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VFW Recognizes Safety Officers January 16, 2019

The James A. Danner VFW Post 537 recently held a Safety Banquet to honor all first responders from the area and to specifically recognize one firefighter, one emergency medical technician (EMT), and one police officer. VFW Post 537 sought nominations from supervisory officers in Fairview Township, Newberry Township, and the borough of Goldsboro.

To be eligible for an award, nominees had to meet various criteria. The three primary criteria were recognition by their colleagues, unswerving loyalty to and active performance in safety of citizens, and dedication to their official responsibilities over a period of years, showing continuous growth in responsibility and experience.

The Firefighter of the Year for 2018 is Kyle Harbold. He serves as the fire police captain, assisting the Newberry Township Police Department in both emergency and nonemergency situations. He had the highest response to calls within the Newberry Township Fire Department.

Leslie Garner of Newberry Township's EMS was selected as the Post 537's Emergency Medical Technician Award winner for 2018. Garner began as an EMT in 2002 and became a medic in 2008. She has served as a full-time medic in Newberry Township since 2013.

Post 537 chose Detective Daniel Grimme of Newberry Township Police Department as the Police Officer of the Year. Grimme, an eight-year veteran of the Newberry Township Police Department, serves in the department's Criminal Support Unit. In the past year, he was instrumental in prosecuting several individuals who illegally delivered narcotics. In addition to general investigations, he also investigates domestic violence and sexual assault cases.

Nominations for the 2019 Safety Officers can be submitted at any time prior to Sunday, Sept. 1, to the James A. Danner VFW Post 537. For more information, readers may call Charlie at 724-630-4956.

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Gonzalez, Holmes Graduate From Police Academy January 15, 2019

The Chester County Sheriff's Office has announced that it was scheduled to add two deputy sheriffs to the roster in January. The new deputy sheriffs are Marjorie V. Gonzalez and Deborah A. Holmes.

Chester County Sheriff Carolyn Bunny Welsh recently recalled the day about a year and a half ago when security officers Marjorie V. Gonzalez and Deborah A. Holmes requested a meeting with her. They explained that they had been discussing the possibility of attending Delaware County Community College's Police Academy. If they pursued the part-time program, they could continue as security officers during the yearlong curriculum. At the end, they would graduate with Act 120 certification, which is mandated by Pennsylvania to work as a police officer. The certification was the lone requirement preventing the two from moving up the ranks and becoming deputy sheriffs.

Welsh encouraged Gonzalez and Holmes and brought in the chief and lieutenants to offer additional encouragement.

Holmes said the seeds of the plan date back to March 2014 when she began working in the Sheriff's Office. A longtime friend who was working as a deputy immediately suggested that Holmes attend the police academy, but at the time, the single mother said her plate was full. In addition to caring for her two sons, Holmes was providing assistance to her father, who was seriously ill.

But Holmes, a Coatesville High School graduate who studied criminal justice at West Chester University, said her friend's urgings did not stop. When a colleague in the Sheriff's Office security force enrolled in the academy in 2017, Holmes regularly asked him questions about his experiences in the program.

The answers helped Holmes make up her mind in the summer of 2018, secure in the knowledge that she would be fulfilling a wish for her that her late father had often expressed. At the time, she did not know that Gonzalez once had the same ambition.

Gonzalez said that hearing Holmes announce her goal reignited her own aspirations. Gonzalez said that the thought of having company at the academy appealed to her.

Welsh said one of the most inspiring components of Holmes and Gonzalez's journey was the pair's teamwork, and the duo's commitment, perseverance, and dedication inspired others in the office. Welsh added that the training regimen produced a variety of obstacles.

Both Holmes and Gonzalez found the schedule grueling. After putting in a full day at the Chester County Justice Center, they fought rush-hour traffic, often just making it to the Delaware County campus in time for roll call at 5:45 p.m. Their classes took place from 6 to 10 p.m. Holmes said she arrived back home in time to put her sons to bed. Additionally, Holmes also experienced difficulty with the schedule during the firearms training, as participants had to add full Saturdays and Sundays to their schedules for six weeks.

For Gonzalez, a Navy veteran who joined the Sheriff's Office in April 2011, the physical training and the firearms instruction presented the biggest hurdles. She noted that she and Holmes were the oldest members of their class, and sometimes keeping up with younger classmates proved a bit intimidating.

In addition, Gonzalez, who grew up in Delaware County and attended Haverford High School and Millersville State College, had to call up distant memories. For example, she had not used a firearm in more than three decades.

Besides receiving periodic boosts from one another as well as colleagues in the Sheriff's Office, both cadets benefited from personal support systems. Holmes credited her mother and sons, and Gonzalez praised her pastor and members of her church, Saints Memorial Baptist Church in Bryn Mawr.

When graduation time approached, Gonzalez and Holmes learned that if they were employed by a law-enforcement agency, their boss could participate in the ceremony. Welsh was in attendance at the ceremony to present Gonzalez's and Holmes' diplomas.

Cpl. Brad DeSando was one of the cheering members of the Sheriff's Office at the graduation. The security force supervisor, he said he is losing two stellar officers, but he also expressed pride in Gonzalez's and Holmes' achievements.

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Pequea Township Police Department Is Ready To Serve January 10, 2019

After 15 years, Pequea Township has a police department dedicated solely to the municipality. As far as retired police chief and current township supervisor Bob Race can tell, the department was first formed in the 1960s. Lloyd Bachman was the first chief, preceding Race in that role.

"You couldn't even write your own traffic tickets back then," Race related. "You went before the judge, and he mailed them a ticket."

In 2002, Pequea Township partnered with Conestoga Township to form the Southern Regional Police Department (SRPD), which patrolled both townships. At the end of 2017, a decision was made by both townships to dissolve the police commission, and in 2018, Conestoga Township moved to rely on the state police, said current Pequea Township Police Department (PTPD) chief John Michener. The SRPD was left with providing service to only Pequea Township, so it moved into the municipal building at 1026 Millwood Road, Willow Street. From there, the department patrols the 13.6-square-mile township and a population of about 5,000 people.

On the first day of 2019, the department's name was officially changed to Pequea Township Police Department. The PTPD is in the process of changing the names on the cruisers and on signage. New uniform patches were commissioned, and officers now sport an arrowhead-shaped patch bearing the state seal and township name. Michener noted that the design was chosen to be simple and to honor the Native American heritage of the area.

As a result of going from serving two townships to one, staffing was reduced slightly. Now, six full-time officers and a handful of part-time patrolmen provide around-the-clock coverage of the township. One of the officers is a member of the Lancaster County Drug Task Force, which provides the PTPD with resources and intel-gathering for the management of illegal drugs.

"Pequea Township seems more than happy to have us. They're pleased with the police service we're providing," Michener said. "We have a positive relationship with the board of supervisors and overwhelming support from the public. Combined with good officers, all that leads to great service by the police department."

"We have the best officers in the county," Race agreed. "I'm proud to have these (officers). I would hire any of them if I were still chief."

In particular, Michener praised Sgt. Robert Burger, who was named the Officer of the Year at an appreciation dinner on Jan. 5. Burger has been with the department for 16 years and is in charge of criminal investigations. During the transition period when Michener was swamped with extra work, Burger picked up the slack, freeing Michener to focus on making the transition as smooth as possible.

As chief of the PTPD, Michener has plans for the future of the department. He has kickstarted a bicycle patrol in the township's urban growth areas, and he has plans to focus on parts of the township that had been previously overlooked. The PTPD's records management system will be changed soon, and significant updates are being made to the personnel policy, which lays out how the department operates from top to bottom. The PTPD continues to offer house checks while residents are on vacation, Project Lifesaver monitoring and recovery, and safe pharmaceutical disposal. Officers also visit Pequea Elementary School to interact with students and provide positive interactions with police.

Michener noted that he would like to explore other townships getting involved with the police department again. He cited several townships in Lancaster County that contract with other municipalities for coverage and pointed out that the majority of townships in the Southern End rely on the state police for service.

For more information about the PTPD, readers may visit www.pequeatownshippd.org, follow @PequeaTwpPD on Twitter, find Pequea Township PD on Facebook, or call Michener at 717-945-7546.

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Beards For Brothers Fundraiser Held January 3, 2019

Lancaster County police departments and first responders joined together in November to support Beards for Brothers. The campaign was organized by Officer Bill Watt of West Hempfield Township.

Each year, officers select a first responder from the community currently battling cancer or an organization providing care to those battling cancer. This year's Beards for Brothers campaign raised money for Officer Wendell Metzler of New Holland Borough Police Department, a 25-year veteran of law enforcement, a volunteer firefighter, and a emergency medical technician. In June, he was diagnosed with stage four melanoma. Metzler has undergone numerous radiation treatments and is currently receiving immunotherapy treatments to battle the disease.

Faulkner Chevrolet employees also joined representatives from the departments, including Akron Borough, Columbia Borough, East Cocalico Township, East Hempfield Township, Elizabethtown Borough, Lititz Borough, Lancaster City, Lancaster County Park Rangers, Manheim Borough, Manor Township, Millersville University, New Holland Borough, Southern Regional, Strasburg Borough, West Hempfield Township, West Lampeter Township, and Quarryville Borough, along with volunteer firefighters, EMS, and dispatchers from Lancaster County, joined to raise funds for Metzler and his family.

For more details, readers may contact Eileen Culp at 717-723-5240 or eculp@faulknerchevrolet.com.

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Deputies Discover Connection December 18, 2018

Two Chester County deputy sheriffs recently realized they had crossed paths years earlier. Deputy Sheriff Keith Neiswender and Deputy Sheriff Howard "Larry" Sipple met each other earlier this year when they joined the Chester County Sheriff's Office at the same time, the culmination of a somewhat circuitous journey to West Chester. Neiswender had been working for the Berks County Sheriff's Office, and Sipple had been employed by the Caln Township Police Department. But it was their earlier military service that prompted a startling discovery: In 1991 and 1992, they both served on the USS America.

The revelation took a couple of weeks to surface. After being hired as deputies, the pair got to know each other during 13 weeks of field training. During that time, they maintained the same schedules and often ran into each other in the parking garage. One day, Sipple did a double-take when he saw "VF-102" on the side of Neiswender's vehicle.

Sipple said he knew immediately that Neiswender had served on the USS America because the VF-102 squadron was a sister squadron to his own, the VF-33. When he shared that information with Neiswender, he learned that they had both been deployed to the aircraft carrier during its 1991 to 1992 cruise. Neiswender, who had the decal custom-made, said he never imagined the connection it would forge. He also said that, though he has had countless chats with others over the years about his military service, the conversation with Sipple was the first one prompted by the logo.

Neither deputy can remember interacting directly on the warship, but the USS America's average population is 5,000. During the deputies' deployment, the USS America was focused on the Persian Gulf during the onset of Desert Storm. Sipple was responsible for working to test equipment for the F14 Tomcat and several other aircraft that operated on the ship. Neiswender was assigned to ensuring that the aircraft were loaded with the appropriate firepower.

The epiphany about the deputies' Navy connection came at a time when colleagues in the Sheriff's Office were experiencing some trouble telling them apart. According to Sipple, he and Neiswender look similar and joined the Sheriff's Office at the same time. Compounding the difficulty, a change in personnel delayed the delivery of the deputies' nametags. When the IDs finally arrived, the pair briefly considered switching them to continue confounding their co-workers, but their less-prankish sides prevailed.

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Friends Fund New WLTPD Purchases November 15, 2018

The fleet of vehicles owned by the West Lampeter Township Police Department (WLTPD) has expanded by one cruiser and two pedal carts. While most community members have no desire to take a ride in the back of the cruiser, department employees hope folks will be interested in the pedal carts. When cart drivers wear special goggles, they can safely experience what driving under the influence of a blood alcohol content ranging from .08 to .35 might be like.

"We'll set up a course and have you put the goggles on, and you'll see how you can't see," explained Chief Brian Wiczkowski.

Wiczkowski noted that the carts and goggles are primarily for Officer Dave Covey to use in his role as the new resource officer for the Lampeter-Strasburg School District, which will begin in January. Before purchasing the equipment, Wiczkowski and Sgt. Jeremy Schroeder researched the concept. A test of similar equipment in Heidelberg Township easily convinced the public servants that the carts and goggles would be an excellent teaching tool for West Lampeter Township residents.

"We thought it was an immediate home run to get the message out to the community, not just kids: Don't drink and drive," Wiczkowski said.

"We have to develop the lesson plan so we can incorporate a fun way to learn," Schroeder added. "I think Dave will do a great job with that."

The carts and three pairs of goggles were purchased by the Friends of the Force, which is dedicated to funding the acquisition of items that would make community policing safer and more effective while not adding to the tax burden.

"It was a short turnaround. We went to the Friends, and (the equipment) was ordered and delivered in several weeks," Wiczkowski said.

The new equipment cost $2,500, and it arrived in time for the West Lampeter Fair. Unfortunately, weather conditions prevented its introduction to the public. "We needed canoes instead," Wiczkowski quipped.

The Friends also recently helped to outfit two department vehicles. The aforementioned cruiser was purchased by the department for Covey to use, and the Friends covered the costs for an integrated enhanced seatbelt system, a molded plastic rear seat, window bars, a tablet mount, a docking station, a portable printer, and a pushbar for the front of the cruiser. The Friends also helped to stock a second vehicle, for a total value of $5,200.

An additional $2,400 was approved on Nov. 6 to stock a ready bag for Covey's vehicle. A utility bag is assigned to every cruiser, and each bag contains small items officers might need to perform their duties. These include a tourniquet, a window punch, a seatbelt cutter, a defibrillator, a portable breath test, a small digital camera, emergency blankets, a CPR mask, a leash, a canister of naloxone, a comprehensive guide to the laws police officers enforce, and more.

"When the chief (initially) presented the ready bag (idea) to us, it was a no-brainer (to approve)," said Friends president Jim Kulp.

The recent purchases bring the total amount the Friends have spent for the department up to nearly $130,000. "That's from township residents," Friends member Barb Smith commented. "It shows how they think of the department. It's thanks to (residents we can do this)."

"We're really fortunate to have a supportive community," Wiczkowski added.

New members of the Friends are always welcome. The group meets monthly, and board members vote on purchases requested by the department. The Friends do not solicit in any way other than in an annual letter; the 2019 letter is expected to be mailed in February.

For more information, readers may visit www.friendsoftheforce.com or call Kulp at 717-917-2184.

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Sheriff's Office Receives Gifts Of Appreciation October 24, 2018

The Chester County Sheriff's Office (CCSO) recently received a delivery of food as part of the Cookies for a Cop initiative to express appreciation for members of law enforcement.

On Oct. 16, volunteers Debi Raughley and her husband, David, delivered multiple boxes of homemade cookies, pretzels, and dog treats to the CCSO. In Chester County, Raughley and her group planned to serve 30 police and fire agencies during this year's campaign, which took place from Oct. 15 to 19. If the first responders groups include any four-legged officers, they received treats as well.

The annual Fall Back on Us campaign requires months of planning, including calls to the various offices to get a head count so that no one is left out. Raughley said a group of approximately 30 bakers lent their talents to creating this year's bounty. In 2016, Cookies for a Cop's name was changed to Cookies for a Cop and Our Fire Friends, and Raughley expanded the local program to include firefighters.

Like many of the bakers, Raughley has strong ties to first responders. Her son is a third-generation law enforcement officer who is also married to a police officer.

For more information on the Cookies for a Cop program, readers may contact its founder, Becky Grizovic, at becky@cookiesforacop.com or visit https://cookiesforacop.com/. The 2018 schedule includes deliveries to more than 700 departments in 26 states and two countries.

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Police Department Receives Award October 17, 2018

Bell Socialization Services Inc. has recognized the Northern York Regional Police Department as the recipient of the Pauline Whitacre Community Services Award. Presented to an individual or group that provides time and resources to enhance Bell's mental health programs, the award was received at Bell's fall annual meeting on Oct. 2 at St. Matthew Lutheran Church in York.

The Northern York Regional Police Department has worked with Bell's assertive community treatment (ACT) team on many occasions over the past year, meeting staff members at client homes, parking lots, and stores to help coordinate the safety of mental health clients. Bell recognized the officers for exhibiting compassion and understanding when clients displayed extreme psychotic behaviors and for working collaboratively with staff members and respectfully with clients at all times. ACT program coordinator Christine Adkins nominated the police department for the award. Deputy Chief of Police Dave Lash and Lt. Gregg Anderson accepted the award.

Bell Socialization Services Inc. is a human services agency based in York that provides housing and living skills supports to individuals living with mental illness, people with intellectual disabilities, and families that are homeless.

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Drug Take-Back Collection Posted October 16, 2018

Garden Spot Village, 433 S. Kinzer Ave., New Holland, and the New Holland Police Department will provide a collection site on the 15th National Prescription Drug Take-Back Day, Saturday, Oct. 27. From 10 a.m. to 2 p.m., members of the public may bring expired, unwanted or unused prescription and over-the-counter medications to the collection site on the campus of the retirement community for secure disposal.

The event is free and completely anonymous. Participants may remove personal information from drug bottles or packages. Pills, capsules, creams and liquids will be accepted, but syringes or sharps will not.

A law enforcement officer will be present during the collection. Signs will be posted on campus to direct the public to the collection site.

For more information, call Colleen Musselman at 717-355-6007 or Chief of Police William Leighty at 717-354-4647.

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Deputies Complete Fitness Test October 16, 2018

An uncommon sight greeted early-bird commuters in downtown West Chester on Oct. 10: more than a dozen deputy sheriffs on the run. Receiving some illumination from a Sheriff's Office truck with its lights flashing, the group was in the final stage of the 2018 Superior Fitness Challenge. The challenge began at 5 a.m. with 100 push-ups followed by 100 sit-ups. Afterward, the deputies donned 30 pounds of equipment, including large shields, before they each dragged a 150-pound dummy up and down a long hallway, jumped over a 5.5-foot wall, carried a battering ram about a block, and then ascended and descended a nine-story staircase while wearing weighted vests.

The ordeal preceded a five-minute break. By 6:45 a.m., the deputies started the finale, a 2.5-mile formation run around the borough of West Chester. As drivers and pedestrians watched, the deputies braved several inclines, offering each other encouragement in the process.

Cpl. Joseph Woulfe, the fitness coordinator who oversees the challenge, said the routine was created by Chief Deputy Sheriff Jason Suydam. Initially, it represented the first step in the application process to join the Fugitive Apprehension Unit before it was opened up to all deputies.

Woulfe explained that the test accomplishes more than just an assessment of physical prowess. It also measures teamwork, dedication, and determination, qualities that come in handy when deputies attempt to apprehend fleeing suspects or respond quickly to someone in distress.

The instructors - Woulfe, Deputy Sheriff Steven Price, Deputy Sheriff Enrique Garcia, and Cpl. Daniel Strathy - took the test a week earlier so that they could oversee this year's challenge and assist with traffic control during the run.

Deputies who successfully complete the challenge receive pins to wear on their uniforms. In addition to the four instructors, the 2018 Superior Fitness Challenge pin recipients are Deputy Sheriff Joel Buccialia, Deputy Sheriff Michael Cabry, Deputy Sheriff Mario Dioguardi, Deputy Sheriff Peter Gardner, Deputy Sheriff Sean Marasco, Deputy Sheriff Christian Medina, and Security Officer Manuel "Manny" Morris.

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HUMC Slates Two-Part Community Fall Fest October 13, 2018

On Friday, Oct. 26, Hempfield United Methodist Church (HUMC), 3050 Marietta Ave., Lancaster, will host the Community Fall Fest. The free event, which is open to the public, will feature two main components.

A Cops and Rodders "Trunk or Treat" car show will run from 5 to 7 p.m. Hosted in cooperation with the East Hempfield Township Police Department, the event will be held in the rear parking lots of the church.

The Hempfield Cops and Rodders Car Show began in 2011 as a fundraiser for what was then the newly formed East Hempfield Township Police Department K-9 unit. Over the years, the event has grown, and funds raised from the show benefit various local nonprofit organizations. In 2016, a Trunk or Treat car show was launched as an outgrowth of the original show. Car owners do not need to register their vehicles for this event. Cars are not judged, and there are no sponsorships or trophies awarded. The only requirement for those who display vehicles at this event is that they also bring new, individually wrapped candy to give out to those who visit.

Last year, an estimated 150 vehicles participated in the Trunk or Treat event, maxing out the space. As a result, the event has found a new home at Hempfield UMC.

The Trunk or Treat is primarily geared toward families with children up to 12 years old, but people of all ages are welcome to enjoy the vehicles that will be displayed. Trunk-or-Treaters are encouraged to come in costume but are asked to refrain from violence-themed outfits or costumes that include weapons.

The second part of the Community Fall Fest will kick off in the sanctuary at 7 p.m. East Hempfield Police officer Jason Skiles will briefly share a few trick-or-treat safety tips with attendees. Then, Jesse Rothacker of Forgotten Friend Reptile Sanctuary will present a reptile show.

Rothacker has performed more than 2,000 animal shows for audiences of all ages. In addition to founding the sanctuary and serving as its president, Rothacker is a founder and board member of the Lancaster Herpetological Society. He appears regularly on local television and radio stations. Rothacker's program has been featured at the Pennsylvania governor's mansion, for the U.S. Congress, with Jay Leno, and at many other venues of all sizes. Folks may learn more about his work at https://forgottenfriend.org.

For more information about the Community Fall Fest, readers may call the church at 717-285-5156, visit http://hempfieldumc.org, or follow the church on Facebook and Twitter by searching for "Hempfield UMC."

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Sheriff's Office Receives AEDs October 10, 2018

The Lancaster County Sheriff's Office has acquired 21 automated external defibrillators (AEDs). The AEDs were donated to the Sheriff's Office by Penn Medicine - Lancaster General Health and will be deployed throughout the Sheriff's Office's vehicle fleet.

In addition, the Sheriff's Office has also been supplied with naloxone by the Lancaster County District Attorney's Office. Naloxone will be in each Sheriff's Office vehicle as well. These tools will enable deputies to respond to medical emergencies and potentially save lives in advance of the arrival of responding emergency medical personnel.

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Welsh Featured In Calendar October 9, 2018

Sheriff Carolyn Bunny Welsh was included in the Softie Cops 2019 calendar, an initiative of the National Law Enforcement Center on Animal Abuse (NLECAA) and the National Coalition on Violence Against Animals (NCOVAA).

Welsh, a lifelong animal advocate, serves as national co-chair of NCOVAA. She is also on the advisory board of NLECAA. The shared mission of both organizations is to provide resources aimed at preventing animal cruelty. Welsh explained that the organizations work with sheriff's offices, police departments and all law enforcement agencies throughout the country.

The agencies hope that the pairing of some of the nation's top law enforcers with animals in need will encourage others to go above and beyond to protect animals. Welsh said the dogs and cats used in the calendar were all rescues, many of which were adopted as a result of the promotion.

Welsh was teamed with Dante, a dog whose vision was impaired by cataracts. They are featured on the March page of the calendar.

For more information on the calendars, readers may visit www.sheriffs.org/showyoursoftside.

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Bigs In Blue Partnership Launched October 5, 2018

Big Brothers Big Sisters of the Capital Region (BBBSCR) recently launched a new Bigs in Blue partnership with the Derry Township Police Department and Derry Township School District. The kickoff was held at Hershey Intermediate Elementary School.

Police officers participating in the Bigs in Blue program will spend quality time as mentors to eight students at Hershey Intermediate Elementary School. Participating officers will provide support to students and become both a friend and a role model to them while offering a new perspective on what police officers stand for, work for, and represent.

According to organization representatives, students in Big Brothers Big Sisters programs develop strong relationships with adults, reduce risky behavior, and maintain or develop positive attitudes toward education, including improved academics and pursuit of college education.

The Bigs in Blue program is a national initiative that was launched locally in 2016. The local program marks the 10th Bigs in Blue partnership in BBBSCR's service area. For more information, readers may visit www.capbigs.org.

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Police Announce Twitter Account October 4, 2018

The Columbia Borough Police is now on Twitter.

Community members can follow the department's account at @BoroughPolice.

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Deputy Sheriff Makes Connection At Festival September 12, 2018

On duty at the recent Citadel Country Spirit USA concert in Ludwig's Corner, Chester County Deputy Sheriff Matthew "Jamie" Mendenhall was giving Nero, his K-9 partner, some exercise when a man initiated a conversation about the importance of K-9s. The man subsequently introduced himself as Doug Paisley, the father of country superstar Brad Paisley, who was to perform at the concert on Aug. 26.

As the two continued their discussion, Mendenhall noted that two area K-9 handlers had lost their lives in the line of duty in recent years: Plymouth Township Police Officer Bradley Fox and Berks County Deputy Sheriff Kyle Pagerly. Mendenhall, who came to Chester County from the Berks County Sheriff's Office, had supervised Kyle in the K-9 Unit there.

Doug asked if Mendenhall could supply photos of the two fallen heroes so that his son could pay tribute to them during his performance. Further, he asked if Mendenhall wanted tickets to the concert.

Mendenhall shared that Kyle and his wife, Alecia, were both huge fans of Brad. In fact, Kyle's special song for his wife was Brad's "She's Everything." Mendenhall then contacted Alecia to let her know that "Brad Paisley's dad says hello" and to see if she wanted to come to the concert.

Alecia arrived 15 minutes before Brad Paisley took the stage; it was the first time she had seen him live. He sang "When I Get Where I'm Going" in front of a giant projection showing Kyle and Fox and their respective K-9 partners, Jynx and Nick. The country icon also performed Kyle Pagerly's anthem to his wife. According to Doug, that song was added and had not been on the original play list.

Alecia also reconnected with Chester County Sgt. Paul Bryant Jr., who was also on duty at the music festival. She had not seen Bryant since the day her late husband graduated from the Philadelphia Police K-9 Academy, where the sergeant had previously worked.

At the end of the event, Mendenhall was unable to leave the concert grounds because his vehicle was blocked by a school bus bearing the number 27, which was Kyle's badge number.

For more information on Kyle Pagerly, readers may visit https://kylepagerlymemorial.com.

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Northwest EMS Works Toward Fundraising Goal September 6, 2018

Northwest Emergency Medical Services (EMS) is more than halfway to its goal of raising $30,000 to purchase bullet-resistant vests for crew members. The EMS agency intends to provide the vests due to the opioid crisis and an increase in active shooter threats. Northwest EMS covers the northern tier of Lancaster County from Conoy Township to Clay Township, including Elizabethtown and Manheim.

As payments for ambulance services decrease, the EMS agency based in Elizabethtown decided to ask area residents to help protect its crews. The community responded, and to date the agency has received $15,151 in checks, including at least 20 from donors who paid the full $500 cost of one vest, and $1,665 from the GoFundMe page, for a total of $16,816.

Recently the EMS agency received help from the Northwest Regional Police, which patrols West Donegal and Mount Joy townships. The Northwest Regional Police Commission donated $1,000, and the Northwest Regional Police Association, representing the officers, donated $500.

Contributions may be made at www.gofundme.com/invest-in-ems.

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Active Shooter Presentation Slated September 5, 2018

The Pennsylvania State Police will offer a two-hour Active Shooter Presentation on Monday, Sept. 24, from 7 to 9 p.m. at New Hope (Fissel's) United Church of Christ, 3426 Fissel's Church Road, Glen Rock. The presentation will be led by a representative of the Domestic Security Section of the State Police's Intelligence Division.

Audio and video clips will be used to demonstrate what may occur during an active shooter situation. The presentation is designed to cover all venues, such as places of worship, open spaces, education facilities, public settings and shopping facilities. Statistics, trends, and real incidents will be discussed. The presenter will also discuss behaviors, thoughts, and feelings that may contribute to a person becoming an active shooter.

The presentation is free and open to the public. No reservations are required.

For more information, readers may call Dave at 717-235-3720, or they may call the church at 717-235-2033 between 9 a.m. and 2 p.m. on Tuesdays, Wednesdays, and Thursdays.

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Organizations To Host "Stop The Bleed" August 21, 2018

On Thursday, Sept. 13, Susquehanna Valley Emergency Medical Services (SVEMS) and the Hellam Township Police Department will host Stop the Bleed, an event designed to help individuals know what to do in the event of a serious injury. According to organizers, the top cause of preventable death in trauma is bleeding, and knowing what to do in a dangerous emergency can mean the difference between life and death.

The course will be held from 6:30 to 8:30 p.m. at the Hellam Township Public Works building, 44 Walnut St., York. Professionals will teach hands-on skills that folks need to know to provide immediate care to someone with life-threatening injuries. The event is free and open to the public. To register, interested individuals may visit www.svems.org and click on the education tab and sign up on the Stop the Bleed page. The deadline to register will be 3 p.m. on Sept. 13.

"The purpose of the event is to educate all who want to learn how to act and react in an active shooter situation and learn how to control bleeding," explained Terri Givens, business development manager for SVEMS.

Participants will have the chance to learn how to apply pressure to a wound, pack a wound with gauze, and use a tourniquet. Givens said that to make the experience as realistic as possible, SVEMS operations manager Adam Marden uses cranberry juice so that participants get a sense of what it is really like to control bleeding.

Hellam Township Police Chief Doug Pollock will discuss what to do in an active shooter situation and go over Run, Hide, Fight techniques. SVEMS education manager Rob Walker will share information on how to triage injured individuals, and participants may engage in hands-on practice following the lecture.

Givens noted that in addition to helping people to prepare for potential emergencies, the course provides knowledge that is useful in other situations, such as getting a cut or witnessing an automobile accident. SVEMS hosted a similar event in York earlier this year and had Boy Scouts and Girl Scouts attend in preparation for camping trips.

"Our hope for those attending would be to learn lifesaving skills that they can use for the rest of their lives," said Givens.

On Wednesday, Sept. 5, Marden and SVEMS will be recognized by the Lancaster City and County Medical Society and presented with the Benjamin Rush Award for their work with Stop the Bleed. To learn more about Stop the Bleed, a national awareness campaign, readers may visit www.dhs.gov/stopthebleed.

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First Responders Receive Awards August 15, 2018

Local first responders Derek Eveler, Wayne Bush, and Dennis Wilt received Commendation Awards from the Emergency Health Services Federation on Aug. 3 at Red Lion Area Ambulance Association (RLAAA). They were recognized for their role in saving a life.

On June 8, Red Lion Area Ambulance EMTs Eveler and Bush, along with Medic 102-6 - UPMC Pinnacle LifeTeam paramedic Wilt responded to a call for a cardiac arrest in Windsor Township. The patient's neighbor had witnessed the patient collapse in the front yard and immediately called 911 and began CPR, continuing until the police arrived and took over CPR.

The first responders arrived to find police and fire departments on the scene and CPR in progress. A York Regional Police Department officer reported that one shock had been delivered using an automated external defibrillator (AED). The EMS team continued patient care with manual CPR, followed by placement of the LUCAS, an automatic mechanical CPR device. Two more shocks were delivered with the AED. A pulse was re-established and the patient began to regain consciousness. Today, the patient is doing well and is enjoying life with his family.

At the recognition ceremony, C. Steven Lyle, executive director of the Emergency Health Services Federation, presented the awards to Eveler, Bush and Wilt. Recognition commendations were also presented to the police officers, the firefighter and the patient's neighbor for their actions.

Attending the ceremony were the patient, Bradley Blouse, and his family; the neighbor who had called 911 and performed CPR; firefighter Barry Barshinger from Laurel Fire Company No. 1; Officers R. Brice and R. Miller, York Area Regional Police Department; Michael J. Kraska, EMT-P shift leader/EMS captain - UPMC Pinnacle LifeTeam EMS; Rep. Stan Saylor; Rep. Keith Gillespie; and Rep. Kristen Phillips-Hill. Also attending from RLAAA were Travis Gladfelter, director of operations; Kimberly Grim, EMS supervisor; co-workers of Eveler and Bush; and the board of directors.

RLAAA will offer free hands-only CPR training for members of the greater Red Lion community. For dates and times, readers may call 717-244-0983 or email Travis Gladfelter at tgladfelter@redlionambulance.com or Kimberly Grim at kgrim@redlionambulance.com.

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