Officer of the Year honored in 7th Police District

Ofc. John Conway (left) was named Officer of the Year in the 7th district. The other nominees included Officers Alfred Fiorentino (center), Myrna Moore and Antonio Soto (not pictured). PHOTO: 7th POLICE DISTRICT

In a few months, John Conway will celebrate 30 years as a Philadelphia police officer. Yet after all that time, he’s still performing the job at his best.

Last week, Conway was honored as the 2016 Officer of the Year for the Northeast’s 7th district. Police department commanders joined dozens of community leaders for the award ceremony hosted by the 7th Police District Advisory Council at Randi’s Restaurant in Bustleton on May 18.

State Sens. John Sabatina and Tina Tartaglione, as well as state Rep. Ed Neilson, delivered legislative citations to Conway, who was among four nominees for the annual award. The other contenders were Myrna Moore, Antonio Soto and Alfred Fiorentino.

Conway’s supervisor in the district’s 1st Platoon, Lt. Bettina Baldere, nominated him for the award.

“Officer Conway is one of the highest performing officers in 1-platoon,” Baldere wrote in a nominating letter. “His overall activity consistently leads his platoon and, as one of his platoon’s senior officers, he is always willing to help newer officers if the need arises.

“Despite his years on the job, he continues to be a high-performing officer as witnessed by him being the first car on the scene of a reported stabbing at 13512 Bustleton Ave. Officer Conway’s years of experience and quality police work led to the apprehension of the suspect, which sadly also turned into a homicide arrest when the victim died the following day.”

Conway’s quick response to the Nov. 19 emergency call enabled him to identify and capture the stabbing suspect at the scene. When he arrived at the scene, he found the wounded victim sitting in the front passenger seat of a car. Conway immediately called for paramedics.

Despite the victim’s critical injuries, he was able to describe his attacker to Conway, who surveyed the area and spotted the suspect nearby. Conway arrested him without incident. The suspect was charged with murder, aggravated assault and related offenses. He is in jail awaiting trial.

Conway has received several other awards during his career, including three Merit Commendations and a Commendatory Letter from the police department. He joined the police force in October 1987 and has previously worked in the 12th and 24th districts.

Moore was nominated for Officer of the Year by her lieutenant in the 2nd Platoon, Steve Gonzalez, for her arrests of two squatters inside a rental home on the 500 block of Foster Street on Dec. 16.

In the 3rd Platoon, Lt. David Marnien nominated Soto as Officer of the Year. On Feb. 28, 2016, Soto captured a man who was suspected of using a crowbar to rob two convenience stores in Rhawnhurst as well as assaulting a police officer. Soto also arrested a second person who allegedly drove a getaway car during the robberies.

Fiorentino was nominated for Officer of the Year by his supervisor in 5th Platoon, Lt. Darien Blackmon. Among his many notable arrests during 2016, Fiorentino and his partner Randy Vogt were on bicycle patrols in another district, the 9th, when they captured a robbery suspect at 17th and Chestnut streets.

In addition to the Officer of the Year presentation, the 7th PDAC also recognized a new Officer of the Month for April. Gregory Segaline earned the award for capturing a suspected purse snatcher who had victimized a woman as she waited for a bus on the 8300 block of Bustleton Avenue. Using a description provided by the victim, Segaline found the crook outside a convenience store at Castor and Solly avenues. ••

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