About Our Officers

Rick Pickles

 The Penn Township Police Department is fortunate to have the leadership of its new Chief of Police.   Chief Richard L. Pickles, with over 35 years of full-time professional law enforcement experience, was sworn in as Chief on January 16, 2012. A veteran of the U.S. Army, from which he was Honorably Discharged at the end of service, Chief Pickles has extensive technical and leadership experience.

He first began his career as a Patrol Officer for the City of Harrisburg’s Bureau of Police.  He became one of the city’s first Canine Handlers when the Canine Unit was created.  He earned certification as a Polygraph Examiner, as well. A graduate of East Pennsboro High School, Chief Pickles attended the University of Alabama, Harrisburg Area Community College and the Maryland Institute of Criminal Justice. During the years, he advanced to progressively more responsible law enforcement roles and duties, including service as a Detective, Captain and then Harrisburg’s Chief of Police.

After Hurricane Katrina ravaged the Gulf Coast, costing billions of dollars in losses and many hundreds of deaths, Chief Pickles was one of the two top commanders to head a law enforcement task force sent to the State of Mississippi to assist that state in the wake of the devastation.  While there, he and the task force members were sworn in as state law enforcement officers in order to carry out their duties.

When the G-20 Summit was later held in Pittsburgh, PA, attended by national leaders from across the globe, Chief Pickles was the commanding officer of the task force sent to assist federal, state and local police in maintaining order and security. He has had extensive experience working with other police agencies, including the FBI, U.S. Secret Service, U.S. Marshal Service, Department of Defense, State Police and others.

During his tenure before coming to Penn Township, his agency attained and retained National Police Accreditation, the highest recognition in the nation for meeting and maintaining high standards of operations, training and performance. His goal for Penn Township is to upgrade and improve law enforcement services within budgetary limits, while seeking external resources to augment the Township’s.

Cliff Karlsen

 Greetings, I am Cliff Karlsen, the newest officer hired by Penn Township Police Department. Even though I am the “newest” officer I am not new to police work. Prior to Penn Township I spent 30 years as an officer with the Harrisburg City Police.  In 1980 I started out as a foot patrol officer, when I retired in 2010 I was a Commander with 28 officers working for me and a budget in the millions of dollars.  I am a graduate of Northwestern University, University of North Florida, University of Tennessee, HACC and USMC tactical commanders’ course as well as many other “specialty” courses that deal with traffic accidents, DUI, speed detection and tactical operations.  One of my accident investigations while with the city was made into a TruTV/Forensics File documentary, “A Capital Case, the Tom Druce Story”.  I am married and live in Monroe Township, Cumberland County with my wife, Laura; I have two grown children and a grandson that is 6 years old and a granddaughter that is a year old.  I am looking forward to serving the people of Penn Township. My goal and desire is to make everyone feel safe in their homes, on the township roadways, and while they shop in beautiful Penn Township.

Tricia Moench


     My name is Tricia Moench.  I am originally from Philadelphia and moved to Buffalo Township, Perry County in 2011. I have Bachelor’s of Environmental Science from Rochville University, Buffalo, NY and further studies in wildlife conservation and Forestry Management with a Diploma in Forest Conservation from Ashworth University, Norcross, Georgia. I am also a Pennsylvania Notary and a member of the PA Association of Notaries.

     I attended Albert Einstein Medical Center and received certification as an Emergency Medical Technician in 2000. I am the President of A Vital Response Inc., an Emergency Medical Service located in Mechanicsburg PA.

     In 2008 I was accepted into the Philadelphia Police Academy and worked as a Philadelphia police officer until my transfer to Penn Township in January, 2012.

While employed by Philadelphia Police Department, I received a Commander’s Commendation 24th Police District January 7, 2010 and a Certificate of Appreciation 26th District Commander September 27, 2009. I have had the opportunity to work with many law enforcement agencies such as The Secret Service, FBI, ATF, Immigration and The Warrant Unit. I completed the Police Officers Mountain Bike Training Course & Gang Violence training (Phila. Police Academy); as well as, Terrorism Prevention and Response Course ( New Mexico Tech).

     I studied Gracie Jiu Jitsu in 2007 at GP in Philadelphia with brown belt Joe Guido who trained with the Hélio Gracie Family. 

     I am married and have 4 children. My family is very active in “The Great Outdoors”. We enjoy hunting, fishing, boating, climbing and, hiking the Appalachian Trail.  We are enjoying Perry County and  its beautiful wilderness areas. I am a member of The Appalachian Trail Conservancy. I am part Native American and have a lot of interest in Native American History.  I also support St Joseph’s American Indian School.

     I feel at home here and I enjoy working with fellow dedicated and experienced officers.  I look forward to continue serving and protecting Penn Township’s citizens. 

     Thank You to all who have welcomed me…