Message from the Chief

East Lampeter & Upper Leacock Township Communities

During these trying times of community and police tensions, it was brought to my attention that the residents of East Lampeter & Upper Leacock Townships may want to know the position of their own police force. As Chief, I am speaking for all East Lampeter Township police officers when I say we are troubled, upset and angry over the death of George Floyd. This was wrong, it is wrong, it should never happen. There needs to be repercussions and punishment. East Lampeter Township Police Department does not condone, idly stand by, or instruct/train our officers to conduct themselves in such a manner.

As officers, we are held to a higher standard. A standard that should be able to be trusted by all. However, that doesn’t mean that accidents, mistakes, or even the intentional actions of a few won’t happen. When they do, that also doesn’t mean that all who wear the badge, who serve and protect their communities, are bad or corrupt. What it does mean is that as those who have chosen this profession and adopted this higher standard, we are obligated to take action, against our own ranks, when we see injustice, corruption, tactical and training errors, or mistakes potentially being made. We investigate every allegation of wrong doing or misconduct of our members. 

What we don’t do is stand by or disassociate, circle the wagons, or support the good ole boys club. No, we’ve chosen this profession and we should have the courage to say when we are wrong, face the consequences, make corrections & changes and do all we can to heal the relationship between ourselves and the community who has given us it’s trust and our authority.

The East Lampeter Township Police Department is a Pennsylvania State Accredited agency. In order to be an accredited agency, we have to pass ongoing, stringent examinations of our police records and actions. We take pride in the 18+ years of continued accredited status and we hope that helps our community to draw some amount of trust.

While the East Lampeter Township Police Department does not yet have body worn cameras, we do have in car cameras and body worn mics, which are in use all the time. Body worn cameras is a technology that we plan to have in the near future. East Lampeter Township Police Officers receive regular training on Tools for Tolerance, a law enforcement specific program developed by the Simon Wiesenthal Museum of Tolerance.

Having made this statement, I wish to express my sincere condolences to the family of George Floyd and assure the residents of East Lampeter Township and the visitors, tourists to our community that we stand against racism, against intentional acts of violence committed against all peoples, for any reason. We are all equal in God’s eyes and so should we be in our own.

Chief Stephen Zerbe