Cops honored for stellar police work

Good police work doesn’t always happen in the patrol district where an officer is assigned. Sometimes, duty calls cops to other parts of the city.

That was the case for Officers John Hanejko and Charles Squares of the 8th district when they captured a bank robber while on a “disorderly students” detail in Center City earlier this year. On April 5, they were named Officers of the Month by the 8th Police District Advisory Council.

Job well done: Officers John Hanejko and Charles Squares (center) were named Officers of the Month in the 8th Police District. PHOTO: 8TH PDAC

Hanejko and Squares are bicycle cops in the 8th. From time to time, the department deploys them to other parts of the city for special events or where more bicycle patrols are needed. At about 2:05 p.m. on Feb. 16, they were on patrol downtown with the primary objective of keeping crowds of teens in check at school dismissal time. But when someone robbed a bank at 18th and Market streets, they pedaled into action.

The robber fled with a bag of money that also contained a dye pack and GPS tracking device. The GPS enabled other officers to track the robber’s movements while Hanejko and Squares took up the pursuit with directions from police radio.

The officers traveled discreetly through traffic and alleyways for about 25 minutes until they spotted a man matching the description of the suspect inside a taxi at 772 S. Broad St. They detained the man until bank employees could arrive to identify him as the robber. The officers then placed the suspect under arrest.

The same suspect was later charged with three bank robberies that had occurred on the previous day. ••

— William Kenny