The Patrol Division is commanded by Captain Tom Brookhouser. This division has overall responsibility for: preventive patrol; traffic law enforcement; maintenance of public order; protection of property, enforcement of criminal law violations; response to calls for service; investigation of crimes and incidents; provision of special services to the public; and field training of probationary deputies. Lancaster County covers an area of 839 square miles, has a population of approximately 317,272 people, 23 cities, towns and villages, twelve state lakes and recreation areas.
Deputies patrol Lancaster County in marked patrol cars, responding to calls for service, enforcing traffic regulations, serving warrants, conducting follow-up investigations, giving presentations, and generally assisting citizens. The Patrol Division responds to approximately 12,000 calls for service annually.
The Sheriff’s Office utilizes mountain bikes to patrol towns, villages, lakes, and hiking/cycling trails in Lancaster County, allowing deputies greater access to areas not easily accessible by cruisers. This also provides local residents and other citizens the opportunity to approach and observe deputies in their respective communities and recreational areas. Bike patrol promotes a sense of safety and security to the public, along with a visible deterrent to the criminal element and promotes physically-fit deputies.
The use of bicycles provides deputies additional tools to use in the course of their duties that help maintain lower costs associated with operating motorized cruisers. Deputies interested in the Bike Patrol Unit must be in good physical condition. The Patrol Division Captain selects members from a list of volunteers. Deputies must attend and satisfactorily complete a bike patrol training course.
Deputies are taught:
- Bicycle safety
- Emergency skills
- Obstacle negotiations
- Riding techniques
- Suspect approach techniques
- Tactical dismounts
Deputies assigned to the Bike Patrol Unit are considered regular patrol deputies and assigned accordingly. Deputies assigned to other divisions may perform bike patrol functions for special details when permitted. The Bike Patrol Unit is primarily funded through donations from private individuals and businesses. Donations are used to purchase new bikes and equipment. The Lancaster County Sheriff's Office welcomes citizen and business participation in sustaining this worthwhile program.
The Sheriff's Office utilizes a team of specially trained traffic accident investigators at the scene of fatal traffic crashes and other serious accidents involving criminal charges. Investigators are chosen and complete hundreds of hours of classroom and practical training to become certified to reconstruct collisions. Several of the members of the LSO accident team are certified through the Accreditation Commission for Traffic Accident Reconstruction (ACTAR), which is a nationally recognized professional certification. The accident team is supervised by Sergeant Drew Bolzer.
School Resource Officers (SROs)
There are four high schools in Lancaster County: Norris, Waverly, Raymond Central and Malcolm. Each of these schools have deputies assigned as resource officers for their respective district. Deputies assigned as SROs receive extensive specialized training in school safety, threat assessment, and active shooter responses. Additionally, SROs provide support and training to the staff and students by making numerous presentations. During the school year, deputies are present at the schools full time and supplement other LSO divisions during the summer break.