History of the Exeter Township Police Department
In 1949 the Exeter Township Police Department was formed at the request of numerous residents who presented a petition to the Board of Supervisors requesting the Board establish a local police department. The Board appointed John P. Horine as a part-time officer serving twenty hours per week in Exeter Township.
On February 1, 1950, John Horine was appointed as a full time police officer of Exeter and the first Police Department in the Township’s history was born. In 1952 a second police officer was appointed, and Officer Horine was appointed Chief of Police.
As several years passed, the Police Department continued to grow due to population increases, increases in crime, traffic problems and commercialization of the Township. As a result of all these contributing factors, the Police Department took a proactive response to these issues and began to specialize in those areas. The Department did this by creating specialized units to handle the Township’s problems. In 1991, the Detective Bureau was the first special unit to be established. The Unit was responsible for the investigations of any in-depth criminal activity, so as to allow the patrol officers the ability focus on the patrol of businesses and neighborhoods in Exeter Township. Since 1991, the Detective Unit has had to grow in staffing in order to handle the increased amount of crime entering Exeter Township. As of 2019, the Detective Unit is staffed with 4 Detectives and one Detective Sergeant. In addition to the Detectives, the Police Department had to establish an Evidence Technician Program to provide support to detectives investigating each crime.
The second specialized unit formed by the Police Department was the Traffic Unit. The unit was established in 1991 due to many fatal accidents which were occurring on the 23.2 miles of state roadway in Exeter Township. Currently, the Police Department patrols a total of 145.8 miles of roadway which occupies the 24.5 square miles of Exeter Township. The Traffic Unit consisted of two officers highly trained in motor vehicle accident investigations, moving violations and Commercial Motor Vehicle violations. This Unit was created to provide better service to the residents of Exeter Township and the motorists who pass through the Township on a regular basis.
In 2001, the Police Department once again took a proactive approach to the service it provides to the residents of Exeter and purchased two motorcycles. The reason for the purchase was to provide a quicker response to accidents on congested roadways. In 2002, the Motorcycle Unit was disbanded due to a shortage in manpower; however, the Traffic Unit remained intact. In 2013, the Traffic Unit was disbanded and then revitalized in 2017.
Another specialized unit created by the police department was the bicycle unit. It was established in 1998. The unit was formed to patrol neighborhood areas and other areas in the township inaccessible to motor vehicles. The unit also allowed officers to be more accessible to the public.
Another prevalent specialized unit in the Department is the K-9 unit. It was established in 2000 and consisted of two officers and two narcotics detection dogs. In 2002, the unit was expanded to four dogs (two drug and two explosives detection). The expansion was in response to a rise in drug traffic and the needs to respond to bomb threats in the area.
Since 1949, the Exeter Township Police Department has continued to provide the best quality of service to its residents. This has been achieved through intensive testing and screening of new hires and the establishment of a rank system to enable proper management of the department.
Since 1952, the department has had a total of seven chiefs. Currently, the Police Department consists of a chief, two lieutenants, four patrol platoons lead by a sergeant, a traffic unit and a Detective Unit. Patrol officers work 12 hour shifts with every other weekend off. Each squad patrols a total of 145.8 miles of roadway which occupies the 24.5 square miles of Exeter Township.