From 1819 until 1871,
the one law enforcement officer in the Borough was called a constable
and he is still called a constable in Shippensburg Township.
After 1871, he was called a policeman. After 1920. the one policeman had
a temporary assistant for special and emergency occasions and the
regular policeman was then titled •"Chief."
On Dec. 15, 1932, while Chief Edmund J. Hunter was policeman, a second
full-time officer. Albert G. Bitting, was added to the force and about a
year later, a third officer, William Brennan.
Civil Defense work in World War II created an auxiliary police body. The
two fire companies also designated and trained fire police. After WWII,
these auxiliary units were loosely knit but in the 1960's they became a
single, well trained, fully uniformed group of officers who now
supplement the regular force over Friday evening rush hours, holidays,
Taken from “The Shippensburg Story 1730 – 1970” William H. Burkhart
When the first people came to Shippensburg, they barded together to
protect themselves and their property. As more came, they needed laws
and courts. The sheriff was a county officer who had to enforce the laws
all over the county. He could use deputies when he needed them.
The Pennsylvania Legislature declared Shippensburg on January 21, 1819.
The first election for officers of the town was held in April 1818.
These officers were the Chief Burgess, an assistant Burgess, a town
council, and a town clerk. These officers met in the home of the chief
burgess. Captain Joseph McKinney was the first burgess and Mr. Jacob
Keyner was the first constable (police). Later a treasurer, street
commissioner, and a tax assessor were appointed. In 1882, the borough
was divided into wards for voting. In 1960, Shippensburg went from
Burgess and Council Plan to the Borough Manager Plan. Mr. Walter K.
Smith was the first Borough Manager. In 1962, the Burgess was changed to
Mayor and Dr. Harry L. Kriner became the first Mayor. The town council
and burgess were responsible for law and order, the police, taxes,
utilities, safety and health of the community.
The town council first met in the homes of the members. Then a special
building called the Council House was built about 1843 on King St. and
Prince St. A little brick jail stood behind it with its door on Prince
Street. Those buildings were torn down and a larger brick building was
built at the same place and called the Municipal Building. This building
was built in 1928. In 1968, a new Municipal Building was built of brick
on West Burd Street (now the Shippensburg Police Department).
The following information has been compiled for the
Shippensburg Police Department and Shippensburg Historical Society
during the fall of 2006. Three graduate students at Shippensburg
University created this compilation of sources. The purpose of this work
is to aide future researchers of Shippensburg Police history. Much of
the research was done through the use of newspaper, Shippensburg Borough
Council Minutes, and other sources available to the current Chief of
Police, Chief Fred Scott.
David J. Drumheller,
02 April 1853- Michael Winters, Constable
06 April 1854- Michael Winters, Constable
24 March 1855- Samuel Speese, Constable
01 April 1856- Samuel Speese, Constable
18 April 1857- George W. Shade, Constable
30 March 1858- George W. Keller, Constable
26 April 1859- Solomon Nead, Constable
16 March 1860- I.S. Rippey, Constable
13 May 1861- George Shade SR., Constable
31 March 1862- George Shade SR., Constable
25 April 1863- Henry C. Johnston, Constable
29 March 1864- J. Hikes, Constable
23 March 1866- Jacob L. Keefer, Constable
10 April 1867- Jacob L. Keefer, Constable
24 March 1868- Isaiah W. Hykes, Constable
24 March 1869- I.W. Hykes, Constable
24 March 1870- I.W. Hykes, Constable
24 March 1871- Jacob Keefer, Constable
04 May 1872- Jacob Keefer, Constable
08 August 1873- Jacob Keefer, Constable
10 March 1874- Samuel Winters, Constable
03 April 1875- No Constable Specified
03 April 1876- John Miller, Constable
07 April 1877- John Miller, Constable
**Note “May 9th 1877 John A. Witmer Police Chief Affirmed”***
1878- John Miller, Police Chief
07 April 1879-John A. Witmer, Chief of Police, Street Commissioner, and
Director of the Poor
07 May 1880- J. L. Rippey, Policeman and Street Commissioner.
04 April 1881- J. L. Rippey, Chief of Police and Street Commissioner
03 April 1882- No Chief listed during election
02 April 1883- David Winters, Chief of Police, Street Commissioner
03 April 1883- Description of the responsibilities of Chief of Police
-Will be uniformed
-Employ two sub-police on Saturday evenings and when council designates
-Each will receive $0.50 for each night on duty
-Each will receive $1.00 per full day of work
07 April 1884- David Winters, Police Chief
02 March 1885- David Winters Chief of Police
- Thomas Kane, Assistant Police Chief
No entry for elections in 1886
07 April 1887- David Winters, Police Chief
- Thomas J. Kane, Assistant Police Chief
05 March 1888- David Winters, Police Chief
- Henry Smith, Assistant Police Chief
04 March 1889- David Winters, Chief of Police
- Henry Smith, Assistant Police Chief
03 March 1890- David Winters, Chief of Police
-Henry Smith, Assistant Police Chief
02 March 1891- David Winters, Chief of Police
-Henry Smith, Assistant Police Chief
07 March 1892- Robert L. Barr, Chief of Police
- Samuel M. Keefer, Assistant Police Chief
06 March 1893- Samuel M. Keefer, Police Chief
- Davis A. Shaefer, Assistant Police Chief
05 March 1894- Davis A. Shaefer, Police Chief
- Robert L. Barr, Assistant Police Chief
04 March 1895- W.O. Elserode, Police Chief
-R.L. Barr, Assistant Police Chief
02 March 1896- W.O. Elserode, Police Chief
-J.S. Evelhoch, Assistant Police Chief
-D.A. Sheaffer, Assistant Police Chief
01 March 1897- W.O. Elserode, Police Chief
- David Scheaffer, Assistant Police Chief
07 March 1898- W.O. Elserode, Police Chief
-Thomas Kane, Assistant Police Chief
06 March 1899- J. L. Taylor, Chief of Police
- James Shover, Assistant Police Chief
05 March 1900- Joseph Taylor, Police Chief
- Samuel M. Keefer, Assistant Police Chief
04 March 1901- Joseph Taylor, Police Chief
- J.F. Holby, Assistant Police Chief
21 March 1902- Thomas J. Kane, Police Chief
- J. F. Holby, Assistant Police Chief
02 March 1903- Thomas J. Kane, Police Chief
- James Barklow, Assistant Police Chief
07 March 1904- Thomas J. Kane Police Chief
- M. Speese, Assistant Police Chief
06 March 1905- Harry Savage, Chief of Police
05 March 1906- Harry Savage, Chief of Police
No entry for Police Chief in 1907
02 March 1908- Harry McElhaire, Chief of Police
-William Speese, Assistant Police Chief
01 March 1909- Harry McElhaire, Chief of Police.
07 March 1910- Harry McElhaire, Chief of Police
01 January 1912- Thomas J. Kane, Chief of Police
05 January 1914- W.O. Ellsrode, Chief of Police
05 January 1916- W.O. Ellsrode, Chief of Police
07 January 1918- John Eaton, Chief of Police
1920-1921- S.S. Bolan
02 January 1922- S.W. Kline, Chief of Police
07 January 1924- William E. Daugherty, Chief of Police
04 January 1926- Robert E. Ditzler, Chief of Police
06 January 1930- Robert Burns, Chief of Police
05 January 1931- Robert Burns, Chief of Police
- Roy Boldosser Traffic Officer and Night Patrolman
07 January 1932- Robert Burns, Chief of Police
08 January 1934- E.J. Hunter, Chief of Police
- Albert Bitting, Patrolman
06 January 1936- E.J. Hunter, Chief of Police
-Albert Bitting, Patrolman
- William Brennan, Patrolman
Beginning of Police Force-Regular and salaried three-month renewal:
03 January 1938
03 January 1938- E.J. Hunter, Chief of Police
-A.G. Bitting, Patrolman
- William Brennan, Patrolman
02 May 1938- all three appointed for balance of their 2-year terms
08 January 1940- E.J. Hunter, chief of police
- A. G. Bitting, William Brennan, patrolmen,
- All for three-month period, subject to renewal at end of three months
-Chief’s salary cut $25/ month; patrolmen salaries increased $10/ month
03 April 1940- All three reappointed for three months
08 July 1940- All three appointed for balance of two-year term
09 June 1941- Bitting resigned, Glen Rotz hired to replace him as
14 July 1941- Rotz hire rescinded, Rotz hired as utility employee at
lower salary, force reduced to two officers.
October 1941- Rotz had sued the borough and council was responding to
29 December 1941- Three-man Police Civil Service Commission appointed:
John E. Jones (two year term), DeKeller Stamy (four year); Rev. William
Galbraith (six year)
January 1942- Hunter paid one full paycheck ($55); one partial paycheck
09 February 1942- Burgess had appointed Bitting “temporarily.” Council
tabled new chief, named burgess temporary chief. Voted to hire another
patrolman at $100/ mo.
09 March 1942- William Brennan named chief; David S. Eagle, patrolman,
hired for one month.
02 April 1942- Brennan requested third officer; Eagle hired permanently
11 May 1942- Daniel Orris hired
12 October 1942- Texas Lunch owner Nick Papoutsis complained about
police protection on South Earl Street (“The Bowery”). Council
authorized burgess “to employ as many special police as necessary to
10 November 1942- council approves police commission’s 22-point rules
and regulations for police department – among the regulations, officers
to be age 21-60, weigh at least 145 pounds and be at least 5 feet, 5
inches; score at least 70 on a three-part exam. Rules established to
address complaints, “dereliction of duties.” Burgess advised to have DA
Orris’s resignation by Nov. 11, effective Nov. 30
14 December 1942- Wilbur Detweiler hired to replace Orris
14 April 1943- Hired: Samuel W. Harper, Robert Donald Robinson. Harper
hired to work on parking meters, Robinson as patrolman.
10 May 1943- Wilbur Detweiler appointed permanent member of police
14 June 1943- Burgess RS Brunner’s resignation “came as a surprise” to
council. Council president Henry Luhrs to serve as burgess until new
10 August 1943- Elmer Zinn sworn as Burgess.
20 September 1943- Reference to probationary period for Samuel Harper,
who “will not be hired.”
-Donald Robinson also “not satisfactory,” both to be notified they will
not get permanent appointment, both “appointed provisionally” until next
08 November 1943- Harper appointed for rest of biennium, with special
duty for meters and traffic. Robinson’s temporary position discontinued
13 December 1943- Harper resigned.
03 January 1944- Charles Potts and Perry Foltz reappointed for one year
probationary period. No mention of original appointment.
11 September 1944- Position approved for parking meter officer at $125
per month. No one named.
March – August 1944- Disbursements show paychecks for Andrew Budihas.
September- November 1944 disbursements show paychecks for John Bishop.
04 December 1944- John Bishop resigned the force. Reuben Zinn resigned
as parking meter caretaker. December disbursements show first paychecks
for Donald Needy.
12 March 1945- Burgess Zinn requested committee of two councilmen to
appoint a chief of police. Disbursements show Brennan got checks through
February 1945; Detweiler began receiving half pay; Donald Neady (new
spelling) continued full time.
09 April 1945- Harry Miller hired at $150 per month, effective April 15,
Disbursements show Detweiler dropped from payroll April 1945.
Disbursements show paychecks for (Chief?) Russell Beck started April
1945. $97.90 per pay = $195.80/ month.
14 May 1945- Burgess Zinn suggested a third officer be hired
Curfew ordinance presented (under 16, off the street between 10 p.m.-5
09 July 1945- Wilbur Detweiler, inactive officer, asked to turn in his
equipment to Russell R. Beck, chief of police
10 September 1945- Special Police Committee authorized to hire three
policemen, which would bring the total to five. Consideration of Wilbur
Detweiler’s return to service.
10 December 1945- Officer Detweiler approved at rate of $150 per month.
Effective 12-1-45. p.89 November-December 1945 disbursements show
paychecks for Beck, Joseph Rideout, Clarence E. Sterrett.
07 January 1946- Russell R. Beck re-appointed chief of police for two
years; Clarence Sterrett and Joseph Rideout appointed as officers for
13 February 1946- Police budget for 1946: $6,500 (total borough budget
Salary approved for special officers, 75 cents per hour.
13 March 1946- Burgess Zinn requests another policeman.
Chief Beck says a ventilator is needed in the police and jail toilets.
10 April 1946- George W. Heckman hired as meter patrolman at $140 per
month, effective April 16.p.100. W.E. Detweiler dismissed, effective
14 August 1946- three patrol officers, with Rideout as spokesman, ask
council for a raise, saying “it was impossible to make ends meet on the
wages being received, because of the advance in price of practically
everything.” Council voted increase of 10 percent, effective Aug. 1,
11 September 1946- Chief Beck asks for a raise, request forwarded to
finance department. (Disbursements for September show increase to $100
23 December 1946- Burgess Zinn reported that Joseph Rideout had been
suspended Dec. 14, 1946, “for conduct unbecoming an officer.” Rideout
dismissed. Resolution to re-activate the police commission “which has
been in an inactive status since the beginning of World War II.”
Commission to find candidates for open patrolman position and for a new
chief, as “a vacancy in the position of Chief of Police is imminent.”
Resolution to establish pension plan for policemen Clarence Edgar
Sterrett and George Wesley Heckman.
30 December 1946- Russell Beck resigns as chief; Edmund J. Hunter
appointed “to serve until further action by council.”
13 January 1947- Council told police commission that it wants all
officers to be certified through Civil Service.
10 February 1947- Patrolman Samuel R. Railing hired, effective 2-15-47.
Police Chief Edmund J. Hunter and patrolmen Clarence Sterrett and George
W. Heckman appointed “pursuant to Civil Service Police Act of 1941.”
Hunter and Railing added to the police pension plan.
14 July 1947- Patrolman S.R.Railing notified “that at the end of his
probationary service, Aug. 15, 1947, his services will no longer be
11 August 1947- temporary appointment of Wilbur R. Hancock, patrolman.
13 October 1947- Hancock hired for six-month probationary period.
Siren and flashing light purchased for the police car. Three-man
committee of council appointed to investigate additional police.
12 November 1947- Committee recommended no changes; committee disbanded.
13 January 1948- Chief Hunter submitted resignation; council declined to
accept it. Hunter, Heckman and Hancock granted $10 per month raise.
10 February 1948- Clarence Sterrett’s salary set at $175 per month.
Police budget for 1948: $8,650 (total budget $36,100).
13 July 1948- Borough Superintendent Paul Noftsker tells council the
1944 Plymouth patrol car “is pretty well shot …the boys are afraid to
drive it at high speed …”.
12 October 1948- Purchased new 1948 Stylemaster Chevrolet four-door
sedan from H&H Chevrolet for $1,439, less trade-in.
Police budget for 1949: $8,800 (total budget $43,435).
12 April 1949- George Heckman resigned. Council said it “would not want
to stand in the way of an employee’s bettering his position.”
Salaries of remaining members of the force increased $10 per month.
Salary schedule adopted: new and inexperienced patrolmen, $170 per
month; new and experienced patrolmen, $185 per month.
11 May 1949- Ordinance passed re: police pension fund.
19 September 1949- Patrolman Stacy B. Gunderman dismissed “for conduct
unbecoming an officer.
31 January 1950- Reference to “Patrolman McKeever” being insured under
police pension plan. No prior reference, no first name..
09 May 1950- Resolution commending all state, City of Philadelphia and
local officers who participated in the Gnatz incident, particularly
Chief Hunter and Patrolman Ellis J. Mellott. (first reference to Mellott).
10 October 1950- Clarence E. Sterrett resigned because he thought he
“ought to have Seniority over the other patrolmen.” Council ordered him
to go back to work or submit a written resignation.
30 October 1950- Sterrett’s resignation accepted. Police commission
advised to gather candidates for two vacancies.
13 December 1950- Ellis J. Mellott, patrolman, hired. Position offered
to Willis K. Hurley.
Letter from borough superintendent suggests extending the police annuity
(retirement fund) to all four officers at $75 per month after age 65.
Currently $10-12 and only two men are enrolled.
(There was a break in the page-by-page research here – skipped ahead to
Borough Council minutes, July 26, 1954 to Dec. 11, 1956, -- first
entries of 1955)
09 November 1955- Patrolman Wilbur Hancock resigned effective: Nov. 7.
10 January 1956- Reference to “acting chief of police.” No name and no
13 March 1956- Resolution of sympathy for death of Edmund Hunter. Says
he started with borough as police chief April 1, 1932.
24 April, 1956- William A. Smith of Halifax hired as patrolman.
08 May 1956- First new reference to “chief of police.” No name.
New Model 150 Chevrolet police car purchased from H&H Chevrolet for $750
22 May 1956- W.A. Smith named chief of police.
Jason A. Neidig named patrolman.
09 October 1956- W.A. Smith’s resignation not accepted. He was given two
weeks’ leave with pay. Council approved letter giving Smith a “free hand
in conducting the affairs of the police department as he thinks best for
the interest of the community …”
11 October 1956- Burgess Clarence Sterrett resigns.
Patrolman Lloyd McKeever appointed Acting Chief of Police in Smith’s
11 December 1956- Patrolman George W. Heckman resigns.
12 February 1957- Michael A. Lynch of Mercersburg and Ralph D. Morrison
hired as patrolmen.
$1,184 in police radio equipment purchased.
18 February 1957- 1957 Ford patrol car purchased for $300 with trade-in
of 1956 Chevrolet.
11 June 1957- Police Chief W. A. Smith honorably relieved of his duties
by resolution “because of physical disability.” Lloyd McKeever named
18 July 1957- Chief’s salary set at $4,000 per year; patrolmen at $250
10 September 1957- Michael Wassell of York named chief of police, eff,
10 June 1958- Patrolman Lloyd McKeever resigns.
14 December 1958- Patrolman David Stanton KeeFauver hired.
13 January 1959- Reference to complaint letter from patrolmen and police
30 January1959- 1959 Chevrolet Biscayne 4-door cruiser purchased from
H&H Chevrolet for $1,349 with trade-in of 1957 Ford.
12 May 1959- Council agreed to pay legal fees for three officers sued by
Jas. Stouffer in Cumberland County Court.
18 May 1959- Each patrolman invited to address council “to air his
‘grievances.’” Council issues formal statement of confidence in the
force, advises future complaints be lodged through the burgess.
January 1960- Patrolman KeeFauver salary increased to $3,600.
13 December 1960- Patrolman David Stanton KeeFauver resigns.
(skipped ahead to Council Minutes Jan. 5, 1967 – Dec. 30, 1969 – to
14 October, 1967- resolution suspending Police Chief Michael J. Wassell
“without compensation for a period of 20 days commencing Oct. 7, 1967 ,
to Oct. 26, 1967. Three pages of council minutes detail the hearing that
led up to this action.
25 October 1967- Wassell requested hearing before civil service
21 November 1967- Wassell was back on the job; filed routine report to
20 February 1968- Letter from Chief Wassell requesting retirement,
citing: “physical disability.” Accepted by council. Ralph Morrison
appointed temporary acting chief of police.
14 April 1968- A citizens’ petition calls for dismissal of Officer
(Richard) Angle, one person claiming the officer shot him with mace and
21 May 1968- Citizens again present, no charges had been filed but the
mayor ordered officers not to use mace except in “extreme emergencies.”
Mayor agreed to meet with anyone who had complaints.
15 October 1968- Ordinance 381 establishes a Human Relations Commission
24 October 1968- Wayne Rideout hired as permanent police officer in
28 October 1968- Wayne Rideout resigns, not knowing he was approved for
permanent position Oct. 24. Problem with harassment implied. Human
Relation investigation called for
19 November 1968- Ralph Morrison named Chief of Police..
(skipped ahead to Council Minutes 1973 and 1974)
19 February 1974- Chief of Police Ralph Morrison resigns, Officer Nelson
Alleman named Acting Chief of Police.
01 July 1974- Police get overtime after 40 hours.
25 July 1974- William Gehres hired as chief of police, salary $13,900.
(skipped ahead to Council Minutes, Jan 1976 to December 1977)
18 January 1977- Reference to acting Police Chief Dick Angle.
Two Dodge Monaco cruisers ordered from Naugle Motors, $10,400 for both
with trade-in of two old cars.
21 February 1977- Mayor commends Angle for covering during Chief Gehres’
15 March 1977- Gehres back on duty.
19 April 1977- Officer Dick Angle commended by First National Bank for
investigation of bank incident.
Position approved for assistant chief of police. No one named.
21 August 1977- police pension ordinance amended. Police to get CPR
15 November 1977- Chief of Police William Gehres resigns effective Dec.
9. Mayor recommends Michael Lynch as acting chief of police, further
recommends upgrading Dick Angle to Inspector Sergeant. Lynch appointment
01 January 1993- Mid-Cumberland Valley Regional Police Department
launched with Shippensburg Borough and Shippensburg Township;
Shippensburg Police disbanded.
Dennis W. McMaster is chief of MCVPRD
01 January 2001- Shippensburg Police return to service, following
dissolution of MCVRPD, under Police Chief Fred Scott.
1970 - Police Department
Ralph D. Morrison -
Chief of Police
S. Nelson Allean
Michael A. Lynch
Richard L. Angle -
Harold J. Eutzy
Wayne F. Rideout, Sr.
Thomas E. Moore -
Parking Meter Checker
Chief E. J. Hunter using a typewriter at
Chief E.J. Hunter on a street corner in Shippensburg with a group of
Ellis Mellott, Lloyd McKeever, and Chief E. J. Hunter group photo.
Ellis Mellott, Lloyd McKeever, Hancock, and Chief Hunter group photo.
Unknown Police Officer
Officer George Heckman
Police Vehicle (Patty Wagon)
Police Vehicle (Patty Wagon)
Presentation of ‘Officer of the Month’ award to Richard Angle.
Back Row From Left: Chief Ralph Morrison, Tom Moore, Gary Wyrick,
Harold Eutzy, Front
Row From Left: Nelson Alleman, Mike Lynch, Dick Angle
Mike Lynch, unknown person and Dick Angle
Dick Angle stands there in the middle and at the far right
Chief Ralph Morrison
Mike Lynch (Left) and Dick Angle (right) with an unknown man in the
Patrolman Dick Angle and Patrolman Mike Lynch: One inside police car,
the other getting in.
One unknown police officer with an
unknown man standing next to some stacked furniture
One unknown police officer standing
with three unknown men, two wearing top hats
One unknown police officer with four
Group of unknown men, women, and
children at a New Year’s party
Group of unknown men, women, and
children at a party
Photograph of plaque presented to
Richard Angle for ‘Officer of the month
Plaque given to Assistant Chief
Richard Angle in 1985 by the United States Postal Service
Dorothy Mellott holding a photo of
her late husband in uniform
Patrolman Ellis Mellot as a young
man after fox hunting, courtesy of his widow, Dorothy
First row to the right, the last three gentleman are
Dave Chamberlin, Richard Killinger, Dick Smith and Sgt. Mike Sabol (PSP).
First row to the right is Don Mowery. Second row fourth
ones in on the right hand side are Dave Chamberlin and Dick Smith.
Left to right are Don Mower, Jack Mellott, Harold Eutzy,
Sgt. Mike Sabol (PSP), Alvin "Ike" Martin, Dick Smith and Richard Killinger.
Judy Ocker broth us this form that her Grandfather
Officer George Heckman