrol vehicles additional personal protective equipment for officers who may come in contact with these deadly substances.
Abington Township Police Department has partnered with Abington Jefferson Health and is a member of the Opioid console. Abington Jefferson Health in addition to Montgomery County provide Abington Patrol Officers with nasal Narcan. These doses of Narcan provide are officers responding to opioid overdoses the ability to provide lifesaving first aid to victims.
Several years ago, Abington Township determined the need to prevent and limit the extent of how often vehicle pursuits would occur and continue. Training and policies were developed to help control these potentially deadly encounters. The Department purchased Stinger Spike tire deflation devices for all of the patrol vehicles to assist with dealing with pursuit management. These devices have proven effective several times in bringing pursuits to a safe and effective conclusion.
The Department is still one of the only agencies that provides the customer service of unlocking vehicles for citizens who may have unfortunately been locked out of their vehicle. Each patrol vehicle is equipped with a lockout tool kit to help in providing this service while limiting damage to the customer’s vehicle. This also provides a time and money savings to the residents and those who travel through our town.
Robust enforcement of DUI and underage drinking requires an investment and commitment by the department. To assist in these efforts, the Patrol Division has purchased several Portable Breath Test instruments to give the officers the added technology to determine level of intoxication and presence of alcohol on potential violators.
Lastly, the department maintains other equipment that is unique to Abington because of specialty situations that have occurred in the past such as flooding. Personal flotation devices and rescue throw ropes are maintained in each patrol vehicle in order to facilitate rescues of victims who may become trapped from rising flood waters.
All of the described equipment continues to be monitored and reevaluated each year to determine its necessity. While inventory and replacement (as needed) of equipment is conducted on a weekly basis, the process for evaluating and/or upgrading equipment for the patrol vehicles is conducted on an annual basis.
The Patrol Division is also supported by the Community Response Team (CRT). The CRT is comprised of several officers who are assigned to work a flexible schedule that coincides with those periods of increased calls for service. CRT members often flex their work schedule to respond to crime trends, traffic safety concerns, and quality of life issues. They also assist with prisoner transports and beat coverage when platoon officers are assigned to court, mandatory training, or are otherwise unavailable to patrol their assigned beat.
The police department also provides staffing for an officer to work at the Willow Grove Park Mall. This position is fully-funded by the mall’s management company. The officer works a schedule that coincides with the busiest hours of operation and is responsible for all police calls for service on mall property.
The Detective Division is responsible for follow up investigations involving misdemeanor and felony crimes, as well as any other major incident which would impact the safety and quality of life of our citizens. The Detective Division also provides support services for the Patrol Division. The Department is dedicated to providing complete and thorough investigations while protecting victim’s rights. The primary objective of the Detective Division is to reduce the rate of crime by arresting those responsible for committing crimes in our community. The Detective Division is currently managed by a Lieutenant. There are two squads, each consisting of a sergeant and four detectives. In addition, there are two juvenile detectives, and a Special Investigations Unit (SIU), consisting of one sergeant and one detective. The SIU Sergeant also supervises the two juvenile detectives, and the Abington Police Officer assigned to the Montgomery County District Attorney’s Office Narcotics Enforcement Team. Until June, 2019, Abington Police assigned a detective full time to the United States Drug Enforcement Administration (DEA), drug diversion unit. This unit focuses on doctors issuing fraudulent prescriptions, usually for opiate narcotics. In June, 2019, this officer’s roll was reduced to a part-time/ liaison one.
Community Policing Division
The Abington Township Police Department’s Community Policing Division is committed to identifying and addressing Quality of Life issues in conjunction with our Police Officers and Community Leaders. The Division strives to develop constructive partnerships with police officers, citizens, businesses, educators and other agencies, and will render efficient and effective services in an atmosphere of fairness, honesty and compassion. The core value, “Community First” helps guide our decisions.
Drug Abuse Resistance Education (DARE)
The Abington Township Police Department teaches DARE in seven elementary schools, two parochial schools and one private school within Abington Township reaching hundreds of students each year. DARE officers spend approximately 30-40 hours each year in the classroom teaching DARE, in addition to other non-classroom interactions which would include recess, cafeteria and school events. The DARE Program receives funding raised through community events coordinated by Citizens and Police Together (CAPT). The department has committed to maintaining the DARE program which also builds and strengthens the relationships between police, children, educators and the community.
The Abington HUB is a community policing model in which service providers from across sectors in an identified community meet together to address community-based, multi-systemic risk scenarios by offering quick, multi-agency intervention and support. Although most of these cases are non-police problems, the department facilitates the HUB meetings, providing information and assistance for the HUB to resolve issues. The majority of cases involved persons suffering from mental illness others included, domestic violence, substance abuse, runaways, families in financial need and child abuse. Since its inception, 2015, the HUB has handled over 400 cases.
Kids in Safety Seat Program (KISS)
The KISS program is also funded by CAPT. There are two fulltime civilian employees, one part-time civilian employee and one volunteer in the Division who are certified to install child safety seats. They install approximately 80 seats per year. Abington’s KISS program is one of the only programs still in existence in our area.
Youth Aid Panel
As an alternate to official court involvement, juveniles who are referred by an Officer and admit their involvement in an eligible offense are offered the opportunity to participate in the Youth Aid Panel program. They and their families meet with trained community volunteer panels to decide an appropriate resolution, holding the juvenile accountable for his/her criminal actions. A contract is signed between the panel and the juvenile tailored to the specifics of the offense. A contract may involve community service, counseling, restitution and other outcomes. Successful completion of the program by the juvenile will result in a contact with an internal disposition.
School Resource Officers
Resource Officers (SRO’s) assigned to both the Abington Junior and Senior High Schools. Our SRO’s provide a uniformed police presence, and serve as visible, positive role models for the school population. The addition of the SRO complements the Abington Police Department’s commitment to ongoing school-based outreach programs Thanks to the cooperation and commitment of the Abington School District, Abington P.D. has full-time School such as D.A.R.E., the Community Partnership of Youth and Adults, and 24 Hour Relay Challenge.
Community Policing’s Victim’s Services Unit contacts every victim of a crime in Abington Township to connect them with available services.
Student Internship Program
Each semester Community Policing accepts four college students to intern with the department. These students are introduced to the daily workings of a police department and how each division functions. Students must be enrolled in a criminal justice program, have passing grades and a clean criminal background. Many of these students have gone on to be employed by Abington Police Department as Dispatchers, CSO’s and even Police Officers.
The Abington Township Police Department’s Administrative Division is responsible for the fiscal management of the police department, management of the Traffic Safety Unit, the Records and Operations Center, the Animal Control Officer, technology and the police department facilities.
Traffic Safety Unit
The Traffic Safety Unit is focused on the safety of all motoring and pedestrian traffic within Abington Township. Among many other qualifications, this unit is trained in advanced crash investigation techniques. They are responsible for any major crash that occurs within the township. Members of the unit are also part of a network consisting of surrounding Montgomery County townships, where they function on a team of crash investigators for major crashes. The Traffic Safety Unit addresses various traffic related complaints from residents and motorists on a daily basis. These complaints range from speeding vehicles to abandoned automobiles to parking concerns. They maintain an excellent working relationship with PennDOT officials, addressing concerns regarding PennDOT roadways within the township and seeking resources that PennDOT has to offer. The Traffic Safety division is committed to improving the safety for both pedestrian and motoring traffic in Abington Township.
Record and Operations Center (ROC)
The Records and Operations Center is a 24/7 operation which is the first point of contact for citizens who either come into our station or call the station. It is staffed by 8 full time and a pool of 12 part-time employees. The ROC is responsible for the management of records for the police department along with support for the patrol officers covering the street. Duties include auditing reports, data entry into multiple database systems, archiving our records management system, report distribution to both the public and other agencies, security monitoring of our holding cells and the township building, and dispatching during times of extremely high call volume in the county due to major events.
The Abington Township Police Department provides various animal control services to its residents. Services provided vary greatly. Often times sick or injured animals posing a risk to the public are removed from resident’s homes or properties. The Animal Control Officer works with the citizens of the township assisting them with their animal complaints or issues, striving to reach the best possible solution for everyone involved.
Pursuant to Title 35 of the Pennsylvania Consolidated Statutes every municipality in the Commonwealth is required to appoint an Emergency Management Coordinator to be approved by the Governor as well as maintain an up to date Emergency Operations Center (hereinafter “EOC”), Emergency Operations Plan (hereinafter “EOP”) and Notification and Resource Manual (hereinafter NARM”). The Abington Township EOP is an “all hazards” plan that is consistent with the requirements of the National Incident Management System that addresses the capabilities of the Township to deal with various emergency incidents and is reviewed and updated on an annual basis. The NARM is a listing of contact information for Township and County officials and Critical Infrastructure partners, including transportation facilities, utilities, shelters and “special risk” facilities, such as schools, group homes and healthcare facilities. Additionally, the NARM includes a listing of all emergency equipment in the Township as well as contact information for equipment rental and contractors for instances where Township resources have been depleted. The NARM is reviewed and updated on an annual basis.
The EOC is located in the basement conference room of the Township Building and is set up any time there is an anticipated need for activation. Since the creation of the EOC in 1996, it has been activated 39 different times for incidents ranging from large storms (tropical & winter) to planned events that had potential national significance, such as visits from presidential candidates and the papal visit of 2015.
The Abington Township Office of Emergency Management & Planning (hereinafter “EMAP”) staff is comprised of the full-time Emergency Management Coordinator, and several Deputy Coordinators from the Abington Police (hereinafter “APD”) and Fire Departments (hereinafter “ATFD”) that work with EMAP when their particular area of expertise is involved in an incident. The EMAP Coordinator has achieved “Professional Certification” from the Pennsylvania Emergency Management Agency, which is the highest certification available for Emergency Management Personnel from PEMA. He has also completed the FEMA Emergency Management Academy, which is a nationally recognized program for Emergency Management professionals. Additionally, he has 20+ years’ experience as a firefighter with the ATFD and currently serves as the Deputy Chief of the Edge Hill Fire Company. There are also two highly qualified volunteers that work for EMAP, one a retired Abington Police Lieutenant and the other a retired Chief Engineer with the Willow Grove Fire Company, each with 40+ years of experience as first responders.