Guy Hettinger to become Chief of Police for Penn Township later this week

YORK COUNTY, Pa. — Guy Hettinger is set to become the Chief of Police for Penn Township on Saturday, April 6, exactly a year after he was named Acting Chief of Police following the retirement of James Laughlin.

Chief Hettinger has been with the police department since 1993, when he graduated from York College of Pennsylvania with a Bachelor’s degree in criminal justice.

Though, it wasn’t until he served in the United States Army that he realized had a built-in desire to help people.

“Although I served in Military Intelligence, I was told by several of my peers and supervisors that I should think about a career in Law Enforcement,” his bio said. “As my enlistment in the Army neared completion I researched law enforcement and concluded it was the right choice for me. When I completed my Army commitment I enrolled at York College to gain knowledge in law enforcement which eventually led me to Hanover PA and the Penn Township Police Department.”

In his bio, Chief Hettinger listed a few things that he hopes to see moving forward within the department:

  • Implement a new records management system to better handle the endless paperwork that comes along with police work, which will include an electronic ticketing module to help streamline the citation process and the sharing of information with other area police organizations
  • Members participating in voluntary initiatives (like no-shave November) to help raise money for local charitable organizations and advocacy groups

Also in Chief Hettinger’s bio was an incident that he says is why he became an officer in the first place. You can read it below:

“I had been with the police department for about 5 years. It was a late night/early morning when I was on patrol and stopped a vehicle for suspected drunk driving. The driver, an adult female, was clearly intoxicated. She explained that her personal life was in a downward spiral. She was going through a divorce, her career was in jeopardy and now, with me stopping her, it was adding to her misery. I felt bad for her but I had a job to do. I ended up arresting this woman for DUI.  She cried a lot, became upset and screamed at me (numerous times) that I was ruining her life. I remained professional and completed the arrest. A few weeks later while I was patrolling the Township I was called into the police station to meet a subject in the lobby. As I pulled up to the station I saw it was the woman I had arrested a few weeks earlier. I was certain I was about the get another earful of how terrible I was and how I ruined her life. To my surprise, when I approached her she handed me a box of roses and said “thank you.” She explained that with all the turmoil in her life at the time I stopped her, she was certain that her bad decisions would have resulted in her injuring herself or someone else if nothing had changed. When I arrested her it caused her to evaluate her situation and make better choices. She said that stop, as painful as it was for her, may have saved her life. THIS was why I became a police officer. THIS was why we do what we do.”

“I am excited with this opportunity and look forward to continuing my service to the citizens and visitors to Penn Township,” Chief Hettinger’s bio concluded.

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