Former police chief honored in New Garden ceremonies
● By Richard Gaw
At award ceremonies held at the New Garden Township Building on March 16, long-time Police Chief Gerald Davis was honored for his long-time service to the township, which spanned for five decades.
Flanked by four of his former officers -- all of whom still serve the township -- Davis received recognition from current Police Chief Gerald Simpson.
"He was the right man at the right time for this organization," Simpson said. "We would not be where we are at today without his guidance."
Davis began working at the New Garden Township Police Department in 1967, and was promoted to police chief of the township in 1973. For the next 29 years, he oversaw the growth of the department until he left in 2002.
"I stand here with three fellow officers, all of whom had the honor and good fortune to worked with Chief Davis, to be call him 'Chief' and to be able to call him 'Friend,'" said officer John Gibson, who worked under Davis. "I cannot tell you how many times I've spoken to fellow officers who, after finding out that I worked at New Garden, asked when we were hiring. When I asked them why they wanted to work at New Garden, the answer was always the same. It was because of Chief Davis. He had and still does have that kind of draw with every officer I've known."
In honor of Davis, the officer of the year award in New Garden Township was renamed the Chief Gerald W. Davis Award, which was given to Cpl. Joseph F. Greenwalt, who was acknowledged by Simpson for his work on DUI enforcement, his service as a fire instructor, his design and construction of the department's outdoor firing range, and other accomplishments.
"Your work is exemplary and your leadership is unselfish -- a true servant leader," Simpson told Greenwalt. "However, the reason you were selected...is best summed up by the three other nominated officers. 'Corporal Greenwalt creates an atmosphere of confidence and comraderie...' 'Corporal Greenwalt tells his officers to earn their worth, while holding himelf accountable to the same standard.'
"A true leader is not one who is inspired, but one who inspires others," Simpson added.
DUI enforcement awards were given to officers Ryan Kushner, Michael King, Matthew Jones and Joseph P. Versagli, III; and to Cpl. Greenwalt. These officers represented two-thirds of all DUI arrests made in the township in 2014.
To contact Staff Writer Richard L. Gaw, e-mail firstname.lastname@example.org.