SRPD 2016 Officer Of The Year Announced

The 2016 SRPD Officer Of The Year has been awarded to Acting Chief John Michener. 

Text from Engle Publishing acrticle -

Acting Chief Is Named Officer Of The Year

By Dayna M. Reidenouer

John Michener, acting chief of the Southern Regional Police Department (SRPD), is rarely caught off guard, but he was surprised to be selected as the Officer of the Year by the Friends of the SRPD. Traditionally, the honoree is recommended by the department's two corporals and confirmed by the chief of police, who passes the name on to the Friends group.

"This year, unbeknownst to me, the officers vetoed my selection and chose me," Michener said. "It means a lot for me to receive this recognition from my own officers, department, and community."

Michener has served the community as a police officer for more than 15 years. He started with the Conestoga Township Police Department in January 2001 and continued with the SRPD when it absorbed the township department in 2003. Michener was promoted to corporal in 2007 and was named Lancaster County's Officer of the Year in 2014. He was appointed acting chief of police last year. Michener leads by example, performing all the duties of a police officer in addition to running the department.

"I still answer calls, conduct investigations, conduct traffic stops, work nights and weekends, etc.," Michener said. "Cpl. Robert Burger and I share time in correcting reports and logs and other administrative functions. I'm responsible for the overall production of the department and everything from making sure the police cars get their oil changed to making sure payroll is completed and submitted on time. Basically, I'm responsible for making sure the police department is being run efficiently and to the highest degree expected by our residents."

Meeting residents' expectations is important to Michener. In March, he issued a series of directives aimed to increase the SRPD's presence within the community by designating specific officers to cover zones with the jurisdiction. The officers are responsible for foot patrols and traffic enforcement in their respective territories, and they perform checks of businesses and housing developments as well.

"The idea is to have a more personal relationship with the community, to get to know what's going on, what the problems are, and try and fix them," Michener explained. "All of the officers here are on board and committed to serving the community."

Having qualified, dedicated officers in the department is a boon both to the acting chief and to the residents.

"I'm proud of the current group of officers who are working here and their commitment to the members of our community," Michener said. "Despite a decrease in funding and a decrease in the number of officers, combined with an increase in calls for service, the officers continue to strive to meet the goals they are given."

The Friends of the SRPD is a nonprofit organization that provides financial and moral support to the department. The group holds several fundraisers annually and uses the proceeds to purchase items not accounted for in the department's taxpayer-funded budget. Past purchases have included equipment bags, flashlights, cameras, laptops, and even a patrol car.

"The items bought not only make our job easier and safer, they improve morale amongst the officers in the department," Michener remarked. "We appreciate the Friends group very much for the equipment they make available to us, but even more so just to have the positive support from community members says so much."

For more information about the SRPD, readers may call 872-0352, visit, follow @SRPDLANCPA on Twitter, and like the page at