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Monday, July 15, 2024


Priole Awarded Lower Police Officer of the Year


By Jack Fichter

VILLAS — Cpl. William Priole was awarded the 10th annual David C. Douglass Lower Township Police Officer of the Year Award in a ceremony Oct. 27.
Police Chief Edward Donohue said the award is given in honor of Douglass who lost his life in the line of duty.
Lt. William Mastriana, who presented the award to Priole along with David Douglass’ widow, Debbie, said the award is given to an officer who performs above and beyond what is required.
Priole has been an officer for 18 years. In addition to patrol duties, Priole has been called upon in the absence of a sergeant to act in the capacity of a supervisor, said Mastriana.
“During that time you are expected to be a supervisor, a leader, a motivator, a coach as well as a facilitator,” said Matriana. “Cpl. Priole has proven himself time and time again in all these roles.”
Priole is number one on the sergeant’s list, which expires next year and has recently taken the last sergeant’s test, which makes him eligible for promotion in coming years.
Mastriana said Priole was an officer with a positive attitude and a good work ethic who does his job with integrity, respect, loyalty and commitment.
Capt. Brian Marker presented a Community Partnership Award to Wyn Evoy for assisting the police department with calls where there was a death and sponsoring numerous community projects.
Marker presented a Community Partnership Award to Frank Church for his participation in building parks in the township, Little League fields and collecting food for the needy.
Marker presented a Community Service Award to Harold Carty, Robert Bailey and Gerald Finnegan, three employees of the township’s Public Works Department for their work maintaining police vehicles, the public safety building and township signs.
Capt. Louis Russo presented a Unit Citation to the Lower Township Police Detective Division: DLT. Thomas Keywood, DFC. Mel Hedum, Det. Edward Dougherty, Det. Art Mason, Det. Christian Lambert and Det. Joseph Boyle. Russo said the award was for outstanding performance in detecting, deterring and apprehending known drug dealers and criminals by aggressively conducting investigations, executing search warrants and performing motor vehicle stops which have led to the seizure of large amounts of illegal drugs and arrests of multiple felons.
Donohue presented Career Achievement Awards to Lt. Christopher Winter and Sgt. First Class William Hienkel. The chief said he would miss both officers.
Winter was hired by the department in 1988, promoted to detective in 1991 and was part of the investigative team in the death of David C. Douglass. Winter was promoted to Detective First Class in 1995, to sergeant in 1998 and lieutenant in 2006. Donohoue said Winter oversaw the operations of the communications center and police records and was assigned the duty of accreditations manager.
Donohue said Heinkel was an “old school, cop’s cop.” He said Heinkel handled logistics for major events in the township and the department’s traffic division. Heinkel was hired in 1984 and was promoted to detective in 1991, also investigating the slaying of Officer Douglass, was promoted to Sergeant in 1998 and Sergeant First Class in 2005.
Donohue presented a Unit Citation to pastors Jack Howard, Scott Durbin and Wesley Newell. He said the pastors assisted police with notification of deaths to families.
When Police Dispatcher Al Christy passed away without any family members in September, the three pastors assembled a special service for him, said Donohue.
Letters of commendation were presented to DFC. Mel Hedum, Det. Christopher Lambert, and Officer Brian McEwing for their work dealing with a suicidal subject armed with two large knives who threatened officers.
Patrol Officer Jennifer Anzelone received a letter of commendation for being recognized by Mothers Against Drunk Driving for 19 drunk driving arrests, the highest number of DWI arrests in the county for 2008.
The VFW Gold Medal Award from Post 5343 was presented by Russo to Officer Robert Fessler. Russo said since graduating from the police academy in 2004, Fessler has consistently been among the department’s highest performing officers.
In 2008, Fessler made approximately 60 arrests.

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