The Richland Township Police Department is comprised of 19 full time and 6 part-time officers along with 1 civilian records clerk. The department provides 24 hour service to the Richland area covering 20.8 square miles. The department is comprised of 3 divisions, Patrol, Criminal Investigations and Special Operations. The Patrol Unit is comprised of officers who respond on calls for service, conduct accident investigations, and investigate initial criminal offenses. Criminal Investigations is made up of 3 fulltime detectives who investigate crimes that occur within the boundaries of Richland Township.
Officer hours at the Richland Township Police Department are 8:00 AM – 12:00 PM and 1:00 PM to 4:00 PM.
If this is an emergency please do not use this form to contact us. Please call our offices or 9-1-1.
Contact Information Richland Township Police Department 322 Schoolhouse Road, Suite 110 Johnstown Pennsylvania 15904-2924
Police, Fire, Ambulance - EMERGENCY 911
Police - Non-emergency 1-800-281-1680
Police - Administrative Offices 814-266-8333
Chief of Police Michael S. Burgan
Richland Township Police Department
The Richland Township Police Department is comprised of 19 full time and 6 part-time officers along with 1 civilian records clerk. The department provides 24 hour service to the Richland area covering 20.8 square miles. The department is comprised of 3 divisions, Patrol, Criminal Investigations and Special Operations. The Patrol Unit is comprised of officers who respond on calls for service, conduct accident investigations, and investigate initial criminal offenses. Criminal Investigations is made up of 3 fulltime detectives who investigate crimes that occur within the boundaries of Richland Township. These officers are also involved in the Cambria County Drug Task Force as well as the Southwest Pennsylvania Safe Streets Federal Task Force created to combat drugs and violence. Special Operations is made up of officers assigned with in the department to the regional S.E.R.T. Team and one full time K-9 officer. All officers are certified by the Municipal Police Officers Education and Training Commission and have received extensive In-Service training by the department, State and Federal Agencies.
The Richland Township Police Department maintained a Central Communications Center for 18 years serving 23 municipalities providing service to the police, fire, ambulance, and three hospitals including a life support helicopter. During this time Richland became the center for training of local officers, and developed a strong working relationship with all law enforcement agencies within a three county area. Our dispatching center closed in 1992 when 9-1-1 was implemented. A good working relationship still exists with the police departments in our area as to the training and sharing of services and intelligence information. All departments in both counties have mutual aid agreements with the Richland Township Police department, which causes them to work closely in all matters.
In 2001 the Richland Township Police Department entered into a cooperative agreement with the Johnstown Police Department for the formation of a multi-jurisdictional Special Emergency Response Team (S.E.R.T.). The function of this team is to provide assistance in hostage, weapon or shooting calls and high risk warrants. These officers are highly trained and must meet stringent physical and weapons standards. Currently 9 officers from the Richland Police Dept are assigned to the team.
In 2005 a motorcycle unit was added to the Patrol Division to increase visibility and assist in public relations throughout the township. They have been used in several vital functions since its inception.
2006 saw the return to our department of a police K-9 after a 20 year absence. The addition of Nero has greatly enhanced the patrol and special operations division with in the department. Nero and his handler went through an extensive 6 week training program in the detection of explosive material and patrol capabilities.
The Patrol Division of the Richland Township Police Department is tasked with the responsibility of preserving the peace, protecting life and property twenty four hours a day, seven days a week. The Patrol Division is comprised of 14 full time officers and seven part time officers who are mandated to protect and serve the community of Richland Township. A few of their responsibilities include traffic enforcement, accident investigations, criminal investigation including follow ups, and calls for service. There are three evidence technicians assigned to different shifts, seven certified breath test operators and four certified breath test supervisors. There are four shifts with a sergeant in charge of each one. The patrol division is required to respond to all incidents and take whatever action they determine to be appropriate including making referrals to health care providers or social agencies. The Patrol Division is the front line and the back bone of the police department and the patrol officer is the first person a citizen comes in contact with when requesting assistance. Under all types of adverse conditions the patrol officer must always remain professional and considerate.
The SERT Team is made up of three units, the entry team, the long rifle team and the hostage negotiators The SERT team consists of highly trained officers that deal with armed and violent criminals in high risk warrant service and barricaded suspects. They also deal with incidents ranging from disturbed or suicidal subjects to hostage situations. The SERT team trains twice a month for all types of situations that they may encounter. They also cross train with other SERT/SWAT teams throughout western Pennsylvania. The Johnstown/Richland SERT team played a vital role in securing the John Murtha/Cambria County Airport on 9/11 when flight 93 had entered the airspace over Johnstown. The SERT team has been actively involved with the protection of numerous dignitaries including the President, Vice-President of the United States, U.S. Attorney General and the head of the Drug Enforcement Administration to name a few.
In May 2005 the Richland Township Police Department introduced its newest member to the community, Nero, a three year old German Shepherd. His handler, Officer Tim Rhoades has been with the police department since May 2004. Nero was obtained through the Region 13 Terrorism Task Force at no expense to the township. Both Officer Rhoades and Nero went through extensive training at the Von Der Haus Gill K-9 Academy for 7 weeks in Wapakoneta, OH. The Owner/Trainer Al Gill is a K-9 Master Trainer in Explosives, Narcotics, and Patrol. While attending the K-9 Academy, Nero and Officer Rhoades received Certification in Explosive Detection, Obedience, Aggression Control, Tracking, Article Searches, Area Searches and Building Searches through IPWDA – International Police Work Dog Association and OPOTA – Ohio Peace Officer Training Academy. After completing the initial K-9 training in Ohio, Nero and Officer Rhoades attended a week long, Patrol K-9 course with the City of Pittsburgh K-9 Unit. Officer Rhoades trains daily with Nero including two eight hour training days a month with the City Of Pittsburgh and Region 13 K-9 Units.
Officer Rhoades and Nero have been used extensively in Richland Township and throughout Cambria and Somerset Counties for tracking, building searches and explosive detection. They are on call 24 hours a day seven days a week. They have put on demonstrations for civic organizations, the Richland Elementary School and other schools in the area. The Richland Township K-9 Unit is available for demonstrations for any organization or school simply by writing a letter of request to Chief Richard L. Barlett C/O Richland Township Police Department.
The motorcycle Unit is a highly visible, community oriented, patrol unit. The motorcycle is recognized as an effective patrol vehicle in that it combines mobility with close citizen contact. In addition to the Unit’s patrol responsibilities the motor officers are used to build and improve community relations. In essence the unit is used to improve the police department’s image within the community and build on the department’s relationship with the children and young adults of Richland Township.