The Allentown Police Department honored some 60 officers and members of the public at a two hour commendation and award presentation ceremony and memorial service today 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, elementary school student safety officers and a crossing guard.
Lehigh County District Attorney Jim Martin was the principal speaker.
The event concluded with Police Chief Joel Fitzgerald and Allentown Fraternal Order of Police Vice President Stephen Fiorillo laying a wreath in front of the Scottish Rite Cathedral to honor former Allentown officers Inspector Frank Peters, Captain Ernst Lilly, Captain Robert Ring, Lieutenant Detective John L. Deily, Lieutenant Anthony Guerino, Lieutenant Richard Rau, Sergeant George Horvath and Sergeant John Barnhart who died over the past year.
Three commendations for bravery were awarded to Allentown police officer Ryan Koons. Two Commendations for Bravery were awarded to Officer David Howells the third and Officer Robert Flores. Commendations for Bravery were also awarded to Lieutenant William Reinik, Sergeant William Lake and officers Craig Berger, Alfred Boccadoro, Alex de la Iglesia, George Heiserman, Stephen James, Mark Jarrouj, John Leonard, Damien Lobach, Ryan Murray, Scott Snyder and Richard Wehr.
Allentown police officers receiving commendations for heroism were: Victor Diaz-Gonzalez, Leonard Fritzinger, Cherie Lebert, John Leonard, Nicholas Lerch, Chad Mertz, Stephen Rosenberger, Dale Stokes, Scott Snyder and Johann Wilcox.
Two commendations for merit were awarded to officers Matthew Diehl, Robert Flores and Kyle Pammer. Allentown police officers receiving commendations for merit were: Sergeant Eric Heicklen, Detective Sergeant Salvatore Aprile, Detective Eric Brenner and officers Ryan Alles, Michael Beidelman, Craig Berger, Lonny Bryfogle, Vicor Diaz-Gonzalez, Andrew Fegely, Dean Flyte, Leonard Fritzinger, Christopher Hendricks, David Howells the third, Ryan Koons, Kirk Pierson, Stephen Rosenberger and Matthew Vernon.
Two commendations for achievement were awarded to Officer Matthew Vernon. Commendations for achievement were awarded to Lieutenant Andrew Hausman and officers Yamil Castillo, Victor Diaz-Gonzalez, Christopher Hendricks, Benjamin Iobst, Ryan Koons, Johann Wilcox and Para Police Officer Joey Rivera.
Whitehall Township police detective Jeffrey Bruchak and City of Bethlehem police detective Chad Wasserman were also recipients of a commendation of merit.
Civilians honored were: Edwin Aponte, Wilkyns Melendez, Sammy Sanchez, Joseph and Matthew Kochan, Angel Otero, Milagros Cintron, John Badillo, George Marshall and Thomas Krasley. Also honored were the Allentown Special Fire Police, Kutztown University Professor Dr. Gary Cordner; John Sikora of Lehigh County Adult Probation; Elizabeth Fritz of Lehigh County Juvenile Probation; Colleen Gilbert and Ralph Romano of the Lehigh County District Attorney’s Office Domestic Violence Unit; Diane Zanetti, Executive Director of Turning Point of the Lehigh Valley; Suzanne Beck, Executive Director of the Crime Victims Council and Thomas Kuder of Mack Trucks.
The department also recognized contributions made by Lehigh Valley Kennel Club, Allentown Dog Training Club, Packaging Corporation of America, Indian American Association of Lehigh Valley, Tilted Kilt Pub & Eatery, Jordan-Martin Masonic Lodge #673, Fairview Crime Watch Group, Fegely Enterprises II, Inc., Hounds on Working Leashes, Carmody Shoe Repair, Bib Brothers Big Sisters Lehigh Valley, Lehigh Valley IronPigs, Susan Pickens and Beauregard, Reverend Michael V. Comick and Stacy Bruce.
Twelve students were honored as School Safety Patrol of the Year award winners. They are: Amanda Aponte of Central Elementary, Mikayla Jones of Cleveland Elementary, Tyler Durgin of Hiram Dodd Elementary, Kyla Gonzalez of Jefferson Elementary, Haylie Pineiro of Lehigh Parkway Elementary, Amir Ysa of Mosser Elementary, Jaden Barr of Muhlenberg Elementary, Scarlet Abreu of Luis A. Ramos Elementary, Jalitza Hiller of Ritter Elementary, LizJenaida Lopez of Roosevelt Elementary, Bernadette Vincent of Sheridan Elementary and Omar Pagan of Union Terrace Elementary.
Mary Buesgen was named the Crossing Guard of the Year.