BTPD Frequently Asked Questions
What do I do when a police car comes up behind me with the lights and sirens on?
When the police are responding to an emergency call we need to get there ASAP, so pull over at the nearest place that it is safe to do so. We understand that there may not be anywhere to pull over right away so that we can pass you. So just put your turn signal or hazard lights on so that we know you see us and watch for that safe place to pull over to the side of the road. Traffic coming toward a police car is also required to pull over to the side until it is passed.
What if I’m the one getting pulled over, what do I do then?
Same thing as above; slow down, flashers, pull over at the nearest safe place as far off the road as possible. Turn off the car, radio, etc. Turn on your interior light if it is dark. Wait to take your seatbelt off until the officer comes up to your window. Roll down the window the whole way. Keep your hands visible, preferably on the steering wheel. DO NOT GET OUT OF YOUR VEHICLE unless the officer tells you to. Once the officer comes up to you, then take your seatbelt off and get your driver’s license, vehicle insurance and registration cards. If you don’t understand something ask for an explanation in a respectful manner. If you disagree with receiving a citation, do not plead your case at that time, your point of view will be discussed in front of the judge at a later date and time if you desire. Signing the citation is not an admission of guilt, it just means you received the citation.
I was told to call 911 and get a police report every single time I’m involved in a car crash, true or false?
Call the police if you or someone else is hurt and/or the vehicle is wrecked so bad it can not be driven (reportable traffic accident). Most places outside of Butler Township will not respond to a crash when people are not hurt and all the vehicles can be safely driven (non-reportable accident). Simply exchange all of the necessary information. If there are any questions, call the Police.
A rock flew up and hit my windshield; it is the other driver’s responsibility to pay for the damage, right?
No, the rock hitting your windshield was not the fault of the other driver due to their negligence, carelessness, recklessness or deliberate action, due to the rock coming from the road, not the vehicle load. Even if you have their license plate, you will need to contact your insurance company to make repairs.
I got pulled over and the officer issued me a traffic citation and the fine was over one hundred dollars. Why don’t you give out regular traffic tickets anymore?
A citation is a ticket, it is the same thing. The total amount you owe is over $100, but the fine itself is typically around $25. The state and courts add on fees associated with each citation which bumps your total up.
I was issued a traffic ticket, how do I fight it?
On the back or bottom of the citation you were issued or mailed, it gives you detailed instructions on who, where, and when to respond to the citation. The Magisterial District Judge must get your plea within 10 days or your driver’s license may be suspended and an arrest warrant for you will be issued.
Who do I ask if I have a question about my traffic ticket?
Contact the Magisterial District Judge’s Office on the front of the ticket.
If a traffic light is out or not working, what should I do?
You should treat the intersection as though it were a four-way stop sign.
Why did I get a parking ticket for being in a handicap parking space even though I have a parking placard but just forgot to put it on my rearview mirror?
It is your responsibility to hang the placard from the rear view mirror where officers can clearly see it. The fact you are handicapped does not show up when we run your license plate or driver’s license.
For more detailed answers, research the specific ordinance in the ordinance sections.
How do I get a restraining order against my neighbor, co-worker, former friend, boss or classmate?
You can’t, because PA does not have “restraining orders”. The only thing similar to that is a PFA (Protection From Abuse Order). A PFA is only available to people where abuse was done to them by an (ex) husband, (ex) wife, sibling, parent, child, family member related by blood or marriage, a current or former sexual partner or intimate partner.
How, where, when do I get a PFA?
Please visit the domestic violence page for details.
What should I do if I see a crime occurring?
Call 911 IMMEDIATELY. Be observant and make mental notes. Tell 911 if there are any weapons involved, the address, what the actors look like, how many people involved, and if they are on foot or in a vehicle. Stay on the line with 911 whenever possible until the police arrive and stay safe.
I need a police report, how do I get it?
If you are dealing with an insurance company due to vandalism, theft, or vehicle accident, please have the insurance company call and request the report. Otherwise it is $15 and can be picked up at the police administration office. Crime or incident reports are not released. Reports can also be obtained via subpoena, court order or Right-To-Know.
How can I get a copy of my criminal history?
Contact your local PA State Police barracks for a form or go on-line at www.psp.state.pa.us for an on-line request.
I have a warrant, does it expire?
Arrest warrants never expire and are only cleared when you are taken into custody and appear in front of the judge.
What jail do the police departments around here use?
The Butler County Prison is located in downtown Butler, just off of Main Street near the Court House. The phone number to inquire about all jail matters is (724)284-5256.
Is the police department open at night or on the weekends?
The police department is manned 24 hours per day, everyday. The administration office is open Monday thru Friday, 8 AM to 4:30 PM.
How do I get a police report?
Call the office during business hours and submit a payment of $15.00. If it’s for an insurance company, have the agent contact the office and pay the fee.
Do you handle landlord/tenant issues?
No, that is considered a civil issue and the police cannot be involved in it. Please refer to the landlord/tenant page for more details. However, if your landlord/tenant has committed a crime, such as, but not limited to; stealing or intentionally damaging your property, locking you out of the premises, extorting you for money, then call 911.
Do I need a permit to have an alarm system for my house or business?
Yes, if it is connected to the 911 center by way of an automatic telephone dialing system or personally monitored by a company. If the burglar alarm was installed yourself and is not connected to any alarm company, then no permit is required.
How do I get a concealed carry permit?
Contact the Butler County Sheriff’s Department. They handle all CCP applications and background checks.
Can I target practice in my backyard with a gun as long as I can do it safely?
No, there is no discharging of any firearms in the township at this time, unless lawfully hunting. Target practice is only permitted at an authorized shooting range.
Am I allowed to ride ATVs, four wheelers, quads, or dirt bikes in the township?
Not for recreational use, not even on your own private property.
Which fireworks are Pennsylvania residents now allowed to purchase and use?
Consumers can now purchase and use “Class C” or “consumer-grade” fireworks that include firecrackers, Roman candles, bottle rockets, and similar fireworks that were previously only available to out-of-state residents.
“Display fireworks,” which are classified as including salutes that contain more than two grains or 130 milligrams of explosive materials, and professional-grade aerial shells containing more than 60 grams of pyrotechnic compositions, are still only to be used by professionals with a permit from the municipality where the display will take place.
Who can purchase fireworks?
Anyone 18 years of age or older can purchase them.
What are the restrictions on where they can be used?
They cannot be ignited or discharged on a public or private property without express permission of the property owner.
They cannot be discharged from or within a motor vehicle or building.
They cannot be discharged toward a motor vehicle or building.
They cannot be discharged within 150 feet of an occupied structure, whether or not a person is actually present.
They cannot be discharged while the person is under the influence of alcohol, a controlled substance, or another drug.
Can I burn stuff at my house?
Yes, any time of day or year if it is a recreational fire and you are using clean, dry wood. If it is to burn leaves and other yard waste, you can only burn during the months of March, April, September, October and November (MASON) between the hours of sunrise and 5:00 PM on Mondays through Saturdays.
If I am under 18, is it ok to be out after curfew with my boyfriend/girlfriend who is over 18?
No, you can only be out with your parent of legal guardian. Curfew is from 11 PM to 5 AM, 365 days a year.
What can I do about my noisy neighbors; it’s either music blaring or dogs constantly barking?
First, attempt to settle the issue yourselves, you are after all neighbors. So be neighborly and go speak to them in a friendly and respectful way. If that doesn’t work, then call the police who will come and investigate.
There is a dog running loose in my neighborhood, what do I do?
Call 911 and report it to the Police who will contact the dog officer if necessary.
I have a stray cat on my property; or I found a stray cat, will you or the dog officer come and pick it up?
No, neither the police nor the dog officer will come and take a cat off your hands or trap it. If you choose to capture the cat you will need to do so humanely (ie. Box trap) and deliver it to a humane society yourself, if they have room.
How do I know if a vehicle is considered junked or abandoned?
The vehicle has to have current registration and inspection, or it is considered junk or abandoned. If it is parked on the street, advise the police, if it is parked on private property, call the zoning officer. (724-283-3430)
When do the parks close?
The township parks close at dusk. No one should be in the parks after dusk unless it is an approved event.