A team of student reporters from the Delaware Valley Elementary School visited Eastern Pike Regional Police Department for a tour and a chat with Chief Chad Stewart, who invited the group to the facility.
This is their account of their day and all that they experienced.
We were given a tour of the entire facility. We got to sit in the police SUV’s and saw other police vehicles, the fingerprint station, the holding cell, all of the equipment they use. We got to use the Virtual Reality equipment that is used for officer empathy training. We learned about the officer’s gear: different medical materials, riot gear, bullet proof vests and handcuffs, among others. There was so much to see and learn.
Officers know when people exceed the speed limit by a built-in device in their squad cars that tells them the vehicle’s speed. We learned that the officers that live in the direct area get their own police car to take home, but the rest of the officers share the vehicles, and they keep the vehicle at the station.
Chief Stewart has met some famous people in his career. Among them he has met, Dolly Parton, George W. Bush, [and] race car driver Michael Andretti. He’s been a police officer for 26 years. He makes sure people follow the rules and makes sure that everyone learns a lesson after they commit the crime.
They carry a lot of equipment on their person, including weapons, seatbelt cutter, handcuffs. He loves helping people and the community. He enjoys spending time with the community and connecting with them. He has worked in Washington DC, Georgia, and Pike County.
He wanted to become a police officer because he wanted to help people, and he remembers memories of a policeman from when he was little and thought it was very cool. Later he understood how important that was.
The difference between a police chief and police officer is that he handles policies that the officers do not. Police Chiefs also work with funding. Communication is one of the biggest skills needed in his position. He works 40 hours a week. The station has about 40 police officers.
If one of his officers commits a crime, he said that nobody is above the law, and they would go through the same process that non-officers do.
His management style is to help a lot, but he can sometimes be stern when he needs to be. His typical responsibilities are administrative work. In his opinion, the biggest crime affecting Pike County today is drug trafficking, like the rest of the country.
In order to become a police officer, you need to complete 12 weeks of training and attend police academy. You need to be 18 years old to become a police officer in the Commonwealth of Pennsylvania.
The worst part of being a police officer is arresting young juveniles. The best part is helping people and talking with them.
He said it can be fun to be a police officer. The scariest thing that ever happened to Chief Stewart is when someone approached him with a weapon.
Chief Stewart has a message to the community. If you see a crime being committed to please let them know. He likes to fish, head outside and hike in his spare time.
Chief Stewart, thank you for the invitation and everything you, Corporal Chelsea Adams and Officer Chris Linehan did for us. It is an interview we are not likely to forget!