The Allentown Police Department will honor 37 officers at a private commendation and awards ceremony next month.
The department normally conducts a public ceremony and memorial service as part of National Police Week, May 9-15, but plans have been curtailed for the second consecutive year due to the COVID-19 pandemic. A private memorial service will be conducted at 6 o’clock tonight outside the Scottish Rite Cathedral at 1533 W. Hamilton Street to honor past police officers who died over the last year.
Officers will be recognized for bravery, heroism, having an instrumental role in saving a life, merit, and achievement.
The department also recognizes other residents and businesses for their contributions or donations.
Officers Andrew Holveck and Michael Hammer are being honored for bravery for tracking down and arresting an armed man who had just moments before, fired at another man in the 500 block of N. 5th Street last May.
Officer Hammer is also being celebrated for bravery for chasing and apprehending an armed man last October in the 200 block of Lehigh Street. Officers had been called on a report that two men had been involved in a gun fight. Officers recovered the weapon and caught the second person who had fled in a vehicle.
Officers Dondre Smith, Thurman D’Argenio and Ryan Koons are recognized for their bravery in apprehending a man who ran from a car with a rifle. Officers had been called to the 700 block of N. Seventh Street in early October for a report of a man pointing a rifle at another person.
Officers Koons and D’Argenio are also being honored for bravery for confronting and placing into custody a man in possession of a gasoline can and lighter who had already lit a woman on fire in the area of N. Seventh and Turner streets this past February. Officer Anthony Campanell Jr. rendered aid to the woman and was successful in extinguishing the flames. During this effort, Officer Campanell’s gloves melted to the point where he burned his hands. He will be honored for heroism.
Police made arrests of two suspected armed gang members this past January at 9th & Green streets. They had been called to the scene on a report that several men carrying handguns were in the area. Detective Sergeant Alex de la Iglesia and Officers Paul McAdams and Eric Blood are recognized for their act of bravery for chasing down two of the suspects who had fled on foot and recovering their weapons. Detectives Joseph Graves and Damein Lobach will receive Merit Citations for their roles in the investigation.
Lieutenant Karl Kozlowski and Officers Blood, Hammer, McAdams and Kyle French will be honored for heroism for rescuing a bleeding woman in crisis and a child from the roof of a building in the 900 block of Hamilton Street in June 2020. The actions of the officers prevented any further harm to the woman and the child.
In 2019, the department established a new commendation category of life saving. It is awarded when employee actions result in the saving or preservation of a human life that otherwise would have expired without the employee’s direct involvement.
Sergeant Benjamin Iobst and Officers Blood, McAdams, Robert Busch, Robbie Gruber, Lonny Klusaritz, Ryan Lischke, Brian Moore, Kirk Pierson, Eric Sbat, Adam Sinton and Scot Walz will be so honored.
Three Commendations for Merit were awarded to Officer Ariel Vidal. Two merit commendations were awarded to Detective Lobach. Captain Michael Becker; Detective Sergeant Christopher Diehl; Detectives de la Iglesia, Joshua Baker, Joseph Graves and Ryan Murray; Sergeant Christopher Hendricks and Officers Busch, Campanell Jr., D’Argenio, Koons, McAdams, Sinton, Smith, Douglas Bauer, Patrick Bull, Stephen James, Jose Ozoa and John Turoczi will receive Commendations of Merit.
Commendations for Achievement will be awarded to Sergeants Iobst and Andrew Moll and Officers Smith, David Benner and Joseph Pfeifer.
The 3rd Platoon earned two Unit Citations. Unit Citations will also be awarded to Detectives Raymond Ferraro and Andrew Beky and the 2nd Platoon.
Civilians Janet York, Samantha Briskin and Madisyn Yakscoe earned a Keystone Award for thwarting a robbery attempt last November in the 700 block of Hamilton Street. They then provided information that led to the arrest of the robber and the getaway driver. An investigation revealed the pair was responsible for more robberies in the city and in Northampton County.
Community Intervention Specialist Sarina Vas and Certified Recovery Specialists Emily Leonardo and Ibn “Q” Quawaee will receive Community Support Recognition for helping community members in need of mental health and addiction recovery assistance.
Allebach Communications, St. Luke’s Hospital – Sacred Heart, Good Shepherd Rehabilitation Hospital, and the Gregory W. Moyer Defibrillator Fund will receive Keystone Awards for equipment donations.
The department recognizes Dr. Ronald Hodges, Dr. Carlos Hodges, Dr. Tara Fetzer, Valley Central Veterinary Referral & Emergency Center for free services rendered to the department’s K9 Unit. Benebone, Mission BBQ and Barbara Lotte are recognized for providing food and equipment donations to the unit.
The following are recognized for providing monetary contributions for the department’s K9 Unit: Sheepdog Cigar Club; Members of Mountainville #30 Crimewatch Janie Barnyak, Dave and Janet Keschl, and Edward and Linda Kline; and Patricia Arndt.
PAL program participants Jaylyn Ashmead, Victoria Isabelle Diaz-Mitchell,
Charlie Strzelecki, Mattingly China, Marisa Price, Janiah Powell, Josh Flores, Destiny Edouard-Joseph and Kaya Spearko will be given a Keystone Award for rendering countless hours and dedication to programs such as the Allentown Police Department Police Athletic League and the PAL Camp Kids mentoring program. They also participated in multiple fundraisers to benefit young adults in the city and worked with the elderly as well as disabled citizens.
Pinnacle Exteriors of Allentown will receive a Certification of Appreciation for pledging a financial commitment to the Allentown Police Department, Youth Police Academy for 2021.