Northern Lancaster Regional Police Department Detective Theresa Stauffer

Northern Lancaster County Regional Police Detective Theresa Stauffer grew up in Lancaster County and has been serving the same community for the past 22 years.

Stauffer grew up in Manheim and was hired by the neighboring Penn Township when she was only a teenager.

“I grew up in Lancaster County and have never felt a desire to leave,” Stauffer said. “At 19-years-old, I went through the hiring process at Penn Township. You could imagine my disbelief when I discovered that they would take a chance on me. As I grew up in Manheim, I felt so privileged to be given an opportunity to work in my hometown.”

Stauffer comes from a family of law enforcement officers and became interested in the profession herself after taking an American Justice class in her senior year of high school. She never looked back, graduating from the Harrisburg Police Academy in 2000.

“I have always felt a need to give back to my community and be a proponent for the underdog,” Stauffer said.

Penn, Warwick, and Clay Townships joined to form the Northern Lancaster County Regional Police Department in 2012. NLCRPD began providing police services to East Petersburg Borough in 2020.

“When our agency merged and became a regional department, I was able to continue working not only in the area where I grew up, but the area where I’m raising my children,” she said. “I love the feeling of connectedness in our community.”

Stauffer eventually worked her way up to detective, a role in which she enjoys solving complicated crimes and building evidence while bringing justice to a victim of a horrific crime.

Outside of work, Stauffer confides in her husband – who is also a police officer – to talk about emotionally-troubling cases. She believes talking to someone about the difficulties of the job, instead of bottling it up, is beneficial to an officer’s mental and emotional wellbeing.

“It’s been helpful over the years to have someone to talk to about work, especially about some of the more serious cases I’ve been involved with,” she said. “I think every police officer carries around a lot of emotional baggage from what they’ve encountered over the years. We typically get involved when things, situations, or even people are at their worst. It can really take a toll on your mental health. It’s important to talk about it and surround yourself with family.”

Stauffer also has a lighthearted sense of humor, shown in her responses to describe herself outside of work, some memorable moments of her law enforcement career, and some misconceptions of law enforcement officers.

She described herself as, “First and foremost, a wife and mother. Secondly, tired.” She described some funny moments from her career, such as getting chased by a Texas Longhorn to helping remove a rat from behind a heater unit to witnessing a co-worker split his pants while helping to lift an ambulance gurney. She noted a common misconceptions of police officers: “That we all like donuts and coffee. Well, actually…”

On a serious note, Stauffer stated she feels incredibly fortunate to be in her career and it has provided her a stable paycheck, health insurance, job security, and a pension. She described her fellow officers as having big hearts with a strong desire to serve and would recommend the career to someone considering law enforcement if they have those same traits.

“The men and women that I work with all love their families, communities, and country,” Stauffer said. “Without hesitation, they would risk their lives for that of another. While the media will sometimes focus on the ‘bad apples’ (and rightfully so), the cops I know are vastly different.”

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