County Detectives

County Detectives comprise the Investigation Division of the Office of the District Attorney of Lancaster County. County Detectives are authorized by 16 P.S. § 1440 (The county code) and provide District Attorneys in Pennsylvania the resources with which to conduct independent criminal investigations and to provide other law enforcement agencies with investigative assistance.

County Detectives have full police powers and must meet the same training requirements as municipal police officers in Pennsylvania, including certification by the Pennsylvania Municipal Police Officers’ Education and Training Commission (MPOETC). Lancaster County Detectives come to their positions with extensive experience in law enforcement usually having served with other law enforcement agencies where they specialized in criminal investigations.


County Detectives:
  • Conduct background investigations of persons seeking licensing as private detectives under 22 P.S.
  • Conduct independent investigations at the direction of the district attorney
  • Have enforcement oversight of various regulatory statutes, such as bingo and local option small games of chance
  • Investigate allegations made by citizens who wish to file private criminal complaints under rule 506 of the Pennsylvania Rules of Criminal Procedure
  • Provide investigative assistance to other law enforcement agencies when requested
In addition, county detectives supervise the activities of the Lancaster County Drug Task Force. County detectives are frequently called on to assist other law enforcement agencies with the investigation of major crimes, especially criminal homicides and coordinate the activation of the Major Crime Unit, which provides cooperative investigative resources to any law enforcement agency in time of need.


Acting with the authority of the District Attorney Heather L. Adams, Lancaster County Detectives are supervised by Chief County Detective Kent Switzer. Chief Switzer is also responsible for oversight of the Lancaster County Drug Task Force. In response to the events of September 11, Chief Switzer was also appointed by the district attorney to serve as the law enforcement point of contact with the Anti-Terrorism Advisory Committee, coordinated by the United States Attorney’s Office in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania.