Middletown Township  
   August 2016
Thank you for reading this August special edition of Middletown Township's monthly E-News, featuring the Police Department and Public Safety! Please enjoy and share with your friends and neighbors. And remember to follow the Township and Police Department on Twitter and like our Parks & Recreation Department and Police Department on Facebook to keep up to date on the latest news, events, safety concerns, and other happenings in the Township!
Citizen Police Academy

The Police Department wants to encourage residents to become more actively involved in their community and its safety. To that end, the Department will offer a Citizen Police Academy this fall!

During an eight-week course, residents can learn about laws and procedures that govern policing while experiencing demonstrations and hands-on exercises. Curriculum topics will include Special Investigations Unit, SWAT, K-9, and accident reconstruction, along with many other topics.

If you've always had an interest in keeping the community safe, creating a neighborhood watch group, holding town hall meetings, or expressing your safety concerns to the Police Department, the Citizen Police Academy is for you! Sessions will run on Wednesday evenings, 6:30 p.m. to 8:30 p.m., from September 28th to November 16th. Applicants must be 18 years or older, live or work in Middletown Township, be willing to have a background check performed, and be available to attend all classes.

For more information or to sign up, see the Police Department website.

Drug Prevention and Treatment Resources
Addiction and overdose are serious public health risks facing the nation. Pennsylvania has a higher drug overdose rate than the national average. The Middletown Township Police Department has already begun using the life-saving Narcan and hosted a Drug Addiction Overdose Education event that trained residents in its use.

The Bucks County Drug and Alcohol Commission (BCDAC) recommends several local and state resources that are available to the community:
  • For treatment, those with insurance should call the Mental Health/Substance Abuse phone number listed on their insurance cards.
  • Those without insurance may seek services at Aldie Counseling Center, 2291 Cabot Boulevard, West, Langhorne, PA 19047, 215-642-3230; walk-in hours Monday through Friday from 8 a.m. to 2 p.m.
  • If you have a child ages 12-17 with a drug or alcohol problem, the legal system can force them into treatment even if they are unwilling. Contact the BCDAC at 215-773-9643 and mention Act 53, a state law that allows parents to compel children to get an evaluation and treatment.
  • Pennsylvania has a Good Samaritan Law to protect those who dial 911 to seek emergency medical help for someone experiencing an overdose and stay on scene. Criminal and civil protections for the person experiencing an overdose and the person calling and staying can include immunity from prosecution for possessing drugs or paraphernalia and violations of probation or parole. Pennsylvania encourages a "don't run, call 911" policy so that lives can be saved without the fear of legal repercussions. For more information on this policy, call 1-800-221-6333.
  • The Commonwealth Prevention Alliance created a Stop Opiate Abuse Campaign, PAStop.org, that offers additional resources.
For any other information or resources, please contact the Bucks County Drug and Alcohol Commission at 215-773-9313 or visit their website.
Shop with a Cop

While the holidays may seem like a long way away, it is never too early to consider how you can help the most disadvantaged members of the community. The Police Department has created a Shop with a Cop program to pair children in need with a Police Officer who will take them gift shopping for the holidays. The child's family may have financial struggles, an illness, or a family member deployed. In an effort to make the holidays a positive experience for these children, this program will offer $100 gift cards for them to spend on gifts for their families.

Inspire Credit Union has already pledged $500 that will be added to the money raised at National Night Out. Other residents and businesses are encouraged to donate as well - every $100 sponsors an additional child, but donations of any amount, no matter how large or small, are welcome and greatly appreciated. Donations of giftwrapping supplies are also welcome.

For more information about this program or to donate, please contact Officer Melissa Robison at mrobison@middletownbucks.org or 215-750-3876.

New Officer Sworn In

Middletown proudly welcomes veteran police officer and Township resident Corey Huff to the Police Department! Corey served in Upper Makefield for eleven years where he was the firearms instructor as well as one of their field training officers.

Growing up locally, Huff graduated from Pennsbury High School, and he later graduated from the Montgomery County Police Academy. He currently attends Kaplan University where he aims to earn a Bachelor's Degree in Criminal Justice.

Corey was sworn in at the August 15th Board of Supervisors meeting in front of family, friends, and the community. Police Chief Joe Bartorilla praised Huff's enthusiasm for using his experience to help the community. Please help make the newest member of the Middletown Township Police Department feel welcome!

Dangers of Online Communication
Open laptop with digital tablet and white smartphone. All with isolated screen on old wooden desk.

As technology keeps adding new methods of communication, the risks of children and teens communicating with strangers greatly increase. It is important for parents and the community to understand how people communicate and what practices can best keep them safe.

One of the most important steps in making sure your children practice safe communication is to know how they communicate in the first place. Many children and teens use many methods beyond simple phone calls, text messages, and popular social media sites. Ipods, for example, have their own messaging system that allows users to communicate without a cellular connection. Many online game systems, such as Xbox Live or the Playstation Network, have similar features. People also send messages through website message boards or forums. Remember that many of these options are available for mobile devices, not just computers. Mobile devices also can use specific messaging applications, such as Kik Messenger, that allow users to stay relatively anonymous or fabricate information.

With all of these ways that the community's youth can send and receive messages, it is important to take steps to ensure that they do not end up communicating with someone who may intend to harm them. The Middletown Township Police Department offers several important suggestions for parents to help keep their children safe:
  • Know what accounts your children use.
  • Be aware of the privacy settings on these applications and programs. Many offer settings to prevent interaction with strangers, and these should be verified every time a program or application updates.
  • Maintain an open conversation with your children. Children and teenagers may respond better to discussions about safety than simply being told they cannot use certain applications.
  • Teach them to be skeptical of people they do not know. Almost 70 percent of teens receive messages or friend/connection requests from people they do not know. Discuss with them that ignoring strangers is not rude or mean, but rather important for their safety.
  • Remind them not to post their phone numbers on applications or websites that make it visable to strangers.
This can be a difficult topic to approach, but keeping an open discussion with children and teenagers about these issues can greatly increase their safety and keep them away from people looking to take advantage of them through online communication.
National Night Out

Thank you to everyone who attended National Night Out on August 2nd! As noted in last month's article, National Night Out is an annual event to promote a partnership between police and the communities they serve. The Middletown Township Police Department held a block party at the Municipal Center. Approximately 1,200 residents joined the police and other Township staff for an evening of family fun and building relationships with police officers. Attendees enjoyed games, food, arts and crafts, and other activities.

Community Relations Officer Melissa Robison wishes to express her appreciation for the residents who attended the event. "We are overwhelmed by residents' support and enthusiasm for creating a positive, lasting relationship between the community and the Police Department," she said. "Thank you to all residents who attended and all the local businesses and Township staff who helped make this evening a huge success."

Coffee with a Cop

On August 30th, join your neighbors and members of the Middletown Township Police Department (MTPD) for Coffee with a Cop! From 9:00 a.m. to 11:00 a.m., Police Officers will be at Garden of Eatin, 964 Woodboure Road, Levittown, to converse with residents who are welcome to ask questions, voice their concerns, and just get to know the officers in the community.

The MTPD is excited to participate in this national program that aims to break down barriers between the police and the community they serve. Coffee with a Cop now appears in departments across all 50 states and has even spread to other countries. It will offer a chance for a relaxed, informal interaction between Middletown Officers and residents as they get to know one another.

For more information, please contact Officer Melissa Robison at 215-750-3876.

Back to School Supply Drive

The Police Department has partnered with Jay's Steak and Hoagie Joint to host a drive to help students get school supplies before the new school year begins. Donations of new school supplies are currently being accepted at the Police Station, where the Police Department will distribute them to children in need. Please step up to help Middletown students prepare for school.

As an added incentive, Jay's is offering $5 in "Jay's Bucks" for anyone who donates a new backpack or a bag of school supplies.

Thank you for helping Middletown's children prepare for school!

Upcoming Events

August 24 - Zoning Hearing Board meeting, 7 p.m. in the Public Hall of the Municipal Center
August 30 - Coffee with a Cop, 9 a.m. to 11 a.m. at Garden of Eatin
September 5 - Township offices closed for Labor Day

September 6 - Board of Supervisors meeting, 7:30 p.m. in the Public Hall of the Municipal Center

September 7 - Planning Commission meeting, 7 p.m. in the upstairs conference room of the Municipal Center

September 14 - Zoning Hearing Board meeting, 7 p.m. in the Public Hall of the Municipal Center

September 19 - Board of Supervisors meeting, 7:30 p.m. in the Public Hall of the Municipal Center

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Middletown Township
3 Municipal Way, Langhorne, PA  19047