Officer Michael Reinert
In January of 2021, Officer Michael Reinert was detailed as the Downtown Officer working under Support Services. During this time, Officer Reinert was also a certified Crisis Intervention Officer and trainer, a member of NRT, a member of the FOP honor guard, and Segway trainer.
From January 2021 until April of 2021, Officer Reinert tirelessly coordinated with downtown businesses and established lasting relationships with not only business owners, but patrons as well. Officer Reinert utilized this relationship to assist officers in obtaining video evidence for crimes, as well as following up on incidents that occurred downtown. Part of Officer Reinert’s job changed during this period to include Homeless outreach and Mental Health outreach.
Officer Reinert has been a member of the York County Crisis Intervention Team since 2011, including as one of the original trainers. Officer Reinert has a passion for assisting those in crisis and has voluntarily taken on the toughest cases. Two examples of these cases include an elderly female with dementia who consistently calls and does not feel safe. Officer Reinert coordinated with Lt. Meeker to locate a security camera to ease her mind. Officer Reinert remains in contact with this female, addressing her concerns a year later.
The second example involved assisting a homeless subject who was unable to obtain his social security checks due to his inability to navigate the system with his severe mental health issues. Through his tireless work for nearly a week, Officer Reinert was able to get the citizen his checks and mental health assistance.
Because of the complexity and significant time demands of these type of cases, Officer Reinert spends weeks, if not months, of intensive follow up and coordination to assist citizens in crisis. Officer Reinert even takes time to train new CIT officers when the county runs the CIT academy.
Through his years of work as a downtown officer, Officer Reinert identified an issue of homelessness in the downtown area and developed a rapport with many homeless people. Officer Reinert is on a first name basis with many subjects in the downtown area and manages their activities. Officer Reinert, recognizing that homelessness and mental health issues can be related, works with many of the homeless and assists them in obtaining treatment or places to stay. Officer Reinert works with the Coalition on Homelessness and Friends and Neighbors to assist them with head counts and work towards solutions for homeless related issues that are plaguing the downtown area.
In May of 2021, Officer Reinert was chosen to become a therapy dog handler for Victory. Through his long-standing relationships with local businesses, Officer Reinert was able to coordinate with Lt. Lentz and obtain donated services for upkeep on Victory.
Officer Reinert has performed exceptionally well with Victory, utilizing her for community outreach and mental health calls. Officer Reinert has taken Victory to schools, York Hospital, residences, businesses, and the city offices. His work with Victory has had nothing but positive responses and even helped a person overcome their fear of dogs. One citizen tracked down Officer Reinert to credit he and Victory with saving her life by talking with her for a couple of hours while she was sitting downtown. Officer Reinert’s work with Victory has obtained national notoriety, requests for program assistance from other departments, and paved the way for a second therapy dog from the same group, Leashes of Valor.
Even with the amount of responsibility that is tasked to Officer Reinert, he still manages to keep his schedule flexible and attend community events with Victory to further the positive image of the York City Police Department. These events include reading with Victory, attending field days and career days as schools, attending youth outreach events, and preplanned community events.
Despite holding the rank of patrolman, Officer Reinert also shows his leadership abilities when needed. Officer Reinert filled in for Lt. Meeker while he was out for an extended period and ensured the coordination and execution of a major event (Fall Fest) happened without major issues. Officer Reinert is well like and respected within the department and has a good working relationship with the staff that makes him approachable and a mentor.
The Police Officer of the Year award recognizes an employee who has rendered a particular effort in the normal work of his or her position, but with the quality of performance and the results obtained by so clearly superior as to warrant special recognition. Characteristics of superior performance include Ingenuity, resourcefulness, unusual insight into problems, exceptional diligence and thoroughness, and an outstanding degree of proficiency, craftsmanship and professional competence. Among the kinds of results recognized by this award are improved revenues, and better service to, or relations with, the community.