The Allentown Police Department honored 34 officers at a nearly two hour commendation and awards 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 James B. Martin was the principal speaker.
The event concluded with Police Chief Keith Morris and Allentown Fraternal Order of Police President Sergeant Timothy Snyder laying a wreath in front of the Scottish Rite Cathedral to honor deceased officers.
Allentown police officer Stephen James received two commendations for bravery. Other bravery commendations were awarded to officers Michael Good, Ryan Koons, Kyle Pammer, William Skriletz and Scott Walz.
A Commendation for Heroism was awarded to Allentown police officer Joseph Iannetta.
Two commendations for merit were awarded to officers Ryan Koons, Joseph Koury and James Nuskey. Allentown police officers receiving commendations for merit were: Detective Jason Krasley and officers Preet Bajwa, Craig Berger, John Brixius, Patrick Bull, Robert Busch, Christopher Hendricks, Joseph Iannetta, Cherie Lebert, Stephen Madison, Brian Moore, Kyle Pammer, Ronald Schlegel, Christopher Stephenson and Michael Yetter.
Certificates of Merit were also awarded to Lehigh County Deputy District Attorney Robert Schopf and Agent Stephanie Snyder of the Department of Homeland Security.
Commendations for Achievement were awarded to Detective Sergeant Glen Granitz, Sergeant John Hill and officers Preet Bajwa, Craig Berger, Thomas Cunningham, David Howells III, Stephen James, Mark Jarrouj, John Leonard, Brian Moore, Kyle Pammer, Kirk Pierson, Stephen Rosenberger and Scott Snyder and Lehigh County Deputy Sheriffs.
Chief’s Awards were bestowed on detectives Randy Fey, Evan Weaver and Christopher Diehl.
Civilians honored were Richard Ayola, James Kulp, Edwin Green, Carlos Nunez, Yhordi Gonzalez, Adriel Reyes, April Melescio, Shanetska Melendez, Jonathan Langton, Digital Crime Task Force and Petzold Digital Forensic Lab.
The department also recognized contributions of items, materials or funds made by businesses, organizations and individuals including PPL, Air Products, National Penn Bank, City Center Lehigh Valley, Service Electric, A&B Lock, Nustream Marketing, Packaging Corporation of America, Kimberly Keating and Stanglein Veterinary Clinic, DCDI, Indian American Association of Lehigh Valley, New Temple Lodge #720, Veronica Gregory, Patti Infanti, Patricia Kuti, Helen Steedle and Sandra Valentino and family.
APD also recognized 15 departments, units, organizations, businesses and individuals for their special assistance in the search for 5-year-old Jayliel Vega Batista who wandered away from a New Year’s Eve party in east Allentown. His body was found two days later in the Lehigh Canal. The disappearance of the autistic child sparked a massive search by authorities and members of the general public. Special recognition was bestowed upon the Allentown Fire Department and Allentown Fire Police, Emmaus Police Department, Lehigh Valley Health Network Aviation Unit, Philadelphia Police Department Aviation Unit, Pennsylvania State Police Aviation Patrol Unit, Northeast Search & Rescue, Wolfpack Search & Recovery, Allentown Department of Public Works, International Polymer Corporation, Cory Repner and Red Robin, Wawa and Wegmans.
Twelve students were honored as School Safety Patrol of the Year award winners. They are: Edwin Castillo of Central Elementary, Abigail Flores of Cleveland Elementary, Alain-Kyle Alfonso of Hiram Dodd Elementary, Yan Nguyen of Jefferson Elementary, Alesandra Lopez of Lehigh Parkway Elementary, Jenny Nguyen of Mosser Elementary, Rylie Barr of Muhlenberg Elementary, Samuel Uhen of Luis A. Ramos Elementary, Aaron Tyson of Ritter Elementary, Genesis Maya of Roosevelt Elementary, Jayla Marrero of Sheridan Elementary and Kaysi Reyes-Meza of Union Terrace Elementary.
Matthew Stine was named the Crossing Guard of the Year.