For many years, Montgomery Township Police has been led by three men: Chief Richard Brady and Lieutenants Gordon Simes and Mark Houghtaling.
Last year, Lt. Simes retired from the police force. In 2011, Lt. Houghtaling followed suit.
“They are the two gentlemen that have kept me abreast for the last 32 years as chief,” Brady said at the first Montgomery Township supervisors meeting of 2012.
With the announcement of Brady’s retirement in June, it has paved the way for new leadership in the department. Deputy Chief J. Scott Bendig will take over this summer.
Meanwhile, the retirements of Simes and Houghtaling have created a vacancy within the command staff of the department, according to Brady.
Gerald Dougherty and William Peoples, who were each promoted Jan. 3 from sergeant to lieutenant, filled that vacancy.
Lt. Gerald Dougherty
Dougherty, who resides in Chalfont with his wife and two daughters, became sergeant in January 2011. He became corporal in November 2008.
Dougherty was born in Abington and raised in Warminster, graduating from Archbishop Wood High School. He became a police dispatcher for Montgomery Township Police in August 1986.
In July 1988, Dougherty was appointed to the township police force as a recruit police officer, following completion of the Municipal Police Officers Certification Course at the Pennsylvania State Police Academy in Hershey.
Dougherty became Patrol Officer III in July 1989, Patrol Officer II in July 1990 and Patrol Officer I in July 1991.
“During his career, Sgt. Dougherty had several special assignments, including firearms instructor, having been certified by the NRA and the Pennsylvania State Police,” said Brady. “He has received specialized firearms training certifications, including patrol rifle instructor and armor certification from Glock, Remington and Colt as a certified taser instructor.”
In 1994, Dougherty was assigned to the Canine Unit with Canine Officer Bandit, specializing in patrol and narcotics. In January 2000, Bandit retired and Dougherty obtained his second canine, Fox. In November 2007, Fox passed away suddenly.
Since 1992, Dougherty has been a field training officer for new recruits, recently becoming field training supervisor.
Brady said Dougherty has been involved in the initial training of a majority of the department’s current patrol division.
There have been a number of events that Dougherty has participated in through the years: Montgomery Township Junior Police Academy, Montgomery Township Citizens Police Academy and Montgomery Township Autumn Festival.
Brady said Dougherty has received numerous letters of commendation from civilians, the police department and outside agencies.
“He has attended an untold number of schools, conferences and seminars to further his police career, including, but not limited to, the FBI Inter-County Detective School, several leadership courses, Command Institute for Police Executives, Montgomery County First Line Supervisors Course, and Penn State Police Leadership Courses P.O.S.I.T., Advanced P.O.S.I.T. and P.O.L.E.X.
Lt. William Peoples
Peoples, who is married to his wife Jennifer and has a seven-year-old daughter Sydney, is a U.S. Army veteran. He served in Operation Desert Storm in the First Cavalry Division.
Peoples, a West Chester native, was discharged from the Army in 1992 and remained in the Reserves. He went on to attend Penn State University where he earned a Bachelor of Science in criminal justice.
He began his municipal police career in 1997 as a patrol officer with Upper Pottsgrove Police.
“Realizing the error of his ways, he applied for and was appointed to the Montgomery Township Police Department in September 1997 as a recruit police officer,” Brady said.
Peoples became Patrol Officer I in September 2000. In November 2008, he was promoted to corporal. He became sergeant in January 2011.
“Throughout his career with Montgomery Township, Peoples has been a dedicated and involved police officer,” said Brady. “He has served as a D.A.R.E. instructor for several years, a field training officer, an expandable baton instructor, was assigned to the Bicycle Unit and served on the District Attorney’s Drug Task Force.”
Brady said Peoples was assigned to be the department’s Accreditation Officer.
“Through his efforts,” Brady said, “the police department received accreditation from the Pennsylvania Law Enforcement Accreditation Commission on December 11, 2004, reaccreditation on July 16, 2008 and reaccreditation again on January 14, 2011.”
Peoples has also participated in the township Junior Police Academy, Citizens Police Academy and Autumn Festival.
Supervisors unanimously approved the promotions for Dougherty and Peoples, and subsequently congratulated them on their accomplishments.
Dougherty’s bars were pinned to his lapel by his father. Peoples’ wife did the honors for her husband’s promotion.
“Congratulations and welcome aboard,” said Supervisor Mike Fox.