Hellam Twp. Police Dept. promotes Heistand to lieutenant

Liz Evans Scolforo
York Dispatch

Hellam Township Police Lt. Drew Heistand remains the department's second-in-command but now has the ranking to reflect it, according to his boss, Chief Doug Pollock.

"I felt he had earned the promotion, and it was appropriate for him to have the right title for his (responsibilities)," Pollock said Friday, Sept. 7. "Nothing's really changed but the title in front of his name."

The chief praised Heistand's "incredible work ethic that is matched by his sense of integrity and commitment to excellence, and passion to be the consummate professional."

Sgt. Drew Heistand

Heistand, 39, has been with Hellam Township Police for 15 years. He lives in the township with his two daughters and grew up in Manheim, Lancaster County.

On Thursday, Sept. 6, he was promoted to lieutenant from staff sergeant.

"When Drew got hired here, he had an associate's degree," Pollock said. "While working shifts as an officer and raising a family, he earned his bachelor's and master's degrees. That's a solid work ethic, and he brings that to the station every day."

In November 2017, Heistand was named York County Officer of the Year for 2016 by the Police Heritage Museum.

More:Chief: York County's officer of the year flies 'under the radar'

At that time, the then-sergeant told The York Dispatch he loves the community he serves.

"I know so many people here that I feel like I'm part of something bigger," he said. "We have fantastic support from the community."

Plenty of duties: Heistand keeps all the gears moving smoothly within the department, according to the chief.

Hellam Township Police Lt. Drew Heistand's daughters pin his lieutenant's bars onto his uniform during his promotion on Sept. 6, 2018.

He manages the department's aggressive driving, Safe Kids Pennsylvania and Buckle Up Pa. programs, and he also oversees traffic-safety programs for schoolchildren. He secures grant funds for those programs, manages that funding and handles all of the paperwork required for departments that participate in statewide or national programs.

Heistand acts as administrator for all of the department's operating systems, its social-media outreach, vehicle maintenance, state crash-reporting system, dashboard and body cameras, and is overseeing the department's effort to become accredited, according to Pollock.

He also teaches schoolkids about bicycle safety, teaches Junior Achievement to elementary-school students and gives safety talks to the elderly at his church.

Hellam Twp. Police Staff Sgt. Drew Heistand (wearing gray helmet) and Officer Josh Phillips (wearing blue helmet) teach Kreutz Creek Elementary students about bicycle safety on May 9, 2018.

Despite the amount of responsibility Heistand handles daily, he's uncomfortable with praise and prefers to "fly under the radar," according to Pollock.

Until about five years ago, Heistand was a midget race-car driver with numerous career wins in the American Racing Drivers Club, including being an ARDC champion.

— Reach Liz Evans Scolforo at levans@yorkdispatch.com or on Twitter at @LizScolforoYD.