Bloggers and students and businesses, oh my! We've certainly had a whirlwind of fond memories over the past few days as we have looked back at 2011 - LRSC Patch's first year in existence. We've seen the ways that the aforementioned people/places can make an impact on our local community, and of course the voting is still open, and the nominations still continue.
Today, we look at one of the most integral portions of community - the men and women who serve us: police officers and firefighters. There have been plenty of brow-wiping moments in 2011 in the Limerick-Royersford-Spring City area, and, if it weren't for these brave officers, those brow-wipers could have become tear-jerkers.
So, we honor those who fight for the safety of the Spring-Ford area. Whether the officer/chief/firefighter is someone who is making an impact for his duties on the job or he's doing things in the community as a do-gooder and a faithful resident, we here at Patch want to award outstanding officers from 2011.
Another poll where the choices extremely tough. We narrowed the pool down from dozens down to just six great officers (nominees must have been covered in some way, shape or form on LRSC Patch in 2011).
Without further ado, here are the nominees (you can vote at the bottom of the page). Links provided are to stories about the nominee or his/her actions:
- Limerick Police Chief Bill Albany - Chief Albany is among a core group of elite police chiefs in our coverage area. This year, Albany has been very active and driven on fighting the ongoing crime occurring at the Philadelphia Premium Outlets. In fact, Albany brought a major loophole in retail theft punishments to the attention of State Rep. Tom Quigley in the later part of the year. However, he has also led his department to aiding in some other key arrests in bigger cases across the area, including the October manhunt in Upper Providence and a string of multiple county-wide burglaries. He is also the chief of the Montgomery County Major Incident Response Team, which this year encouraged local responders to attend Homeland Security training.
- Limerick Police Officer Tim DiGregorio - Officer DiGregorio most recently showed courage, alertness and agility in taking down an armed suspect at the Ridge View Trailer Park, leaving no injuries to any officers on scene, innocent bystanders or the suspect. He was also on scene to arrest a suspect who allegedly assaulted one of the department's sergeants after a retail theft, and aided in the investigation on the near-drowning of a 4-year-old boy at the YMCA.
- Royersford Police Officer Tom Godin - Officer Tom Godin most recently spearheaded the investigation and handled subsequent charges in a multiple-person melee in Royersford that resulted in one juvenile being stabbed twice and one man found in possession of marijuana. Godin has also been in on various DUI arrests, as well as a few hit-and-run arrests in recent months, including one that revealed a suspect that was growing marijuana.
- Upper Providence Detective Patrick Haines - Detective Patrick Haines is known in Patchland for the almost 10-month investigation of marijuana and heroin sales coming out of a house in Orchard Court. The investigation resulted in three men facing multiple drug charges. The ensuing arrests led to one officer being injured in an attempted escape and one man allegedly shooting himself in the basement of his home.
- Royersford Fire Chief Gary Wezel - Gary Wezel, leading the Royersford Fire Department, was an integral part in the process of creating the department by combining and consolidating Humane and Friendship fire companies. Wezel has also, over the past 10 years, made beautiful displays of American flags, honoring those fire responders who lost their lives in the 9/11 terrorist attacks. Wezel's 2011 fire-safety repertoire includes investigations of a residential home and an apartment in May and March respectively. Wezel's most recent press came from a Royersford Borough Council meeting, where firefighters showed up in large numbers to protest a lack of funding from the borough in recent years.
- Spring City Police Sergeant James Wyatt - Sergeant James Wyatt served for a span of about four months as the interim police chief of the Spring City Police Department while it made its search for a new permanent chief. Wyatt was highlighted in Patch comments as being a "natural leader" with lots of experience.
Remember, voting ends on Jan. 6, so get your votes in as soon as you can! And check back tomorrow for voting on the NEXT category. You won't want to miss it.