York County's DA, top police officials urge Election Day civility and respect in PSA video
York County District Attorney Dave Sunday, along with the county's top police officials, has released a public-service message calling for civility and respectful conduct on Election Day.
In the video, Sunday assures citizens that law enforcement "will work tirelessly to keep you safe — not only on Election Day, but always."
"We stand before you united in our message to be respectful and civil to your fellow friends, neighbors and citizens during this election," Fairview Township Police Chief Jason Loper says on the video, which was released Thursday.
The message came ahead of Tuesday's general election, which includes a contentious race for the White House between President Donald Trump and former Vice President Joe Biden.
Trump, a Republican, has repeatedly declined to guarantee his support for a peaceful transition of power should he lose, and has instead said, incorrectly, that the only way he could be defeated is if his opponents "cheat."
Trump's campaign has also said it plans to recruit 50,000 poll watchers, calling it an "army," to surveil voters, especially in Pennsylvania. Opponents claim that Trump's supporters could ultimately intimidate voters, especially in minority communities, where Democrats hold a historic advantage.
"The right to vote and freedom of speech are basic foundations of our great nation," Northern York County Regional Police Chief Dave Lash continues in the video.
"Equally as important is the guarantee of public safety as you exercise these fundamental rights," York City Police Commissioner Michael Muldrow adds.
"We recognize many of you are passionate about the candidates or party that you support," Springettsbury Township Police Chief Todd King says.
"But a civil and peaceful election process must occur in our county," Spring Garden Township Police Chief George Swartz says.
"As police and prosecutors, we will investigate and prosecute any and all harassing, threatening or intimidating conduct," West Manchester Township Police Chief John Snyder warns.
West York Police Chief Matt Millsaps says conduct "that places our fellow citizens in fear while performing their civic duty of voting" is unacceptable, "and this not only applies to Election Day."
Northeastern Regional Police Chief Bryan Rizzo warns that "threats or acts of violence will not be tolerated."
"And those who engage in criminal conduct will be arrested and fully prosecuted," Sheriff Rich Keuerleber adds.
"We know that York County will come together as Americans, no matter which candidates win, to keep and maintain a safe and secure community," Penn Township Police Chief Guy Hettinger says.
— Reach senior crime reporter Liz Evans Scolforo at firstname.lastname@example.org or on Twitter at @LizScolforoYD.