Police Department

How to Submit a Right to Know Law Request to the Butler Township Police

  • All Right to Know Law requests for records must be in writing. Each request must identify or describe the records sought with sufficient specificity to enable the Butler Township Police to ascertain which records are being requested. Each request must also provide a name and address to which the response will be directed.

  • Requests may be sent to the Butler Township Police via mail, fax, or in person during regular business hours of 7:00 a.m. to 3:00 p.m., Monday through Friday (except holidays and official office closings). All requests must be addressed, as follows:

Butler Township Police
Right to Know Law Request
Attn: Chief of Police
415 West Butler Drive
Drums, PA   18222

Email: This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.
Fax: (570) 788-5351

  • Investigative reports are not public information and therefore not accessible under the Right to Know Law.  Investigative reports may be available with a properly executed subpoena.
  • Criminal History Record Information is not obtainable under the Right to Know Law.
  • Should this request seek or may be construed to seek Butler Township Police records involving covert law enforcement investigations, including intelligence gathering and analysis, the Butler Township Police can neither confirm, nor deny the existence of such records without risk of compromising investigations and imperiling individuals. UNDER NO CIRCUMSTANCES, therefore, should the Butler Township Police response to this request be interpreted as indicating otherwise. Should such records exist, they are entirely exempt from public disclosure under the Right-to-Know Law, 65 P.S. §§ 67.101-67.3104, and the Criminal History Record Information Act, 18 Pa.C.S. §§ 9101-9183.
  • If a written request for records is granted, the following fees will be charged to the requestor:

    • $0.25 per page for duplication;
    • $2.00 per record certification;
    • Actual costs for postage, facsimile or other media, and for duplication of specialized records
      (except that postage fees will be waived for postage that is under $1.00);

             • Fees will be waived for duplication that is under $5.00;

Right to Know Law fees for duplication are established by the Office of Open Records, as posted on its web site at www.openrecords.state.pa.us.  As expressly provided by 65 P.S. §67.1307(g), the agency is authorized to charge requesters reasonable fees for necessarily incurred costs.  The Butler Township Police will determine and charge such fees on a case by case basis.  Answers to fee-related questions may be obtained by calling (570) 788-4111.                

  • Requesters must pay all applicable Right to Know Law request fees before access to requested records is provided. Should the Butler Township Police determine that applicable fees are projected to exceed $100.00, the requester will be required to prepay the fees before the request is processed. All fees must be paid by certified check, bank check, or money order made payable to the “Butler Township Supervisors.”
  • Please click on the links below to download your Right to Know Law request forms:

pdfButler Township Police Right to Know Law Request form (PDF)

pdfRight to Know Law (PDF)

Fingerprinting

Employment Fingerprinting

Electronic fingerprinting is done at the police department by appointment. Please call 570-788-4111 during regular business hours of 7 a.m. to 3 p.m., Monday through Friday (except holidays and official office closings) to set up an appointment. The cost is $35, which is payable by check or money order to Butler Township Police.

Criminal Fingerprinting

Electronic fingerprinting for arrests is done at the police department by appointment. Please call 570-788-4111 during regular business hours of 7 a.m. to 3 p.m., Monday through Friday (except holidays and official office closings) to set up an appointment. If you are charged with a misdemeanor, felony or certain misdemeanor crimes, it is the law that you be fingerprinted. In the paperwork provided to you by the district judge, bring with you the form titled “Fingerprint Order” and valid identification. There is no cost for court-mandated fingerprinting.

Special Services

Members of the Butler Township Police Department routinely participate in specialized training in various aspects of policing. Each officer is required to have 12 hours of legal updates though the Pennsylvania Municipal Police Officers Training Commission. Officers must have current CPR/AED and first aid training. Officers are required to qualify with their firearms at least two times per year. This includes handguns, shotguns and patrol rifles. Officers are also required to be certified with any additional weapons, such as batons, oleoresin capsicum (OC) spray and tasers. Officers may elect to seek additional training in specialized areas that interest them.

Some of the services that the department provides are listed here: 

Accident Reconstruction

Three Butler Township police officers are certified as traffic accident reconstructionists. Traffic accident reconstruction is a detailed science that is based upon mathematical formulas and other forces that are involved in a motor vehicle collision.

The township’s reconstructionists are on call 24 hours a day, seven days a week and respond to all fatal and serious accidents. When a serious or fatal traffic accident occurs, the on-duty officer summons a reconstruction team. Since each motor vehicle accident being investigated consists of many aspects, reconstructionists work as a team, with each one taking responsibility for part of the investigation. The reconstruction team is responsible for conducting interviews, inspecting vehicles, taking accident scene measurements, collecting evidence and supervising the accident scene.

After reviewing the facts of the investigation, the team determines whether criminal charges should be pursued as a result of the accident.

Drug Task Force

The Butler Township Police Department actively participates with the Pennsylvania Attorney General’s Drug Task Force. The task force has statewide jurisdiction for the pursuit of drug traffickers. Members of the Butler Township Police Department have participated in local, state and federal covert and overt operations that have led to the seizure of millions of dollars worth of marijuana, methamphetamine, heroin, cocaine and various other drugs as well as millions of dollars in assets and money.

Butler Township Police work in conjunction with other community-based task forces in the area; however, the Attorney General’s Task Force is the only one empowered and funded by the state of Pennsylvania to actively and aggressively investigate and prosecute drug users and traffickers. To report drug violations, call the Wilkes-Barre Office of the Attorney General at 800-833-4020 or Butler Township Police at 570-788-4111.

Motor Carrier Safety Assistance Program

Each Butler Township officer receives specialized training through the Pennsylvania Department of Transportation (PennDOT) about various laws pertaining to commercial vehicles. Each officer is certified to work with PennDOT representatives to issue citations to commercial vehicles for unsafe conditions, including violating weight restrictions.

One officer has received in-depth training and can conduct specialized inspections, including examining log books and braking systems. He has the power to place unsafe commercial vehicles and commercial drivers out of service until the unsafe conditions are corrected. Each inspection is logged and reported to the national database, which enables other commercial vehicle inspectors to view the safety record of commercial vehicle carriers.

Obtaining Reports

The Butler Township Police Department preserves the integrity of its investigations by maintaining confidentiality. Investigative reports are not available to the public and are not released, which is in accordance with the Pennsylvania Open Records law. Criminal complaints and arrest warrants that have been filed in the court system are available though the District Court system.

Notice of Accident Investigation forms are given at the scene of an accident to those involved. Crash reports can be obtained through Carfax here

To access the Pennsylvania Uniform Crime Reporting System (UCR) and compare Butler Township to other areas, visit here.

To obtain UCR reports, visit here

House Numbering

It is important for residents to ensure that their house numbers are clearly visible from the road. Numbers should be on the house itself and not merely on the mailbox. Numbers on the mailbox are not always helpful in helping emergency responders find your house and can lead to a delay of valuable minutes in case of an emergency. Responders ask that you affix your house number in a location that can be seen from the road. Since emergencies can occur during the day or at night, reflective numbering in a clearly visible location is the best way to assist responders in a time of need.

To obtain an order form to purchase reflective signs from Valley Regional Fire & Rescue, visit here.

Department History

The Butler Township Police Department was started on October 14, 1969, by an ordinance under the direction of township Supervisors Bob Shelhamer, Earl Christman and John Klinger. Andrew Pecile was appointed the chief of police and was the only full-time officer.

On July 11, 1972, six special police officers were appointed to the department; they were to serve two hours a week at $1.75 per hour. On December 29, 1972, two additional special officers were appointed.

The first police cruiser was a used 1968 Plymouth, a former Pennsylvania State Police cruiser. It was painted all black and the lettering consisted of decals purchased from the hardware store. It was equipped with a single beacon on the roof and a citizens band radio.

In 1974, the township sent James Crawford to the Pennsylvania State Police Municipal Police Officers’ basic academy. 

Today, the Butler Township Police Department consists of eight full-time police officers and one civilian clerk. 

Since 2007, the department is also an Automated Fingerprint Identification System (AFIS) livescan processing site. Other local police departments also use the AFIS system though a cost-sharing agreement. Sugarloaf Township; West Hazleton Borough; Pennsylvania State University Campus Police, Hazleton Campus; Conyngham Borough; Freeland Borough and White Haven Borough police departments use the system to process their arrestees. 

The system quickly compares the person’s fingerprints, identifies the person and gives his or her criminal history. The photograph portion of the system uploads an arrest mugshot that is available to other users in the state. It uses photo recognition to compare features to unknown suspects. 

Each of the department’s patrol vehicles is equipped with a mobile data terminal, which permits the officer to receive calls from the Luzerne County 911 Center and gives officers access to driver, vehicle and criminal history information. An integrated map in the software identifies addresses and locations with known threats. The patrol vehicles are also equipped with a nighttime optical thermal imaging camera.

The department recognizes the nationwide trend of school and workplace violence. For more than 10 years, the department has acquired immediately accessible tactical equipment in order to respond to these situations.

The Butler Township Police Department is dedicated to ensuring the safety of all residents and visitors.

Victim/Witness Information

A successful prosecution in any crime requires the help of victims and witnesses. In addition, several agencies are available to support you though the legal process and help you though the event. In order to present the strongest case possible, we also ask that you do the following:

  • Provide the police, victim/witness advocates and District Attorney’s Office with your current address and phone numbers.
  • DO NOT post anything on social networking sites, such as Facebook, Twitter, etc., even if your profile is set to “private.”
  • Do not discuss your case in public.
  • Immediately report anyone asking you not to testify or cooperate with police.
  • Do not speak with any attorney except those who expressly identify themselves as assistant district attorneys with the Luzerne County District Attorney’s Office. If there is doubt, obtain their name and call the DA’s office at 570-825-1674 or contact the investigating officer. Sometimes, unscrupulous attorneys may call the victim or witness and try to talk about the pending case.

A crime victim is eligible to receive information concerning the offender though Pennsylvania's Victim Notification Service program, known as PA SAVIN. The Luzerne County District Attorney’s Office participates in the program. Visit here for more information. 

pdfDownload the Domestic Violence Victim Information Referral Form

pdfDownload the Crime Victims Act Rights Referral Form

pdfDownload the Victim Services Telephone Hotline Directory