Aaron A. Harnish has been employed by the Lancaster City Bureau of Police (PA) for the last 20 years. He is assigned to the Criminal Investigative Division where he has conducted investigations on more than 1,000 cases involving sex crimes and child abuse. He has also been the lead investigator for five criminal homicides, all of which resulted in convictions at trial or guilty pleas. His previous assignments include community police bicycle officer, SWAT operator, and crisis negotiator.
Mr. Harnish holds a Master’s Degree in Public Administration and a Bachelor’s Degree in Criminal Justice. An adjunct professor of Criminal Justice at several colleges, Mr. Harnish enjoys bringing real-life experiences to the classroom. He has conducted numerous training sessions and presentations at professional and academic conferences across the United States, covering a broad range of criminal justice-related topics.
Mr. Harnish learned early in his policing career that good physical and emotional health are essential for maintaining a high level of professional performance. After witnessing the effects of stress, police suicide and emotional instability on officers and their families, he decided to act. In 2016, Mr. Harnish and a team of advisors founded Cobalt Professional Training Group which arms police with strategic training aimed at extending career longevity and improving life at home and on the job.
Captain Robert W. Whiteford is a seasoned law enforcement veteran who has served the community since 2005. He is the supervising administrator of the Criminal Investigative Division, where he has had the privilege to serve as lead investigator for five homicide investigations. His past assignments include patrol, field training officer, and working undercover in a quasi-vice unit.
In 2023, Mr. Whiteford earned an appointment to Captain of the Criminal Investigative Division. He oversees the Property Crimes Unit, Violent Crime Unit, and Special Investigations Unit. In addition, his professional experience includes background investigator, polygraph examiner, and service as the Vice President and President of the police officer’s union.
Mr. Whiteford earned a Bachelor’s Degree in Criminal Justice from York College of Pennsylvania. He has trained Law Enforcement Officers since 2018 on courses that include use of force tactics, policy and procedure, and police wellness. Mr. Whiteford delivers content using a casual yet engaging, high-energy style of instruction. He has a friendly demeanor and a great sense of humor.