NEWTOWN TOWNSHIP >> Keeping with its annual tradition each May, the township awarded commendations of merit to its police officers for perseverance, teamwork and leadership.
At the May 9 supervisors’ meeting, Police Chief Rick Pasqualini awarded the honors to nine officers for work over the last year.
Det. Cpl. Daniel Bartle and Sgt. Daniel Bell were recognized for unraveling an aggravated assault investigation of a head-on traffic accident which occurred in February 2017.
The adult driver and her 11-year-old daughter were severely injured and trapped in a vehicle, according to the chief.
Bartle and Bell’s investigation revealed that the other driver crossed into the other lane at full acceleration before slamming into the vehicle.
As a result, that driver was indicated on criminal charges.
Bartle was also awarded another commendation of merit, along with Lt. Jason Harris and Det. Christopher Bush for investigating a gun-point home invasion on August 21, 2017.
Masked men brandishing weapons forcibly entered a house and overpowered the occupants, taking money and other items before fleeing.
According to Chief Pasqualini, as a result of the investigation and “excellent team work in securing evidence,” all five suspects were later apprehended.
Because of their assistance in responding to this case, Cpl. Patrick Hardy, as well as Officers Frank Goodwin and Nicklaus Whitney also received commendatory letters.
Det. Cpl. Bartle also received a third commendation of merit for a September 2017 active-shooter incident in Wrightstown in which a young woman entered a home carrying a firearm.
According to police, before fleeing the scene she discharged the weapon at her stepfather while another adult and two children were in the home.
Bartle preserved the integrity of the scene and provided Lower Southampton Township Police with information eventually leading to the suspect’s arrest.
The police chief noted that Bartle’s actions and perseverance “went beyond the requirements of routine duties.”
Meanwhile, Officer Goodwin also received a commendation of merit for an off-duty incident on Oct. 26, 2017 while on his way to work in full uniform.
Goodwin recognized a man riding a bicycle matching surveillance footage from a theft that has just occurred in Goodwin’s neighborhood several hours before.
The officer immediately notified Bucks County radio while following the suspect until police were able to apprehend him.
In addition, Det. Joseph Camp received a commendation of merit regarding a December 2017 incident.
While investigating a loitering and prowling complaint, Camp, who was a patrol officer at the time, observed a suspicious vehicle.
Smelling the odor of marijuana, the car was seized and a warrant obtained. As a result, a large cache of marijuana was found along with significant cash from illegal drug sales. Two suspects were arrested and charged.
And newly-hired Officer Brandon Turpyn, who was sworn in last November, received a commendatory letter for his exceptional actions while responding to a report of a possible overdose last month.
The township police department has 34 officers, commanders and civilian staffers.
Police Chief to retire
Also at the supervisors’ meeting, township manager Kurt Ferguson announced that after 10 years heading the department, Police Chief Pasqualini will formally retire Jan. 1, 2019.
“It’s been an honor and privilege to serve the men and women of the department,” the chief said. “Ten years went by rather quickly.
In a 5-0 vote, the supervisors formally accepted the chief’s retirement.
“It’s sad to see you go,” responded Supervisor Chairman Phil Calabro, the only remaining board member who had voted to hire Pasqualini a decade ago.”
The township will now begin a search for the chief’s replacement.
Police Memorial Week Ceremony
In other police-related news, the Bucks County Police Memorial Committee will hold its annual Police Memorial Week ceremony on Monday, May 21 beginning at 7 p.m. at St. Andrew Roman Catholic Church, Swamp Road, Newtown 18940.
The public is invited to join the Bucks County law enforcement community as it honors the officers who have paid the ultimate price while protecting their communities.
The ceremony begins with a procession of honor including police officers, deputy sheriffs and Pennsylvania State Troopers.
For information, contact Chief Pasqualini at 215-968-2800, ext. 233.