Northern York County Regional Police Chief Carl Segatti investigates a fatal crash, in this York Daily Record/Sunday News file shot. Segatti was the longtime chief of this veteran regional police department and has since retired. Also of interest: A list of traumatic, painful incidents that rocked York County and Errant pickup driver knocked on-duty fire policeman out of his shoes and Beauty of York County’s Susquehanna Trail shrouds its dangers.
York County’s government might be denied by law to fund a countywide police department. That’s in contrast to the vision of its founding fathers, who so earnestly sought police protection that they successfully split from Lancaster County in 1749, in part, so they could have their own force.
But the county has been a leader in the regionalization of police departments, an across-the-grain development in a county – and state – that has been slow to adopt such shared services or mergers of municipal and school governments.
In fact, its Northern York County Regional Police Department was an early responder after an act was passed in 1972 that permitted municipalties to delegate individual police powers to a regional department… .
Julia Shrader visits with ‘Dorothy,’ animated figure used by the Northern Regional Police to educate people about the department and safety.
The Northern Regional group began forming in late September 1972, with Dover Township, Dover Borough, Wellsville Borough, Manchester Township and Paradise Township taking a piece of the action.
“The governing board of the North York County Regional Police Dept. appointed 14 men and one secretary to the payroll during a meeting Tuesday night,” the York Daily Record reported on Sept. 28, 1972.
Dover Township’s Police Chief Harry Erb Jr. became the regional unit’s first chief. The goal was to begin regular patrols about two weeks later.
The regional group has grown since then.
According to the department’s Web site, headquarters was temporarily located in Dover Township’s municipal building.
In 1974, the Police Department moved to its permanent quarters at 1445 E. Canal Road, near Dover, and the headquarters building was expanded in 1986 and 1996.
Today, Dover Township, Dover Borough, Manchester Township, Paradise Township, Conewago Township, North York Borough, Franklin Township and Jackson Township are members of Northern Regional, an area of about 150 square miles.
The Web site lists a roster of 45 officers, four full-time civilians and eight part-time civilians.
York County’s founders would have loved a sheriff’s department of that size.
This map with overlay, courtesy of 10,000 Friends of Pennsylvania, shows the various police departments covering York County today. York County separated from Lancaster County in 1749, in part, because of the need for law enforcement west of the Susquehanna River.