Welcome to the official page of The State College Police Department. We are a municipal police agency operated by the Borough of State College, PA and provide 24-hour police services to the Borough of State College, Harris and College Townships. The department was established in 1916.
State College Police Department History
The Borough of State College was incorporated on August 29, 1896. The “first officer of law” was High Constable George W. Taylor, in 1896. Taylor was followed by Thomas McMahan in 1899 (Hench, 1948).
The first uniformed full-time police officer was hired in 1916. Robert Mingle served the Borough from 1916 until 1925, marking the creation of the State College Police Department (Hench, 1948). Mingle was paid $60 a month and averaged walking 30-35 miles a day patrolling the Borough. He resigned in 1925 making $125 a month (Chesworth, 1995). Albert E. Yougel followed Mingle serving from 1925-1937. Yougel acquired the title “Chief”, upon the hiring of a second officer in 1935 (Hench, 1948). Yougel used a Ford coupe to patrol the Borough. The Ford was replaced by an Indian motorcycle and later a Harley-Davidson. By 1955, the department had grown to 8 officers and a chief.
Currently, the State College Police Department provides police services to the nearly 50,000 residents of the Borough of State College and neighboring College and Harris Townships. Those townships each had their own police departments until they began contracting for police services with the Borough, which absorbed those officers into SCPD. The Pennsylvania State University adds to the area population with over 44,000 students. Currently, over 60 sworn officers are employed in the Department, in addition to a non-uniformed complement of 15 employees. Department has over 15 patrol vehicles, 2 Harley-Davidson motorcycles, a dozen police bicycles and more than 15 additional support and administrative vehicles.
The Department is broken into three divisions, Patrol, Detective, and Community Relations/Professional Standards. The Patrol Division Commander oversees four platoons (shifts) providing 24-hour coverage and response to our community. In addition, this division is responsible for special event planning, warrant service and property/evidence management through our Traffic/Warrant/Evidence section. The Detective Division Commander is responsible for overseeing our criminal investigations and records sections. The Community Relations/Professional Standards supervisor oversees our community relations, school resource officer program, accreditation, policy/rules /regulations management and media relations.
Below is a list of Chiefs for the State College Police Department:
Robert Mingle 1916-1925
Albert E. Yougel 1925-1936
Martin L. Kaufmann 1936-1939
John J. Juba 1939-1970
Herbert Wm. Straley, Jr. 1970-1973
Elwood G. Williams, Jr. 1974-1993
Thomas R. King 1993-2016
John F. Gardner 2016-Present
Chesworth, J. (1995) Story of the Century. State College, Pennsylvania: The Borough of State College, Pennsylvania and The Barash Group
Hench, V. D. (1948) The History of State College, 1896-1946. Centre Daily Times Publications