During the April 11 meeting of the Sumpter Township Board of Trustees, Police Chief Eric Luke announced the police department awards for 2016.
Officer of the Year is Det./Sgt. John Toth. Det./Sgt. Toth also won this top award in 2012.
Selection is based upon the member’s significant contribution to the mission of the Sumpter Township Police Department, said Chief Luke.
“It was in discussing his abilities, duties, and performance that we realized this award went beyond his skills as a detective,” Chief Luke said. “John earned this award for his dedication to solving cases and finding justice for the people of the community.
“He has a gift that enables him to adjust his approach when speaking with victims, suspects, and witnesses, young and old, whatever the situation dictates. It is because of this that John has developed exceptional ties with the community that regularly assists him in gaining knowledge to help solve crimes in the township.
“As if this was not enough, John worked tirelessly and successfully through 2016, which had one of, if not the most challenging caseloads this department has ever had.
“During it all, John met the challenge with the utmost degree of integrity, professionalism, courage, and determination to see that justice was done.
“I will conclude by saying that Det./Sgt. John Toth continuously demonstrates core values of professionalism, dependability, and integrity and represents the Police Department, Sumpter Township, and its citizens in a manner we can all be proud of.”
VALOR — Sgt. Brian Steffani and Ofc. Joseph Balowski
Chief Luke explained this Valor award is given to a department member who exhibits boldness, determination, and bravery in a difficult task involving great personal risk to the member’s safety. The member must have been fully aware of the imminent threat to his/her safety and acted above and beyond the call of duty at the risk of his/her own life.
The Award of Valor was awarded to both officers for their response to and subsequent arrest of the subject responsible for an Assault with a Dangerous Weapon on April 11, 2016. The subject is currently serving a 5-8-year prison sentence.
MERIT — Sgt. Beth Egerer
The Merit Award is given to a member who has performed an efficient and valuable service to the department, either in the performance of a specific task or in the outstanding performance of general duties over an extended period.
This was awarded for Sgt. Egerer’s continuing dedication, integrity, and professionalism.
PATROL PRODUCTIVITY – Cpl. John Ashby
Cpl. Ashby was presented the award in recognition of being the most productive road patrol officer.
These department awards were chosen by a committee in the department.
Chief Luke also gave his own Chief’s Recognition to officers in three separate cases.
D/Sgt. John Toth, Sgt. Chris McGlynn, Sgt. Beth Egerer, Cpl. John Ashby & Ofc. Danielle Buccellato
Awarded in recognition of their contribution to the successful investigation and subsequent convictions of those involved in a fraud case against Fox Auto Parts on Jan. 29, 2016. The case involved $3,200 and $4,000 in oil and a credit card. There was undercover work involved.
D/Sgt. John Toth, Sgt. Brian Steffani & Ofc. George Salajan
Awarded in recognition of their contribution to the successful investigation and subsequent conviction of Charles Cahill in the drunk driving crash and subsequent death of 12-year-old Victoria Mack on July 27, 2016. Charles Cahill is currently serving a 27-50-year prison sentence resulting from this incident.
D/Sgt. John Toth, Sgt. Chris McGlynn, Sgt. Beth Egerer, Ofc. Colleen Gottschalk, Ofc. Chris Herrick, Ofc. Joseph Balowski & Ofc. George Salajan
Awarded in recognition of their contribution to the successful investigation and subsequent conviction of Thomas Cahill in the hammer attack and subsequent death (resulting in a homicide charge) of his grandfather on Dec. 2, 2016. Thomas Cahill is currently serving a 30-50-year prison sentence resulting from the incident.