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Outstanding Alumni Award - Adam Kisthardt

Adam KisthardtThe faculty of the Department of Criminal Justice is pleased to announce that Adam Kisthardt is the recipient of the 2011 Outstanding Alumni Award. Kisthardt is a captain in the Pennsylvania State Police. His distinguished 22-year career in law enforcement is a model of public service.

Kisthardt received his B.S. in criminal justice in 1988. He was hired as a Pennsylvania State trooper in 1989. Over the next four years, he served as a line officer, providing full police services in a county of 200,000 citizens. In 1993 he became a criminal investigator. Kisthardt's caseload included murders, bank robberies, burglaries, thefts, rapes, white collar crimes, kidnappings, missing persons, as well as a national child abduction case and the investigation and apprehension of a serial killer.

Kisthardt's outstanding performance in investigating and closing cases was recognized by his superiors. In 1995 he was assigned to work as a criminal law instructor at the Pennsylvania State Police Academy-and, later, he was promoted to supervise that unit. He taught courses and guided the development of the curriculum, including instruction in the Pennsylvania Crime Code, constitutional authority, rules of evidence, evidence collection, PA Rules of Criminal Procedure, interviewing and interrogation, drug identification and the legal dimensions of juvenile cases. The instruction of the cadet-troopers also included ethics, leadership training and tactical communication.

In 1998, Kisthardt became the supervisor of the negotiations section of the Pennsylvania State Police Special Emergency Team. His primary responsibility was to guide and train 28 police crisis negotiators. Instruction focused on crisis intervention, active listening, hostage survival, electronic surveillance and the proper use of deadly force. Kisthardt served as a crisis negotiator, intelligence gatherer, electronic surveillance coordinator, command post assistant and scene commander on over 500 cases involving hostages, barricaded gunmen, and workplace violence. This position required careful coordination with a wide range of local, state and federal law enforcement agencies, including the FBI. From 2000 to 2002 he served as a patrol section supervisor, directing 33 troopers.

In 2004, he became the information technology coordinator at the Pennsylvania State Police Bureau of Technology Services. In 2007, he was promoted to serve as director of the Dispatch Operations Division. The Bureau of Technology Services has over 500 million dollars in computers and equipment. Kisthardt commanded a division of 150 personnel, spread out over six facilities, and managed an operating budget over six million dollars a year. In the spring of 2011, Kisthardt was made the Director of the Training Division at the Pennsylvania State Police Academy. He directs the basic training section and advanced and regional training sections. This includes training operations both at the PSP Academy and the four state police regional training centers.

Kisthardt has received a number of awards for his outstanding service: Troop Commanders Letter of Commendation, Bureau Directors Letter of Commendation, Commissioners Significant Operation Service Award (G-20 Summit Task Force,and two gubernatorial inaugurations), Camp Hill Prison Riots Service Award, as well as the Meritorious Service Award. He currently serves on the Governor's E-911 panel, the Municipal Police Training Commission Academy Director's Board, the Constable's Training Board and as the Pennsylvania Representative to the State and Provincial Police Academy Directors Society (SPPADS).