BROOKVILLE — Since Officer Vince Markle became Chief Markle a few months ago, there have been some big changes happening in the Brookville Police Department.
The borough recently finished some renovations to make the department a more productive space. A major change was the addition of an interview room, which includes a camera that records video and audio of any interviews. The camera is also linked to a screen in another office enabling other police officers to aid in an interview without actually being in the room. Before the room was added interviews were conducted in the general office space. This could cause distractions with the commotion going on around whichever room was being used.
The station was also rearranged to give each officer his or her own space. Before they were working in a cubicle setup, and Markle believes it’s better for everyone to have space rather than a cubicle. “We pretty much turned the station upside down to make it more user friendly,” he said.
They are in the process of getting new carpeting for the station as well. “Once we get that carpet down this place will be pretty nice,” Markle said.
On top of making some changes to their building, the officers are also waiting to receive a new police car that will have a computer system in it and a dash cam. The vehicle is a 2018 police interceptor sport utility and should be arriving shortly.
Another change that has been taking place over the last few months has been the training the officers are taking. Just this past month Officer Andrew Turnbull attended a training for social media exploitation. When he got to the training he was the only police officer attending as the rest of the attendees were FBI and DEA agents. When Turnbull called to tell Markle, he told Turnbull to stick around and do the training. When Turnbull finished the training he graduated top of the class, and received honors.
Officer Mick Stormer attended a combative rifle training and tactile training with firearms. Three of Brookville’s police officers also attended a minimal facts interview for first responders in child abuse cases. The second part of this training takes place this month. The topic of the second part will be child and sex trafficking, which is becoming a major issue nationwide. Having Interstate 80 and Route 322 running through Brookville makes the possibility of it higher, so police are taking it seriously and training for it.
They have even more training upcoming. Some of the officers will be going to a standardized field sobriety instructor course, which will allow them to then train other officers. The field sobriety tests are now used for more than just drinking and driving. They are also used for drugs. This course will enable an officer to later become a drug recognition expert. They will also be taking mandated District Attorney training, a three-day course to train officers on properly filing criminal complaints, how to write them and court room etiquette.
All the training the department is doing is so they can be in top form for the community. “We want to be a top notch police department and we have the guys here to do that,” Markle said.
In the past month the department has been very busy in the community. They had five drug arrests, which all came from traffic stops. They also arrested a juvenile selling drugs from a residence without the parent’s knowledge.
They also had an assault case at the truck stop of a man beating another, and leaving him unconscious in the parking lot. The department tracked him down several states away to bring him to justice.
There were explosives reported at the high school, which were found to be in a student’s car.
An identity theft case was investigated this month, too. A credit card number was used for large purchases at Sheetz, and was tracked to the Pittsburgh area.
The count for May was:
- 151 traffic citations
- 107 warnings
- 383 parking tickets
- 7 felonies
- 79 misdemeanors
- 5 drug arrests
Markle says he wants the department to be community oriented. He referred to the motto that most people have heard by now of “see something say something,” but he explained that they were adding to it – “we will do something.” He said they have been getting more residents calling in, and they would rather get a call and have it be nothing than not hear about a problem.
“Can’t do it by yourself, you have to have a team of good officers that believe in your vision,” Markle said about the changes being made.
Markle gives praise to all of his officers, and is proud of all of them stepping up to participate in all the new training.