Chief: ‘Challenge now is to get officers through this’

Ronald Reinhart Jr. (Susquehanna Township Police Department)

Ronald Reinhart Jr. was a 17-year veteran of the Susquehanna Township Police Department. Chief Rob Martin says Reinhart was one of his first hires and his fellow officers looked up to him.

“When he was on duty, he was a solid professional and there was no indication of some of the unbelievable things you have heard here today,” Martin said.

Court papers paint a picture of an obsessed and jealous man who was trying to frame his estranged wife’s boyfriend. Police say Reinhart broke into his estranged wife’s Upper Allen Township home in July and stole several boxes of jewelry, then planted that jewelry at the boyfriend’s home in Lower Paxton Township.

The investigation also revealed that Reinhart would do background checks on the man, making 170 inquires in three days. GPS tracking showed Reinhart also drove his patrol car to the boyfriend’s home.

“There is evidence to show that there were more potential violent acts being planned,” Cumberland County District Attorney David Freed said.

During their investigation, Upper Allen police found a note in Reinhart’s trash that threatened the boyfriend.

It read: “Listen to me {name omitted}, this is the only chance I am going to give you. You have one chance to end this. If you don’t, what happened to you this week will only get worse. You know what you need to do. If you do not end this now I will end it for you. I can find you anywhere. I know where you go and everything you do. I will get you in Harrisburg, MCB, or Palmyra. Phase 2 begins soon.”

Police planned to serve a warrant Monday at Reinhart’s home on Martel Circle in Carroll Township, but Reinhart took his own life during a standoff.

“We did not want anybody to get hurt, including Mr. Reinhart, and we took every possible step to contain the incident,” Upper Allen police Chief James Adams said.

For the men that served with Reinhart, there are a lot of unanswered questions.

“I have been a police officers for 32 years. I have done and seen a lot of bad things. Yesterday was the most horrific and horrible day of my career and there are times that we walk around people that we just do not know the darkness in their heart,” Martin said.

“There is nothing for me to say to excuse this criminal conduct,” he said. “My challenge now is to get my officers through this.”

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