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Chester County Press

Brown honored with Commissioners Award at Regional Police Ceremony

06/16/2021 10:17AM ● By Richard Gaw

By Richard L. Gaw

Staff Writer

Cpl. Benjamin Brown of the Southern Chester County Regional Police Department (SCCRPD) was the recipient of the department’s 2020 Commissioners Award at the department’s Annual Award and Recognition Ceremony, held June 10 at the SCCRPD headquarters on Gap Newport Pike.

The Commissioners Award is the department’s most prestigious recognition given to an officer at the SCCRPD, and annually awarded for exceptional service over the past year.

Brown, who had been nominated for the award during the past two years, was recognized by Police Chief Gerald Simpson for his work on July 31, 2020, when he recovered a large quantity of illegal drugs while investigating a suspicious vehicle complaint. The caller described the suspicious vehicle and that the driver was suspected of selling narcotics in the area.

Brown passed a vehicle fitting the description and turned around on it to make the stop. As a result, the male fled and left the vehicle abandoned in a parking lot. After observing illegal items in plain view in the vehicle – and following a K-9 search -- Brown recovered a large amount of methamphetamine, cocaine and prescription pills. With the help of Officer Riley Miller, Brown identified the driver, who was later placed under arrest, and who was also in the possession of an additional 12 ounces of methamphetamine.

Brown was just one of several members of the SCCRPD who were recognized for their outstanding service over the past year. DUI Enforcement awards were given to Officers Brandon Krissinger, Gregory Blue, Stephen Syska, Raymond Sullivan, PFC Jeremy O’Neill and both Miller and Brown. The department’s continued focus on preventing DUIs from occurring in the community led to a 38 percent decrease in DUI arrests made by the department in 2020.

Lt. Jason L. Ward and Cpl. Ryan D. Kushner received awards for Command & Leadership for their selection to and completion of the prestigious NJSACOP Command & Leadership Academy at the U.S. Military Academy at West Point.

Department administrator Sandy Lutz and Lt. Joseph Greenwalt received a Meritorious Service Award for their work during an 18-month project that guided the SCCRPD in 2020 to becoming an accredited law enforcement agency recognized by the Pennsylvania Law Enforcement Accreditation Commission. Their efforts led to the department joining 131 other police departments in Pennsylvania in holding accredited status.

Magisterial Judge Matthew Seavey administered the oath of office to new officers Stephen Boyer, Vincent Giacobello and Patrick Huver, as well as Cpl. Stephen Madonna and Ward.

The ceremony also honored the life of long-time New Garden Township Police Chief Gerald W. Davis, who died on March 27. Three of Davis’ former officers – Mario Raimato, Joe Cooper and John Gibson – paid tribute to their former chief with brief reflections of their time under Davis’ command. New Garden Township Board of Supervisors Chairman Steve Allaband read a proclamation that honored Davis for his service to the township.

While the officers who received awards and recognition served as the highlight of the event, they did so against the backdrop of a pandemic that forced the department to re-shift its scheduling and priorities during most of 2020 – as well as a scourge of violent incidents that put the nation’s law enforcement front and center in a national conversation that often reached the boiling point.

During his remarks before the nearly 100 guests who gathered beneath a large tent in the parking lot near the police building, Simpson said that it was the first time the department had gathered as an entire unit since last year’s award ceremony on March 12.

“So much has happened in the last 15 months, much of it very sad and much of it very tragic,” Simpson said. “Tonight, however, I want to focus on where we go from here. To that point – now repeated by my officers frequently – we do things differently here. We do have a vision for the future, and while our path may not always be clear, we keep the proverbial Mount Summit in our sights.

“We value the first thing that matters – people. I have often said to my officers, ‘We are in a people business, so you better be a people person.’ It’s also established as our first core value – human life – but we also value our employees.

Simpson mentioned the creation of the department’s community advisory board as a means of proactively engaging in conversations about race issues between law enforcement and the community.

“Trust is fragile,” he said. “It must be nurtured. Trust is also reciprocal. It is built one relationship at a time. The work we do with our communities will serve to build a shared vision together, again and again. Our path to the Summit, when adversity surrounds us, we must remain relentlessly optimistic – to imagine a better way, a bigger way to accomplish our purpose for ourselves, for our communities, for our nation and for this world.

“Tonight, we the men and women of the Southern Chester County Regional Police Department commit ourselves to do our part towards restoring the faith that may have been broken or injured greatly this past year between law enforcement and the public.”

To contact Staff Writer Richard L. Gaw, email [email protected].