In 1959, Lynus S. "Dutch" Tyson was appointed as the first Chief of Police by the Board of Supervisors to serve the Township thus forming the Hilltown Township Police Department. Prior to this time, Hilltown Township was protected by the Pennsylvania State Police. In addition, Township Constables, such as Isaac D. Derstine, provided quasi police services to Township residents. Blair B. Boose was appointed Chief of Police in 1965 and served through 1981.
The Police Department was originally housed in an office inside a gymnasium behind the old Municipal Building (Hilltown High School) located on Blooming Glen Road (East State Street) and later moved into an addition to the Municipal Building. The Police Department moved to its current facility in May of 1989 with the dedication of a new Municipal Building.
George C. Egly, Jr. was appointed Chief of Police in 1982. At that time, the Department consisted of 5 Officers. During his tenure, the Department experienced tremendous growth to keep stride with the rising demands being placed upon it due to the increase in development and traffic in the Township and the region. Chief Egly modernized the Department's equipment and significantly increased the training of officers. This raised the professional image of the Department and enabled it to be more responsive to the needs of the citizens. Under his direction, the Department implemented a Detective Division, Juvenile Officers, Crime Prevention Officers, D.A.R.E. Officers, Youth Aid Program, and a Traffic Unit. The Traffic Unit was tasked with aggressively enforcing traffic laws and investigating traffic accidents. Several Officers were training in the field of Accident Reconstruction. At the time of Chief Egly's retirement in 1999, the Police Department had expanded to 16 members. This included a Lieutenant Detective, a Detective Sergeant, 4 Sergeants, and 9 Patrolmen.
Kerry L. Trauger was appointed Chief of Police in 1999. Prior to his appointment, Chief Trauger served as Lieutenant Detective for many years and oversaw numerous high profile criminal investigations, including the Hoopes family triple murder in 1990. He continued to work on expanding the Department's services and its resources until his retirement in 2003.
Christopher E. Engelhart was then appointed Chief of Police. Chief Engelhart is committed to continuing the work of his predecessors by pledging to maintain a high level of professionalism and integrity within the Department in order to better serve the Township in these challenging and complex times. He was fortunate to have been afforded the opportunity to attend the prestigious FBI National Academy in Quantico, VA in 2004, being the first member of the Department to be given this honor.
As of January 2007, the Police Department consisted of 19 sworn members and 3 administrative assistants. The Police Department provides protection around the clock and generally has 4 Officers patrolling the Township on rotating 12-hour shifts.
The Patrol Division is the most visible and important aspect of the Police Department. It is responsible for crime prevention and detection. The Patrol Division enforces traffic laws, investigates traffic accidents, investigates crimes, performs general patrols, and responds to numerous other emergency and non-emergency calls for service. It is currently comprised of 4 Patrol Sergeants and 13 Police Officers. Several Officers are sworn as Special Bucks County Detectives to conduct narcotics investigations throughout the County. The Patrol Division also has a Bike Patrol Unit, formed in 2005, to patrol high-density areas and to have a more visible and interactive presence in the community. Thanks to the residents of the Green Meadows development, the Department also opened a Police Substation in 2005 to better serve the residents in the densely populated northwest section of the Township.
In the mid-1980's, the Police Department spearheaded the formulation of a regional tactical unit, the Trained Emergency Situation Team (T.E.S.T.), which was comprised of Officers from several neighboring Upper Bucks County Police Departments in order to more appropriately respond to emergency situations requiring special training, weapons, tactics, and negotiations. This team later became known as the Upper Bucks Emergency Situation Team (U.B.E.S.T.). In 2004, the U.B.E.S.T. tactical unit merged with the Central Bucks Special Response Team (C.B.S.R.T.) in an effort to expand the capabilities and pool the resources of both teams. This tactical unit is now comprised of Officers from 20 Police Departments serving most municipalities in Central and Upper Bucks County.
The Hilltown Township Police Department also provides police services to Silverdale Borough. This began in July of 1991 after Silverdale Borough disbanded its part-time Police Department.
Although the Department has seen tremendous growth, the basic mission of protecting the lives and property of those that live and work in Hilltown has remained constant. The Hilltown Township Police Department proudly serves the citizens of Hilltown Township to make this community a safe place to live, work, and play.