JOHNSTOWN, Pa. (WTAJ) — On Monday, a new chief was announced for the Johnstown Police Department.
Chief Richard Pritchard has several years of experience in policing, and he started his career with the Stowe Township Police Department before working for Washington D.C. Metro Police. He then found his way to the Pittsburgh Police Department, where he spent 20 years before retiring as a lieutenant in 2013
During the 20 years he spent as a Pittsburgh police officer, he said served as:
- District detective from 1995 to 2001
- Community oriented police unit from 2001 to 2002
- Promoted to patrol sergeant in 2002 and assigned to the Hill District Station
- A member of the Haz-Mat Team
- A member of the Rapid Emergency Deployment Team
- Took Crisis intervention techniques training
- Promoted to patrol lieutenant in 2006 and assigned to Zone 5 Station
- Commander of the Hostage Negotiation Team
- Assigned to the Civil Disturbance Unit during the G-20 Summit
“I’m looking forward to jumping in and getting my feet wet,” Pritchard said during the press conference.
He said he plans on focusing on policy updates as well as recruiting for more officers.
“We’re looking for people to step up and take the challenge to come and come and join us in making Johnstown safe,” he said.
In his first order of action, Pritchard wants to go out and meet with community leaders to see what crime they’re facing and look at different strategies for addressing those crimes.
“The big thing is we have the community’s support in doing what we’re doing.”
In response to recent events across the nation that have sparked controversy within policing, Pritchard said he plans on looking into procedural fairness training in addition to getting connected with the community.
“I want [Johnstown residents] to know that I’m gonna be out there talking to them, that they can call me if they have concerns or needs, and we’ll try to get those addressed,” he said. “I want to thank them for letting me be a part of the team.
“It’s gonna lead the Johnstown Police Department from good to great and beyond.”
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Pritchard’s next strep is to reach out to local magistrates, local police chiefs and the district attorney.