YORK COUNTY, Pa. — Fairview Township Police on Thursday announced the retirement of Chief Jason Loper, who stepped down Wednesday after 28 years with the department.
Loper, who joined the department on Sept. 4, 1994, will use leave time until he reaches his official retirement date of Sept. 30, the police department said.
After spending five years as a patrol officer, Loper moved to a detective role in 1999. As a detective, he worked several high-profile cases and made hundreds of arrests, the department said. Among those included a homicide case that was featured in several true-crime TV shows, according to the department.
Loper received numerous awards and commendations both from the department and from outside organizations. More meaningful, however, were the many cards and letters of thanks from crime victims and even those he arrested over his career, the department said.
For many years, Loper served as the department’s use of force and firearms instructor, and was instrumental in adopting patrol rifles and tasers within the agency.
In March 2012, Loper was promoted to lieutenant. After a sudden departure of the police chief in November of that year, Loper found himself in the position of Acting Chief of Police. In 2014, he was appointed Chief of Police by the Fairview Township Board of Supervisors.
During the 10 years Loper has overseen the department, there have been several positive changes, including improved staff numbers and training methods, patrol schedules, and staff morale, the department also said.
Loper also acted to improve police-community relations and implemented the use of body cameras.
During his tenure, the department earned the Premier Agency status by the Pa. Law Enforcement Accreditation Commission, something that only 21 of over 1,100 police departments in the Commonwealth have achieved.
Most important was the significant reduction in crime in Fairview Township during Loper's tenure, the department said.
Over the past 10 years, the department’s Part I crimes (murder, rape, robbery, assault, burglary, theft, and arson) have decreased over 50%, according to the department. At the same time, the clearance rates of those crimes that did occur were consistently higher than the average within York County and the Commonwealth, all according to the department.
Loper has also served as an executive board member and past president of the York County Children’s Advocacy Center, past president of the York County Chiefs of Police Association, and an executive board member of the Pennsylvania Chiefs of Police Association.
Lt. Davis Holland will take over as Chief of Fairview Township Police on Oct. 1. Holland has been with the Fairview Township Police Department for 23 years.