By Richard L. Gaw
When John M. Gibson, Patrolman First Class for the New Garden Township Police Department, arrived at the New Garden Township Building last Friday afternoon, he thought it was for a routine police matter. What he received instead was a small avalanche of appreciation.
Before law enforcement colleagues, township officials and friends, PFC Gibson was honored by the township for recently celebrating his 30th year in the department, which officially began on July 25, 1985. He received a framed proclamation from the township, which was read by township supervisor Steve Allaband.
The document honored Gibson and highlighted some of his key accomplishments, which included being named the 2013 New Garden Police Officer of the Year, receiving a 2014 Heroism Award from Chester County, as well as receiving special commendation from the Chester County EMS Council in 2015.
“Officer Gibson is probably one of the most selfless people I've ever had the pleasure to know,” said Officer Joseph Paul Versagli II, who joined the New Garden Police Department in 2011.
"He's pulled people out of burning cars, and performed CPR on so many people. Being one of the newer officers, having been placed with someone so seasoned, so knowledgeable, has made my career that much easier and made me a better officer.”
Serving as a law enforcement officer in New Garden, Gibson wrote in the fall edition of Landenberg Today, "has a little bit of everything -- 17 square miles of business, residential, retirement communities, farms, an airport, heavy traffic areas, and every ind of person you can think of. I have been thanked, hugged, kissed [on the cheek], patted on the back, consoled, transported in an ambulance, yelled at, cussed at and spit on, and every day, you just don't know what is coming your way. Best of all, we have a great bunch of men and women working here."
“I have three kids to keep me busy, I have a job I love, and I have, God willing, good health,” Gibson said at the ceremony. “I've lived in Kennett Square my whole life. I have family here and I have friends here. I have no plans to do anything else or be anywhere else.”
“Thirty years of service in law enforcement is quite an accomplishment in and of itself, but John has been a dedicated, awarded and recognized employee of this township, and we are pleased to be a part of this special day,” said New Garden Police Chief Gerald Simpson. “He's a great employee, we're glad to still have him, and he's got plenty of years left.”