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York, PA

This is a statement from West Manchester Police Chief John Snyder after the York County District Attorney cleared an officer in a shooting earlier this year. This statement is entirely from Chief Snyder and hasn’t been edited.

On November 26th 2018 the York County District Attorney’s Office announced that they cleared a West Manchester Township Police Officer in the shooting incident from earlier this year. In order to be transparent and open with information that is important to the community and public, I am releasing the name of the officer involved in this deadly use of force incident. Christopher Mills was the officer involved in this incident on August 25, 2018 at the Motel 6 in Manchester Township.

The department recognizes the public’s need for information and transparency from law enforcement. We also need to balance the employees’ rights to privacy and security. Whenever a deadly use of force occurs in the line of duty for law enforcement there is a need for diligent and thorough investigatory processes to occur. There are also internal departmental processes that need to occur. This incident was investigated by the Pennsylvania State Police and I conducted a parallel internal investigation so that I could make sure the officer followed procedures and use of force standards established by the department. The York County District Attorney’s Office concluded that Officer Mills’ use of deadly force was reasonable under the circumstances and that Logan Montgomery had a firearm and had fired a shot in the direction of Officer Mills. Mills was shot at by Montgomery and Mills was in fear for his life. I concluded that Officer Mills did not violate our departmental use of force policy and his actions were justified. He responded in a reasonable manner and unfortunately, Logan Montgomery did not survive the encounter. It should be noted that Officer Mills administered first aid to Montgomery immediately after Montgomery was injured.

As the Chief of Police of West Manchester Township I have an obligation to the safety of the public and to ensure that my employees are acting in accordance with departmental policies, State Law and the Constitution of the United States of America. I am also responsible for the safety and well being of my employees and staff. This incident is a reminder to everyone that each day an officer works in this dangerous profession they are at peril. Police work requires officers to make split second decisions during high stress situations that will be examined and investigated over long periods of time. Officer Mills demonstrated bravery, constraint, and professionalism during this investigation. His training and situational awareness were certainly factors in saving his own life.

It is important to note that this release is the official statement from this agency. This information was released to the public and news media outlets voluntarily without being compelled by order of a court, or right to know request.