Department History

The Colebrookdale Police Department boasts a long proud history of service to the community. Established in 1952, the township’s first police department was comprised of Officers Lynwood Youse and Grant Groff, who sported five-point badges and gray and black department patches with a Keystone symbol.

Prior to this, according to W. Edmunds Claussen in his "History of Colebrookdale Township," there was not sufficient need for a police department. Claussen reported that during the early 1900s, "you were trotted back to the woodshed," if accused of a crime. By 1910, Henry Gruber, Chief of Police in the Borough of Boyertown, and his officer Charley Kline helped to fight the local crime. Gruber, by the way, moonlighted as the leader of the Gabelsville Band!

The department hired its first full-time Chief of Police, Daniel Sands, in 1967. Roland Schock also worked for the department from 1970 through 1981, serving his last eight years as the department’s first sergeant. Upon Sands’ retirement in 1990, then-sergeant Michael Bullick was promoted to the chief’s position. During his tenure, the department, which was already contracting services to the Borough of Bechtelsville, also began providing coverage to Douglass Township/Berks County, and the name of the department was changed to the Colebrookdale District Police Department. The partnership with Douglass Township was to last only three years; however, 24-hour services to Bechtelsville continue to this day.

During these years, the Colebrookdale District Police Department initiated the training of officers in the Drug Abuse Resistance Education (DARE) program. Instruction was offered to students in both the Colebrookdale and Boyertown Elementary schools and eventually to those at the junior and senior high school levels.

The Colebrookdale District Police Department took on its first four-legged department member in 1992 when Officer Jack Harris trained and brought on board his canine partner, a German Shepherd named Zachary. During his five years of service, Zach also performed off-duty demonstrations for a variety of community, church and school groups. In 2000, a bomb-sniffing dog, Jolt, and his handler, Colebrookdale Officer David Guida, began responding to local threats and was on loan to several other neighboring districts until Jolt’s sudden passing in July 2005.

Late in 1995, the department hired its third Chief, who was already a 19-year police veteran when he came to Colebrookdale. A former sergeant with the West Pottsgrove P.D., Lawrence J. Mauger brought with him an enthusiasm for technology and an untiring community spirit. Under his leadership, the department established a Drug Tip Hotline whereby concerned citizens can offer police helpful information while maintaining anonymity. In addition, the Colebrookdale District Police Department participates in the county’s Youth Aid Panel, Berks County Drug Task Force, the Boyertown Area Community Partnership, and also participates in the area’s Communities That Care program.

Our current Chief, Christopher Schott, has been with the department since the end of 1981. 

Colebrookdale also joined the Ches-Mont Emergency Response Team (CMERT) with which three Colebrookdale District Police officers serve as hostage negotiators. The department has initiated an annual Shop With A Cop program for local kids, raised funds for charities during Cops and Lobsters events, and participated in the annual Police Week festivities held at the Coventry Mall, as well as the Thunder In the Valley community food collection event.

Today’s officers receive many forms of training and instruction on an annual basis in an effort to make the Colebrookdale District Police Department one of the most up-to-date departments in the area. Police reports are now done on laptop computers, and speed limit violations are detected through the use of the ENRADD laser system as well as the conventional VASCAR equipment. State-of-the-art computers offer access to a variety of data base information.

Nine full-time and one part-time officers currently provide round-the-clock coverage. They are assisted by two secretaries and a crossing guard. Patrol vehicles are easily distinguished "black and whites" displaying the township’s "apple" logo.

Keeping with their mission statement, "To Protect and Serve," Colebrookdale’s officers are proficient in a variety of law enforcement related areas, and would be happy to offer their services in the form of presentations to your community, church or school organization. Please contact Chief Schott at 610-367-5550 to make arrangements. The department is headquartered at 765 W. Philadelphia Avenue, just one mile west of Boyertown along Route 73.

(information researched by former Colebrookdale Officer Todd A. Fox and police secretary Ramona Peifer)

History of the Badge

The badge worn by the officers of the Colebrookdale Police Department has gone through a number of transformations over the years. The original badge worn in 1952 consisted of a typical five-point badge with an eagle perched on top. Police officers wore this badge until 1975 when it was decided to change to a star badge. In 1997, the badge was changed to a large model emphasizing the eagle symbol, which continues to be worn by officers today.

History of this Patch

The patch worn on the sleeve of the officers’ uniforms has been changed five times since 1952. The original consisted of the words "Colebrookdale Township Police" in black surrounded by the Keystone symbol on a gray background. The patch was changed in the mid-60s to resemble the badge worn at the time. In the late 70’s, the patch was changed back to the original Keystone symbol; however, the colors were black and gold. In 1992 when Douglass Township contracted services from Colebrookdale, the patch reflected the merger with a name change to Colebrookdale District Police Department. The patch was changed again in 1999 to the current patch displaying the apple symbol. Colebrookdale has been referred to as the "apple basket of Berks County," thus the symbol of the apple was added to the patch and the logo of the department.

A Call to Action

Community Policing requires the best efforts of everyone. Whether it is citizens improving the safety of their local communities, officers directing resources to the root problems in the community, or government officials pursuing more effective solutions, each individual must feel as if the problem was his or her own, and they must push themselves and work with others to solve them.

Community Policing will work to the degree that we, as a community, can assume individual responsibility for making this plan work, and to the degree that we, as a community, fulfill our role in helping to make that happen.

The task ahead is a large one and changes are required. Community Policing will require new resources and new attitudes - one without the other will make little difference. The combination will be powerful.

No one of us should wait for Community Policing to come to our doorstep or find its way onto our desk. Rather, we must go out and get started.