LANCASTER — The City of Lancaster didn’t have to look far for its next Chief of Police.
Mayor Danene Sorace announced Tuesday that Interim Chief Jarrad Berkihiser will lead the police department. The decision was made following a national search and selection process.
Berkihiser had been acting in the interim role since October 2017, when Keith Sadler left the department to take a job within the Bureau of Narcotics Investigation and Drug Control, part of the state Attorney General’s Office.
Watch: Mayor Sorace holds press conference to announce Berkihiser as City of Lancaster’s Chief of Police (Credit – Lancaster City Police Department)
Berkihiser was hired by Lancaster Police in May 1994, starting in the Patrol Division. A year after he started, the Berks County native became a member of the Special Emergency Response Team (S.E.R.T.), according to his biography on the department’s website. From 1998 to 2002, he investigated and prosecuted street level narcotics and prostitution cases in the Drug Suppression Unit. He was then transferred to Criminal Investigative Division, where he focused on units relating to auto theft and violent crime. During this time, Berkihiser specialized in identifying and investigating pattern violent crimes and homicides, his bio says.
In 2007, Berkihiser was promoted to sergeant and returned to the Patrol Division as a patrol platoon sergeant. He filled several positions within the unit division for five years until he was promoted to lieutenant and assigned to the Special Investigations Unit of the Investigative Division. His position included supervising and managing detectives charged with investigating child abuse and sexual assault cases while carrying out his own investigations, his bio adds.
Two years later, Berkihiser was promoted to captain, taking command of the Patrol Division. His duties in this role included strategic planning for the division, overseeing the training, discipline and assignment of personnel among the four platoons, patrol services, mounted patrol, K-9 unit, school resource officers, and the selective enforcement unit, his bio states.