Officer of the Year, fellow cops recognized in 8th district

Quite an honor: Attending the award ceremony are Tom Geisler, 8th Police District Advisory Council president; Inspector Benjamin Naish; state Sen. John Sabatina; Officer Mark Mazzoni; Capt. Adam Friedman; state Rep. Ed Neilson.SOURCE: 8TH DISTRICT

One police officer was named Officer of the Year for the 8th district, but 44 others received recognition of some kind during the district’s annual awards ceremony at the Ashburner Inn on April 17.

Officer Mark Mazzoni was the leading honoree as Officer of the Year. He earned Officer of the Month in February for his work in capturing a serial robbery suspect who had targeted businesses in the 8th and surrounding communities. As the district’s dedicated tactical officer, Mazzoni has developed a strong rapport with Northeast Detectives to investigate crime patterns. In addition to those duties, he took on more responsibility as the 8th district’s school police officer.

Mazzoni was further recognized for his expertise in using technology to keep his squad informed about ongoing crime patterns.

Other Officer of the Year nominees were recognized. Stephen Herman of Squad One was instrumental in locating a missing 97-year-old nursing home resident who had been taken from her home by an unauthorized relative. Herman collaborated with Pennsylvania State Police and Northeast Detectives to trace the missing woman to Ohio, where she was rescued.

Officers Joseph Fox and Rose Hutchinson of Squad Two captured two home burglars red-handed inside a local residence. A neighbor directed Fox and Hutchinson to the property, where the officers found one suspect hiding in a closet and the other in a rear bedroom. Officers Michael Gereaghty and Gerald Attewell of Squad Three disarmed a distraught man who had several knives, appeared under the influence of drugs and was threatening to kill himself in front of his mother and other relatives, including a young child. The officers spoke to the man for more than 20 minutes while drawing him away from his relatives, thereby protecting their safety. Eventually, the subject turned violent, but the officers subdued him without injuring themselves or innocent bystanders. The man suffered only minor scratches and was taken to Friends Hospital for mental evaluation.

Two school crossing guards were also honored during the reception. Beverly Martin was Crossing Guard of the Year, while Patricia Kilbride earned special recognition.

Twenty-year service awards were presented to Capt. Adam Friedman as well as Officers James Boccalupo, Myra Coleman, Natalie Crone, Anthony Desher, Timothy Hanratty, Joseph Hansbury, Vincent Labrice, Robert Mulholland, Daniel Rubin and Ed Sadowski. The 25-year awards were given to Lt. Michael Labrice and Officers Kathleen Flanagan, Joseph Fox, Stephen Herman and Michael Hoelsworth. Sgt. Kenneth Marsaslia earned his 30-year award, while Officer Randy Craig reached the 35-year milestone. The perfect attendance award winners were Capt. Friedman, Lt. John Boyle, Lt. Edward Monaghan, Sgt. Sharon Conaway, Cpl. John Feenan, Cpl. James Goodchild, Cpl. Daniel Pfeiffer and Officers James Balmer, Charles Bondiskey, Rosario Cappacio, Randall Craig, Anthony Desher, Richard Greger, John Hanejko, John Judge, Donna Lauder, Walter Nejman, Rufus Ragland, Elgin Rogers, Robert Sweeney and Joseph Tigue. ••