Greger named 8th district’s Officer of the Year

A special salute: Pictured are (from left) Inspector Benjamin Naish, state Rep. Martina White, Officer Richard Greger, state Rep. Ed Neilson and Capt. Adam Friedman.

In 2016, Police Officer Richard Greger rescued two women from a burning building, captured two burglars red-handed and locked up a husband who had murdered his wife in a tragic case of domestic violence.

But it was Greger’s day-to-day service to the community that clinched him the Officer of the Year award in the Far Northeast’s 8th district. On March 26, Greger headed a list of more than 30 cops from the 8th district who were recognized for their achievements during the year. The 8th Police District Advisory Council hosted the ceremonies at the Union League Golf Club of Torresdale.

“He is always early for work and is usually the last one to leave. Complainants and victims of crime continuously contact the district praising his efforts,” 8th PDAC Chairman Charles Kueny said of Greger during the award presentation. “Whether it’s a routine call for service of a violent crime in progress, Rich is always the first one to arrive and render assistance. He routinely leads the district in arrests and never gives up on how he can help a complainant or crime victim.”

Greger often checks in with crime victims at home or at the hospital to see how they are recovering, although it’s not required of his job. He works proactively visiting shops throughout the district to meet the proprietors. Those relationships become a great asset after a crime occurs and police may need information to further an investigation, Kueny said.

Greger “doesn’t wait for a problem to arise or for someone to call the police. He gets out there and forms a personal contact with the people he serves,” Kueny said.

Some of his specific actions did stand out nonetheless. On Feb. 22, 2016, the officer responded to an apartment building fire on the 8200 block of Frankford Ave. and rescued a woman from a second-floor unit. Outside, he found a second female who had fallen from a ladder while escaping from a third-floor window. He pulled the injured victim away from the flames and falling debris.

On March 12, 2016, Greger captured two suspected burglars as they fled a home on the 8000 block of Walker St. On June 26, he responded to a 911 report of a person with a weapon on the 3100 block of Willits Road. When he arrived on the block, he found a woman on the ground in front of her neighbor’s house. She was bleeding profusely from chest and back wounds. Although she passed away, the victim was able to identify her husband as the attacker. When Greger went to the victim’s home, he found an arrow lodged in a wall and her husband with a crossbow. He was charged with murdering his wife.

Greger also won a perfect attendance award for 2016. In addition to Greger, numerous other officers were honored for their service. Squad Officer of the Year awards went to Stephen Herman, Teresa Rice, Christopher Adams and Francis Rafferty.

Perfect attendance awards went to Lt. John Boyle, Lt. Edward Monaghan, Sgt. Sharon Conaway, Sgt. William McNamee, Cpl. John Feenan, Cpl. James Goodchild, Cpl. Daniel Pfeiffer and Officers James Balmer, Charles Bondiskey, Rosario Cappacio, Anthony Desher, Jose Gutierrez, David Hamilton, John Judge, Elgin Rogers, Charles Squares, Robert Sweeney and Joseph Tigue. Civilian employee Angela Wiggins-Streater also had perfect attendance.

Lt. Robert Cesare and Officer Mark Jerdan were recognized for 30 years of service, while 20-year awards went to Officers Steven Carr, Steven Filippone, Michael Gereaghty III, Andrew Jericho, Colleen McClain, Patricia Rosati, Sabrina Sackosky, Daniel Shellhammer, Robert Sweeney, Ernest Walker Jr., Steven Wilson and Cindy Yue.

Local crossing guards were also honored. Stephany Posey was named Crossing Guard of the Year. Service awards were presented to Bernadette Lewis (35 years), Beverly Martin (30 years), Kathleen Staube (25 years), Debra Meehan (20 years) and Eileen Ashmore (20 years). ••

William Kenny can be reached at 215–354–3031 or wkenny@bsmphilly.com. Follow the Times on Twitter @NETimesOfficial.