Take Me Home
The Abington Township Police Department is proud to introduce the “Take Me Home” program for families of individuals who may not be able to communicate with a law enforcement officer because of various physical and/or cognitive conditions (i.e., Autism, Alzheimer’s, Down Syndrome, etc.).
Many of us at Abington Township Police Department have experienced these challenges firsthand with our own loved ones, and we know how critical it is for law enforcement officers to have immediate access to personal background information during an emergency. Time is of the essence, and this background information will help our officers to make informed decisions on how to peacefully intervene to avoid those actions that will likely trigger fear, anxiety, or even a violent response.
Please take a moment to register your loved one today, so you can help us help them. Once registered, officers can search a secure database for information specific to the person to include physical description, photographs, medical conditions, home address, and a list of persons to contact in the event of an emergency. To register for Take Me Home click here. For additional information, please contact Officer Alison Gontowski at 267-536-1080 agontowski@AbingtonPA.gov , or Officer Christine Da Cunha 267-536-1097 cdacunha@AbingtonPA.gov .
Wouldn’t it be great if we could prevent our citizens from ever becoming crime victims? At the Abington Police Department, that’s our goal. While Abington Township is a very safe place to live and work, crime does happen sometimes. To help prevent victimization, Abington police officers work with residents and businesses to promote crime prevention.
Crime prevention is the science of recognizing what criminals look for and then reducing or eliminating such opportunities in a practical way. The more we can do to make it harder for the thief by increasing the time, visibility or noise factors, the more we are going to discourage him/her from selecting our residence, business, or ourselves as a target in the first place. Thus, we can discourage the thief by being smart enough to reduce opportunity by being prepared.
The Abington Police Department can assist with you with helpful information on ways to safeguard your property and your life. For more information contact the Community Policing Division at 267-536-1074.
The Abington Police Department is taking an active and compassionate role in helping people deal with opioid and other drug addiction. Law enforcement has been front and center in dealing with the consequences of drug addiction and the toll it can take on individuals and communities. Until recently, the primary tool has been to arrest people with substance use disorder. Treatment options were limited and often police departments had to release people with substance use disorders back into the environments that supported their addiction. The APAIR Program is based upon a successful program started by Bensalem Police Department that has spread to other departments in Bucks County. The primary goal of the program is to connect people with substance use disorders to treatment programs & facilities.
If an individual struggling with a substance use disorder comes into the Abington Police Department, is a resident of Abington Township, and asks for help, they will be connected with a treatment specialist. We have partnered with several treatment providers to ensure that help will be available 24/7. To get assistance ask an officer or simply walk into police headquarters located at 1166 Old York Rd. Abington, Pa. 19001 and tell the Dispatcher you are seeking help.
Intervention for families and individuals in crisis at times falls short. This is both challenging and worrisome for police officers when they continue to return to the same address only to see a family’s risk factors elevating. In 2015, Abington Township Police Department formed a service provider ‘HUB’, a community policing model that centralizes services and prevents duplication of effort. The purpose of the HUB is to connect citizens, who are at risk or in crisis, to care and support from the appropriate community agencies. Key members of the community, including police, adult and children’s crisis programs, homeless shelters, the school district, victim’s services, family services, mental health agencies and more, meet bi-monthly to review cases (This is directly in line with the President’s Task Force on 21st Century Policing’s 4th Pillar, Community Policing and Crime Prevention. The Abington HUB serves exactly this purpose). Service providers from across sectors in our area meet together to address community-based, multi-systemic risk scenarios by offering quick, multi-agency intervention and support services. Although most of these cases are not criminal in nature, the Department facilitates the HUB meetings, introducing scenarios and providing information and assistance for the HUB to resolve issues.
Since its inception the HUB has handled close to 500 cases. The majority of cases involved persons suffering from mental illness, while others included domestic violence, substance abuse, runaways, families in financial need and child abuse. One of the clearest measures of the HUB’s success has been a dramatic decrease in calls for service to the same addresses by the police. In one particular case Abington Police had logged over 150 responses for an individual living with serious mental illness and developmental disability. Many of these calls involved police response to life-threatening behavior on the part of this community member. Thanks to the work of the HUB partners that individual is now in a safer setting with meaningful activity and significant reduction in risk behavior. Calls for service at that address were reduced to zero! Not only did this decrease the burden on emergency services, but it removed the risk that officers might have to employ some level of force to control this person. In other cases a single call for service has been able to mobilize the HUB to provide immediate assistance. In one case an elderly resident, who was a veteran, was residing in an unsafe home with no heat or hot water. With the assistance of the HUB this person was relocated to a safe location.
In 2016, the Abington Township Police Department was awarded the” Cisco Systems Community Policing Award” presented by the International Association of Chiefs of Police (IACP) for work done with the HUB and supporting programs. This award is only presented to up to five law enforcement organizations in the entire world each year! Since that time several other area police departments have attended the Abington HUB and have successfully developed the program in their communities. The HUB is truly an outstanding example of progressive policing and community partnership.
Lock For Life
Lock for Life is a new program that is intended to provide Police, Fire, and Emergency Medical Services Personnel access to your residence in the event of an emergency where you are unable to open the door. A key box is placed on the front door by police and only they have the code to access the key. Any Abington senior citizen or younger disabled persons who live alone or have major medical issues are eligible. There is no charge for this service, all you need to provide is a spare key for the box. To complete the application click here.
‘Virtual Ride Along’ on Social Media
The Abington Township Police Department invites you to ride along with officers throughout the year as we use Twitter to give our community a glimpse of what Abington Police Officers experience during a normal patrol shift. The dates and time of the ‘Virtual Ride Along’ will be announced prior to each event and listed on our Event Calendar.
The ‘Virtual Ride Along’ will follow calls for service during the evening shift, tweeting information about those calls during the night along with photos and videos of the officers at work. It will be as if the residents are in the front seat of the patrol car!
Through the use of the ‘Virtual Ride Along’ program, the Abington Police Department hopes to enhance public trust and to continue to build partnerships with our community. The program will also allow our residents to get to know some of the officers who serve Abington Township every day.
Auxiliary Police – Volunteer Opportunities :
Be part of a proud volunteer organization founded over 70 years ago, support the Abington Police Department, and serve the community that is one of the 100 best US communities to live in! Police volunteers who dedicate hundreds of hours toward supporting the Abington Township Police Department. Since its formation in the mid 1940’s, the organization has assisted the Police Department with traffic and crowd control at fires, auto accidents, parades, community events and other emergencies. Though not armed, they are authorized to use police band radio communications equipment, and police vehicles when appropriate.
Our Mission: The mission of the Abington Township Auxiliary Police is to maintain a continuous commitment to upholding the highest standards of professionalism in volunteer public service and to assist the Abington Township Police Department when such assistance is deemed advisable; with the purpose to augment, not replace, the Abington Township Police.
Citizens & Police Together (C.A.P.T.)
C.A.P.T. (Citizens and Police Together) is a local, non-profit organization which offers financial and volunteer support for many of the Abington Township Police Department’s community projects. C.A.P.T. is dedicated to reducing crime and the fear of crime, by strengthening the Abington community through organized community events, educational and awareness programs, and intergenerational activities for youth and adults.
C.A.P.T. also coordinates events and resources which are intended to foster an ongoing partnership between the Abington community and the Abington Township Police Department. Leadership for C.A.P.T. is provided by a panel of community stakeholders representing schools, businesses, health care organizations, local youth, and individual community volunteers.
As such, C.A.P.T. has taken a leadership role in a number of key projects, including the annual 24 Hour Relay Challenge. The Challenge provides funding for community mini-grants as well as Police Department’s programs such as the Citizens Police Academy and D.A.R.E. For more information about C.A.P.T. and its activities, e-mail Community Policing Coordinator Kaitlyn Metzinger or call 267-536-1082.
12- Hour Relay Challenge (formally known as the 24-Hour Relay Challenge)
This successful and unique C.A.P.T. program established in 1995 brings together youth and adults in a community fundraising event that occurs in an atmosphere free of drugs, alcohol, tobacco and violence. Participants form 10-person teams with one member continuously walking, running or jogging around a track for 24 hours. Entertainment, food and fun abound in a spirit of community cooperation. Months of planning and preparation go into making this annual event a reality. Students, adults, the Abington School District, and the community all work together, raising funds which improve the Abington community in the form of C.A.P.T. grants and initiatives. For more information about the 24-Hour Relay Challenge, e-mail Community Policing Coordinator Kaitlyn Metzinger.
Abington Township is fortunate to have a well-established Town Watch program. Dedicated Town Watch members volunteer their time to patrol their neighborhood. Town Watch members report suspicious behavior, making their neighborhoods safer in the process. A Townwatch Council meets monthly to help coordinate the activities of the Township’s various active Town Watch groups. For further information, e-mail Officer Andy Gibbs or call 267-536-1097.
Abington Dog Walk & Watch Program
A crime awareness project sponsored by the Abington Joint Town Watch Council that enlists, educates, and encourages dog walkers throughout Abington Township to assist the Abington Police Department as “extra eyes and ears” in crime prevention.
The program will educate you on how to effectively observe and report criminal activity as you are out and about walking your dog in your neighborhood. As a trained Dog Walk & Watch observer you will become more aware of activity occurring during your walk and be less hesitant to report suspicious activity.
Click here to enroll in the class being held on January 26th from 7PM-9PM. For more information about the Abington Dog Walk & Watch Program, contact Officer Alison Gontowski: firstname.lastname@example.org or 267-536-1080.
Away Home Notification Form
The Away Home Program is designed to provide homeowners a means of having their residence checked periodically by an officer when they are away from home for an extended period of time. To participate in this program, the homeowner can complete our Away Home Notification Form on-line, call or visit the Abington Township Police Department. Homeowners are also encouraged to help protect their home by placing lights on a timer and arranging to have mail picked up. Click here to view and/or submit the form.
Citizens’ Police Academy
To the average citizen, the police profession often seems cloaked in mystery. Public perception can be misguided by the unrealistic exploits seen on TV cop shows or skewed by anti-police sentiments. Here at APD we’ve learned that the best way to help the taxpayers learn the “inside scoop” about law enforcement is by actually bringing them inside the organization for an eight week course in modern policing.
Each year the Abington Police Department offers a Citizens’ Police Academy (CPA). In the program, Township residents meet on a weekly basis with Police Officer instructors for lessons on various aspects of the law enforcement profession. Subjects include criminal and traffic law, the police role in the judicial process, APD equipment, training, resources and limitations of the police department. In return, the instructors often find a newly-developed law enforcement awareness among participants, as well as an increased sensitivity to the challenges of 21st Century policing. The increased citizen-police understanding that results from the close interaction of the CPA environment is an excellent vehicle for building bridges between the police and the community.
Not surprisingly, program alumni often volunteer to assist with future projects for APD and the community. Graduates are also encouraged to participate as block captains leading their neighborhood to crime prevention information, awareness and educational programs. For more information about the Citizens’ Police Academy, contact Officer Alison Gontowski: email@example.com or 267-536-1080. To register for the 2023 class please click here.
Volunteers in Policing (V.I.P.)
In an effort to enhance the police-community partnership, the Volunteers in Policing Program (VIP) combines the professionalism and experience of APD personnel with the creativity and enthusiasm of community volunteers.
It’s fair to say that citizen volunteers are one of the Police Department’s most important assets. Many of our programs would not exist without the participation of dedicated volunteers. In 2005, for example, citizens donated 11,382 hours of their time to the Police Department efforts within the Abington community.
APD provides all training and equipment required for its volunteers. Hours are flexible.
- General Clerical Assistance: assists with clerical duties and special projects
- Community Services Unit Volunteer: assists with Neighborhood Watch and Crime Prevention efforts
Interested citizens are encouraged to contact Officer Andy Gibbs at firstname.lastname@example.org or 267-536-1097 for an application or information regarding the V.I.P. program.
Victim Services Unit
The Victim Services Unit assists victims immediately after the crime, assuring that the victim is treated with respect and dignity. Victim Service personnel also help crime victims take their first steps toward regaining physical and emotional well-being.
The Victim Services Unit is staffed by Community Service Officers who provide information on Pennsylvania’s Victim Compensation Program and link victims with community resources. For further information e-mail Community Service Officer Jan Harris or call 267-536-1083.
C.A.R.E. (Crimes Against the Retired and Elderly)
The Crimes Against the Retired and Elderly Unit (CARE) program teaches senior citizens how to protect themselves from becoming victims of crime. C.A.R.E. focuses on preventing crimes that often target seniors as victims. For further information, contact Officer Andy Gibbs at email@example.com or 267-536-1097..