Elizabethtown Police Officer Anthony Lederer

Elizabethtown Police Officer Anthony Lederer grew up in Kensington, a mainly low-income and high-crime neighborhood in Philadelphia.

“I had some disciplinary issues when I was younger,” Lederer said.

Lederer didn’t finish high school, but eventually acquired his GED. It wasn’t the last obstacle the 31-year-old officer faced.

“I went through a lot of trials and tribulations,” Lederer said. “I suffered from addiction. My late teens into mid-20s I was drinking alcohol seven days a week. I went to rehab for 30 days. Now I’ve been sober for over seven years.”

Lederer started the process of changing his life after he became sober and applied for a position with the City of Philadelphia to become a custodian. It was a thankless job, but Lederer was grateful for the opportunity to work. He was eventually encouraged by an acquaintance who was a police sergeant to join law enforcement.

“He was like: ‘Why don’t you consider policing?’” Lederer said. “I didn’t even know that was a possibility. I applied and never looked back.”

Lederer graduated from the Police Academy and has been working as an officer since 2017. He worked with the Southeastern Pennsylvania Transportation Authority (SEPTA) for roughly five years, working his way up to detective focusing on narcotics violations.

After experiencing multiple violent, traumatic incidents in Philadelphia, Lederer’s partner suggested a move out of the city.

“As much as I did enjoy it, there’s a time when you have to walk away and find something else,” Lederer said. “I started looking and (the Elizabethtown position) popped up. I knew nothing about Lancaster.”

Lederer has been working in the county for about eight months now. He wants to continue focusing on narcotics as he grows in his position. He mentioned eventually wanting to become a drug recognition expert.

His experience battling his own addiction has also proved helpful in certain aspects of the job.

“I think we can find common ground,” Lederer said. “I never want to take away from what they’re going through because I can’t relate to someone who’s struggling with heroin addiction or methamphetamines. But I can say I’ve had struggles and most people don’t expect that. Some cops have had the same experiences, they just aren’t open about it. I’m very open about it because I think that helps me.”

While he may experience a lower volume of crime in Lancaster than Philadelphia, taking care of his mental health still holds importance.

“I love video games and play excessively,” Lederer said on how he winds down after a day of work. “I play Call of Duty and NBA 2K.”

Lederer said he streams himself playing the video games on the platform Twitch, which he has nearly 20,000 followers on.

“All the police departments crack up because they see me on YouTube and stuff,” he said. “Nobody knows I’m a police officer.”

He also said he confides in his fiancé and spends time with his golden doodle, Chester, after a rough day.

Lederer didn’t necessarily pick Lancaster County, it chose him after he went onto the PA Chief’s website to find another job outside of Philadelphia. He’s grown to enjoy to slower pace of the “mini city” as he described it.

“People are very approachable here,” Lederer said. “Yes, there are certain circumstances where people don’t like police, but even then I can still hold a conversation, understand their difference of opinion, and go my separate way. That’s what keeps me here and attracts me to the area is the community’s very receptive of all law enforcement.”

And to those thinking about a career in law enforcement, Lederer recommends the career.

“Great benefits, great time off, great pay,” he said. “Not that that’s everything, but if you want to get into law enforcement, I recommend it. If you do, don’t do it for the money because you’re not going to be of service to the public like you should.

“I think that people should try to get in now because the tides are turning and there’s a difference in policing. There’s far more good cops in the world than bad cops despite what you see the media portray on either side.”

MEDIA CONTACT: Sean McBryan,; Twitter: @SeanMcBryanLanc.