The Wyomissing Police Department since 1994 has had highly trained and experienced unit of officer known as the Special Services Unit. These officers respond to incidents requiring multiple pieces of equipment, or very specialized equipment, or where an extended time will be needed to complete a crime scene. These officers are training in documenting incidents through photography, videoing, or sketching, and the identification, collection, and preservation of evidence. To stay current with technology and related practices the unit trains quarterly in-house, but also attends outside educational conferences. Officers are certified as Crime Scene Technicians through the International Association for Identification and Harrisburg Area Community College.
The unit currently consists of Sergeant Thomas Endy, and Officers John Phillips, Raymond Waligorski, Matthew Henne, and Barry Moyer.
Today with all the forensic style television programs, so many victims have come to expect that a police department have a forensic unit to gather that crucial piece of evidence to solve their crime. As well jurors expect police to collect evidence to prove their cases in court. However, the identification, collection, and preservation of evidence are a meticulous portion of the job of a unit member because of the importance of such evidence. But there is more after the identification, collection, and preservation of evidence; it is the scientific analysis of that evidence, which takes months and maybe a year until results are learned.
In 1994, the special services unit originally worked out of a trunk of patrol car with a wooden chest of limited equipment and exposed to all weather conditions.
In 1998, a 1988 Ford Econoline was a converted from a retired ambulance.
A customized unit was purchased and delivered in July 2008. This unit is equipped with photography, tools, safety, collection equipment all of which officers will need when they arrive on scene to properly and efficiently complete their tasks. This portability saves time and equipment of the officers and allows for a clean, dry, safe working and storage environment, which the collection of evidence requires.
During 2010, the special services unit responded to 100 incidents requiring 168 hours of in- service time.
The top ten most handled incidents are shown in the following chart:
The following charts show the frequency by day that the Special Services unit is used: