The Allentown Police Department honored 83 officers at a commendation and awards presentation ceremony and memorial service this morning at the Scottish Rite Cathedral. The event was held as part of the celebration of National Police Week. The department also honored other residents and businesses for their contributions or donations and elementary school student safety officers.
Pennsylvania State Attorney General Josh Shapiro was the principal speaker.
The event concluded with Mayor Ed Pawlowski, Police Chief Glen Dorney and Allentown Fraternal Order of Police President Officer Scott Snyder laying a wreath in front of the Scottish Rite Cathedral to honor deceased officers.
Allentown police Sergeant Christopher Diehl was awarded a purple heart, a commendation for valor and a merit citation. Diehl was wounded while attempting to serve a warrant on a homicide suspect in the 600 block of North Godfrey Street in February 2016. The suspect pleaded guilty and was sentenced this month to 30-to-60-years in prison.
Sergeant Michael Becker and Officer Evan Weaver were awarded commendations for valor for the same incident.
Sixteen officers received commendations for bravery in the incident. They are: Chief Glen Dorney; Sergeants Karl Kozlowski and J. Wesley Wilcox and Andrew Moll; and officers John Brixius, Raymond Ferraro, Robert Flores, Leonard Fritzinger, Joseph Iannetta, Mark Jarrouj, Stephen James, Matthew Karnish, Jason Krasley, Michael Lovett, Miguel Villa and Richard Wehr.
Twenty-four APD officers and Lehigh County Detective Timothy Salgado received merit citations in connection with the investigation. The APD officers are: Retired Chief Keith Morris; Assistant Chiefs William Reinik and Gail Struss; Captains William Lake and Stephen Vangelo; Retired Captain Richard London; Retired Lieutenant Andrew Hausman; Sergeants Christie Correa, Kyle Pammer, Raymond Sannie and Ronald Schlegel; and Officers Andrew Beky, Kevin Birosik, Emily Bostick, Joshua Brubaker, Alex de la Iglesia, Christopher Diehl, Matthew Diehl, Randy Fey, John Leonard, Damien Lobach, Jorge Medero, Jr., Kevin Mriss, William Skriletz and Michael Vernotica.
Commendations for achievement in the incident were awarded to Sergeant Jonathan Smith and K-9 Officer Django.
The department honored Allentown firefighters Charles Haydt and James Kutz and EMS employees Alexander Takacs, Michael Zimpfer, Dustin Wentz and Jason Knight for their roles in coming to the aid of officers that night.
Officer Jarrouj received a Commendation for Bravery for wrestling with and apprehending an armed suspect in June 2016.
Lieutenant John Hill and Officers Theodore Kiskeravage and Michael Yetter earned Commendations for Bravery for their foot pursuit and apprehension of an armed suspect in July 2016.
Lieutenant Glenn Granitz, Sergeant Moll and Officer Robert Busch were awarded Commendations for Bravery for apprehending an armed and dangerous subject in August 2016.
Sergeant Moll and Officers Joshua Baker, Talden Cashatt, Victor Diaz-Gonzalez, Bryan Guzley, Joseph Iannetta, Nicholas Lerch, Michael Lovett and Christopher Matthews were honored with a Commendation for Heroism for their role in apprehending an armed woman who had already wounded one person and refused to come out of a home where officers found two handguns and a rifle. The gunshot victim in the August 2016 incident survived.
Three Commendations for Merit were awarded to Officer Yamil Castillo and two were bestowed upon Sergeant Eric Brenner and Officer James. Commendations for merit were also awarded to Sergeants Wilcox and Stephen Milkovits and officers Busch, Diaz-Gonzalez and Jarrouj and officers Christopher Diehl, Matthew Diehl, Joseph Beiner, Alfred Boccadoro, Alexander Boehm, Robert Carbaugh, Thomas Cunningham, Roderick Devine, Dean Flyte, Kyle French, Dean Good, Christopher Hendricks, Alexander Komatick, Joseph Koury, Jason Krebs, Dathan Long, Cory Marsteller, Jose Ozoa, Ismael Segarra and David Skutches.
Two Commendations for Achievement were awarded to officers Guzley and Diaz-Gonzalez. Commendations for Achievement were also awarded to officers Cashatt, Cunningham, Flyte and Matthews and officers Brian Branston, Anthony Cruz, Matthew Diehl, Brian Moore, Arthur Owens and William Williams and Para Police William Mentesana.
Officers Krebs and Craig Berger received a Commendation for Achievement for winning the 2016 DUI Top Gun Award.
Chief’s Awards were bestowed upon Officer Jason Krasley and William Holler, who was cited for his years of service to the Police Athletic League.
Civilians Jeremy Walker, Andrew Held, Benjamin Komito and Yvette Otero were recognized for their rescue of two elderly persons who crashed their car into Lake Muhlenberg.
Allentown Communications Center dispatchers Matthew Haedrich and David Gatens were honored for the quick relay of information that led to the apprehension of two armed robbery suspects. Gatens was also recognized for preventing a suicide and Haedrich was also recognized for providing information from city cameras that led to the securing of a firearm during a fight.
City EMT Giovanni Grella and Abimael Dominguez were feted for helping to disarm a suspect with a knife and rendering aid to a severely injured stabbing victim.
Civilians Porfirio Prestol, Matthew Brand and Todd Siegfried were recognized for stopping an active stabbing and subduing the assailant, holding him until police arrived. The injured victim survived.
Civilian Jocelyn Rosado was honored for coming to the aid of an injured autistic child who had wandered more than six miles from his home. Rosado called 911 and stayed with the child until police arrived.
Dr. Michelle Meyer was recognized for training APD K-9 Officers in the proper administration of Narcan to the department’s K-9s. Due to the dangers that drugs such as Fentanyl pose to the dogs, this training is invaluable to the health and welfare of the dogs.
The department also recognized contributions of items, materials or funds made by businesses, organizations and individuals including PPL Services Corporation, Trustees of the Air Products Foundation, Lehigh Gas Foundation, Downtown Allentown Community Development Initiative, Cedar Crest College, DeSales University, Russo Concrete LLC, Elias Funeral Home, Shepherd of the Hills Lutheran Church, Iron Falcon Martial Arts, Indian American Association of Lehigh Valley, United Check Cashing, Advance Smile Dental Creator LLC, Big Barker, Porter Lodge No. 284 F & AM Masonic Lodge, Helen Steedle, Patt Infanti, Caitlin Scargle, Jean and William Schmidt and Janel and Travis Shelly.
Twelve students were honored as School Safety Patrol of the Year award winners. They are: Nicholas Ortiz of Central Elementary, Devante Gaynair of Cleveland Elementary, Connor O’Donnell of Hiram Dodd Elementary, Alexis Barragan-Canete of Jefferson Elementary, Brandon Rodriguez of Lehigh Parkway Elementary, Litzyree Tejada of Mosser Elementary, Jeremiah Stinvel of Muhlenberg Elementary, Arabella Rosario of Luis A. Ramos Elementary, Ebunoluwa Shokunbi of Ritter Elementary, Demiya Blakey of Roosevelt Elementary, Luis Castillo-Lopez of Sheridan Elementary and Calvin Long of Union Terrace Elementary.