South Londonderry Township supervisors agreed to approve a memorandum of understanding on Tuesday regarding university students looking to intern with the municipality’s police department.

Police Chief William Reigle told the board that, while the department has had interns before, it wants to have a formal agreement in place to execute its internship program with educational providers. 

“We’ve had interns in the past and we want to formalize it and have an actual policy that addresses conduct and appearance, things like that,” said Reigle. “We’ve never had a problem with that before, but we want to have a policy in place to hand to the prospective intern and also in the policy address qualifications and the specifics of the background check.”

Supervisor Jack Custer asked Reigle if the internships are for individuals looking to pursue a career in law enforcement.

“The intern that requested at this particular time is for a master’s degree in social work,” answered Reigle. “And their college’s requirements are a little more strict, I’d say very strict, in that we have to sign (a memorandum of understanding) with them. Instead of calling it an MOU, it is an internship agreement that we have to fulfill regarding their time, so that’s one of the reasons why we decided that we wanted a little more structure on our end because we have that request.”  

Township chairman Faith Bucks asked Reigle what career that person was going to pursue, adding it seemed like an odd request given the major.

“I actually think it might be very good out in the field for officers to get help with this big push to settle disputes in ways other than arrests,” answered Reigle. “Some departments actually have a person who responds to disputes.” 

Custer expressed concerns about the focus of the officers with someone in the vehicle who is not law enforcement personnel. He asked about how many internships the department planned to sponsor and how long this one was going to be, to which Reigle replied only one and 250 hours.

“The last intern we had was nowhere near that many hours,” added Reigle. 

Custer said that seems like a lot of hours but also acknowledged that it is unique because the individual is pursuing a master’s degree. He added, however, a concern about the officers being on babysitting duty for the intern.

Reigle said the intern would not just do ride-alongs but would assist with various community projects during the time within the department. “Officers, as far as I know, enjoy having interns and just talking about their job with them,” noted Reigle. 

After discussion, both Bucks and Custer approved the motion. Supervisor William Bova was not in attendance at the meeting.

In a separate matter concerning the police department, Reigle announced during his report that the department was awarded a 2022 bronze plaque by Lexipol Connect, its online training management provider, for excellence in training management through the Police One Academy program.

South Londonderry Township Police Department Chief William Reigle holding a 2022 bronze plaque by Lexipol Connect, the department’s online training management provider, which SLTPD received for excellence in training management through the Police One Academy program. (James Mentzer)

Reigle said the videos, which are usually fairly short but also run up to an hour, cover such topics as safety, crime trends and what to look for while in the field. 

“I think we’ll go for silver next year,” quipped Reigle after announcing the award during his report. “I appreciate that the officers take the time to do them and they do them very diligently and they are very helpful, so it’s money well worth it.” 

Both Reigle and township business manager John Eberly said the recent National Night Out was a big success. Both thanked all of the individuals and township employees who volunteered for this year’s program as well as community members who attended the festivities.

In other business discussed during the 20-minute meeting, the public library approved a Right to Know policy form at its July 18 meeting and it was noted that the library’s two HVAC systems will be installed in September. Additionally, the annual book sale profits totalled $13,579.95.

During the meeting, an attendee asked whether there was going to be a discussion concerning the Rising Sun restaurant under old business. Eberly said no, adding that it was on the agenda for about an hour on Monday morning before being pulled. He did not state why it had been removed for this meeting but said there were two revised agendas for this meeting, the first that contained that item under old business and the one where it was removed.

In other business, the supervisors voted to:

  • Approve the Mount Gretna Fire Company Car Show on Sept. 9, with a rain date of Sept. 10.
  • Accept the resignation of Bill Jurell.
  • Approve the minutes of their July 11, 2023, meeting
  • Grant the landing drive cul-de-sac financial security reduction request in the amount of $3,834.77.

It was announced that the township supervisors were going into executive session at the end of the meeting to discuss a legal and personnel matter. 

The next supervisors workshop session is scheduled for Aug. 23 and the next supervisors meeting will be held on Sep. 12.

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James Mentzer is a freelance writer whose published works include the books Pennsylvania Manufacturing: Alive and Well; Bucks County: A Snapshot in Time; United States Merchant Marine Academy: In Service to the Nation 1943-2018; A Century of Excellence: Spring Brook Country Club 1921-2021; Lancaster...