Criminal Investigation Division
The Criminal Investigation Division of the Northern Regional Police Department is responsible for handling cases that are in need of further investigation. These cases usually involve more work that what is practical for a patrol officer to accomplish on their shift.
The detectives assigned to the Criminal Investigation Division have both spent many years as patrol officers prior to their current assignments. This is generally the case for most officers who are appointed to the position of detective in a police agency. It allows them to gain plenty of experience doing everyday police work before being asked to handle serious cases, thus requiring them to utilize their years of training and experience to aid them in solving these types of cases.
Types of Cases
Cases that our investigators will typically handle may include thefts, frauds, burglaries, robberies, illicit drug investigations and deaths. In cases where a crime is very serious and complex in nature, our agency may also request the assistance of an outside agency and partner with them during the investigation, e.g. Allegheny County Police, Allegheny County District Attorney’s Office, Attorney General’s Office, FBI, DEA, Secret Service etc. This is done because some cases may extend well beyond the jurisdiction of our municipalities requiring a lot of travel and labor intensive work, as well as prosecution that may involve multiple agencies and jurisdictions.
Detectives assigned to the Criminal Investigative Division receive specialty training that assists them in performing their duties with greater ease and success. They receive training on interview and interrogation techniques, processing crime scenes (including locating and lifting fingerprints), handling evidence, and other investigative procedures.
The Northern Regional K-9 team began in May of 2007, after Officer Mike Dorsch and K-9 Dark were hired in April. The pair had previously worked together for the Carnegie Police Department from October of 2005 – April 2007. Officer Dorsch’s partner was a German shepherd born in Hungary and was trained in patrol in narcotics detection.
The pair worked together for almost 9 years, until Dark was retired in September 2014. Dark assisted and was responsible for dozens of arrests and seizures throughout his career in and around Allegheny County. Dark now lives at home with Officer Dorsch and his family.
In August of 2014, through a very generous donation from John and Linda Harrison, the department purchased a new partner for Officer Dorsch. Officer Dorsch spent an entire day at Shallow Creek Kennels testing dogs and selected K-9 Moskito. After much thought about the name Officer Dorsch decided to change the name of his partner. Officer Dorsch, a former Marine, decided to name his new partner after Marine Sgt. Nicholas Nolte, who was K.I.A. in Iraq. Officer Dorsch had served with Sgt. Nolte during his enlistment and always emulated him as a true warrior. With that said, Officer Dorsch’s new partner was now known as K-9 Nolte.
September of 2014 started K-9 Nolte’s training. K-9 Nolte, a part Belgian Malinois and part German shepherd, was young and “green”, meaning he had no previous training. With assistance from Sgt. Matt Grubb and the Ross Twp. Police Department, Officer Dorsch and K-9 Nolte spent 9 weeks training and bonding before being certified through the North American Police Work Dog Association in narcotics detection and patrol work.
Since becoming part of the team, the Northern Regional Police Department has received tons of support from various organizations. K-9 Nolte now receives food from Blackwood Dog Food Company and The Ohio Twp Agway Store, we received a stab and bullet proof vest from Vested Interest in K-9’s, and we are awaiting portable kennels from the Brownie Troop at Marshall Elementary and a first aid kit from We Ride to Provide. The support of these organizations is truly appreciated.
Now fully trained and equipped, the K-9 Unit provides vital assistance to patrol officers all around Allegheny County. K-9 Nolte has assisted in searches for missing persons, narcotic searches at our local schools, search for suspects, and his most valuable asset has been public demonstrations. K-9 Nolte has made appearances at Community Day events, Cub Scouts, Girl Scouts, and local schools. His pleasant demeanor is always a crowd pleaser.
K-9 Nolte lives at home with Officer Dorsch and the pair continue to train at minimum 4 hours a week to maintain proficiency. K-9 Nolte and Officer Dorsch are assigned to the Patrol Division and handle calls for service within our jurisdiction unless called outside of our jurisdiction to assist other agencies.
Uniform Patrol Division
The Uniform Patrol Division is the proverbial backbone of the police department. A majority of the department’s officers are assigned to uniform patrol. The department includes three separate shifts. This allows officers to respond to the majority of the calls for service throughout each day.
Types of Calls
Patrol officers will typically respond to calls within the boundaries of the Northern Regional Districts. On occasion, the officers will also assist other nearby police agencies when requested to do so. These requests are general for high priority incidents requiring additional police units beyond the capacity of the requesting agency.
Calls for service that are handled by patrol officers, range from minor problems such as noise complaints, civil disputes, and traffic issues; up to serious vehicle accidents, domestic disputes, armed robberies etc.
Motor Vehicle Violations
In addition to responding to calls, patrol officers routinely enforce motor vehicle code violations through proactive patrols along the Municipality’s roadways. Officers typically monitor for speed violations, failure to stop at posted stop signs and traffic signals, intoxicated drivers, and other poor driving habits. These violations are the cause for a majority of motor vehicle accidents. The officers in the Uniform Patrol Division utilize marked and unmarked police cars, as well as motorcycles and bicycles to conduct their daily patrols throughout the municipality. Marked police vehicles provide instant recognition when seen on the roadways, which helps to deter bad driving and criminal activity. Unmarked police cars and motorcycles are commonly used for traffic enforcement. They allow officers to easily spot aggressive drivers. Furthermore, the officers may ride bicycles during special events, making it easier to navigate through large crowds.
Training & Instruction
Patrol officers receive training and instruction in many different facets of police work. Some officers may specialize in certain fields, in addition to their daily patrol functions. Here are some examples of specialty training the officers receive:
- Certified Accident Reconstructionist: Sergeant Matthew Blough
- Certified Truck Inspector: Sergeant Andrew Bienemann
- Firearms Instructor: Captain Bryan DeWick, Sergeant Michael Dorsch and Officer Scott Barlett
- Canine Handler: Sergeant Michael Dorsch
The Uniform Patrol Division of the Northern Regional Police Department are the group of officers you are most likely to encounter in the community and see driving through your neighborhood. Please feel free to stop and say hello, should you see an officer in your neighborhood.