locally owned since 1854

Area police again swarm the streets in saturation detail, make multiple arrests

By Dan Miller

danmiller@pressandjournal.com

717-944-4628
Posted 12/6/17

Police from Middletown joined forces with officers from Dauphin County and other jurisdictions during a seven-hour “zero tolerance” saturation detail conducted from 8 p.m. Saturday, Dec. …

This item is available in full to subscribers.

Please log in to continue

E-mail
Password
Log in

Area police again swarm the streets in saturation detail, make multiple arrests

Posted

Police from Middletown joined forces with officers from Dauphin County and other jurisdictions during a seven-hour “zero tolerance” saturation detail conducted from 8 p.m. Saturday, Dec. 2, until 3 a.m. Sunday, Dec. 3.

Put together by officers from Middletown and Highspire police departments, the detail followed a similar event that was led by Middletown police throughout the borough on Sept. 27.

Only this time, the detail was far more extensive, taking in not just Middletown but with officers swarming throughout Lower Swatara and Londonderry townships, and Highspire and Royalton boroughs, said Middletown Police Sgt. Dennis Morris.

Police made 15 arrests during the detail. Seven arrests were made in Middletown, three in Lower Swatara, and five in Highspire.

Twenty to 25 officers participated, including police from Middletown, Highspire, and Lower Swatara; plus State Police and a large contingent of officers from Dauphin County representing state and county parole and probation and the county sheriff’s department.

The arrests came in a variety of ways. Officers made “numerous” DUI arrests, some a direct result of the zero tolerance standard that police enforced throughout the detail.

For example, one vehicle pulled over for two rear light bulbs not working led to the driver being arrested for DUI and the passenger being arrested on a drug charge.

A number of arrests stemmed from police and officers serving warrants and from the county officers doing probation checks in the homes of offenders.

The swarm made it possible for county officers accompanied by police to do probation checks late at night, which isn’t typical, Morris said.

The offenders didn’t expect the law to be knocking on their door, and as a result a number of offenders were caught violating conditions of their probation or parole.

“Some of them were doing drugs when we got there,” Morris said.

Police being able to surge in a specific area on a specific incident led to some arrests that might not have been possible otherwise, if just one or two officers were handling the situation, Morris noted.

For instance, one offender in Lower Swatara was taken into custody after a vehicle and foot pursuit, because “so many people” were able to join in the chase.

In Middletown 10 probation checks were done, four warrants served, and nine traffic stops.

Four probation checks were done in Lower Swatara, one warrant served, and eight traffic stops made.

In Highspire there were six probation checks, one warrant served, and seven traffic stops.

In Royalton, State Police and the county did three probation checks and tried to serve one warrant but the offender was not home.

Four probation checks were conducted in Londonderry Township.

The detail was planned by Middletown Patrolman Tyler Zehring and Highspire Police Officer Jeff Levan.

The detail didn’t cost any extra for taxpayers in Middletown and the other jurisdictions, Morris said. The county and state police are not billing the municipalities. Morris believes one Middletown officer got overtime, but that was all for the borough.

Lessons were learned and applied from what happened in the first detail in September. The county this time supplied a van to transport offenders from the scene to the county booking center.

This allowed officers to stay on the streets during the detail, instead of having to accompany an offender to the booking center, Morris said.

Residents noticed the show of force. Morris said a number of citizens came up to him and asked why they were seeing so many officers and vehicles.

The Sept. 27 detail in Middletown was the first one conducted in the borough since 2010. Police Chief George Mouchette pledged it wouldn’t be the last, and he made good on that promise with the multi-jurisdictional swarm on Dec. 2.

The saturation details will continue, Morris said, adding that he’d like to see one “every other month at a minimum.”

Besides showing residents that police are out there in force doing their job, the details solidify the working relationship officers in Middletown have with their counterparts in the other municipalities, as well as with state police and the county, Morris said.

Comments

No comments on this story | Please log in to comment by clicking here
Please log in or register to add your comment