Police officers honored at New Garden awards ceremony
03/22/2016 12:00PM ● Published by Richard Gaw
At the front of the New Garden Township Building's meeting room on March 21, a small sign featured a thin blue line that ran from side to side. Above the line read the words: “To some, this is just a blue line. To others, it is a family crest.”
Before an overflow audience of friends, family, elected and appointed officials, and law enforcement, the family known as the New Garden Township Police were both honored and welcomed, at its annual recognition ceremony.
Police Chief Gerald Simpson, who served as master of ceremonies, praised his department for the fact that New Garden Township has a very low crime rate; a very low rate of vehicle fatalities; and a low rate of the use of force during police incidents. He said that his department also registers a very low rate of citizen complaints – six compliments to every one complaint.
“Some see this as a necessity for a police organization,” Simpson said. “I see these categories as a justification for our reason for being. The men and women of the New Garden Township Police Department are, first and foremost, guardians of this community, and there is no doubt that they are some of the finest police officers in Chester County.”
Police Officer Matthew R. Jones was named the recipient of the 2015 Chief Gerald W. Davis Award, for his outstanding service to the department during the last year. Jones, who has been a member of the department since April 2012, was nominated by his peers for his proactive work that resulted in several drug-related arrests.
“Matt is one of the best police officers in Chester County, and one of the finest men I know,” Simpson said.
Police officers Jeremy O'Neill, Evan Marchetti, Maria Mattioni and Stephen Madonna were each sworn in as officers by Magisterial District Judge Matthew Seavey.
Officer Joseph P. Versagli, III took the oath of office as part of his promotion to Corporal.
Corporal Joseph F. Greenwalt, Officer Ryan Kushner, Versagli and Jones each received awards for DUI enforcement.
The ceremonies also featured a video tribute to the life of a police officer, which at one point, referred to officers as “Warriors.” Simpson rejected the title, preferring “Guardians” instead.
“As a guardian, it is your solemn duty to take action and prevent tragedies, if possible, before they happen,” he said. “Yes, that means protecting people from themselves. As a guardian, it is your solemn duty to be responsive and offer solutions and guidance. As a guardian, it is your solemn duty to help those who cannot help themselves. As a guardian, it is your solemn duty to advocate for our victims, and to aid them on their road to recovery and restoration – to being whole again.”
To contact Staff Writer Richard L. Gaw, e-mail email@example.com.