Lower Burrell Police Chief: “Derek Was A Great Police Officer”

LOWER BURRELL (KDKA) — The flags outside of the Lower Burrell Police Station in Westmoreland County are flying at half-staff today as people across the area mourn the loss of a veteran officer.

Officer Derek Kotecki, 40, was an 18-year veteran of the police force and Lower Burrell’s K-9 officer. He was shot and killed in line of duty Wednesday evening outside of the Dairy Queen on Greensburg Road.

“Please pray for the Kotecki family. Our thoughts and prayers go out to them. I know I’m devastated by this,” said Chief Tracy Lindo, of the Lower Burrell Police Department. “Derek was a great, great police officer and he will be sadly missed by our community, by all of our department.”

Overnight, police officers from surrounding communities were seen coming in and out of the Lower Burrell Police Station offering their support for the department.

“Anyone who ever knew Derek loved Derek, he’s just that type of a human being,” said Chief Lindo. “It’s such a shame that it would have to come to this kind of a conclusion.”

Those who knew him say Officers Kotecki was a well-respected officer throughout the community.

“I knew Derek pretty well and Derek was a very fine officer. He’s going to be greatly missed by his family and the community,” said Ronald Hopkins, the retired chief of the Arnold Police Department.

A Facebook page was also created overnight where support and prayers are pouring in for Kotecki’s family and fellow officers.

Officer Kotecki leaves behind a wife and two children.

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  • So Sad

    This is such a tragedy. This should serve as a reminder that these officers, just doing their job, selflessly put their lives on the line EVERY DAY for us, May he rest in peace, and may his family and friends find some comfort in knowing that he died protecting us, the public. We can’t pay these officers enough.

  • The Arnold family

    God bless you Derek, thanks

  • Daniel

    Thank you for your service and may your family move forward with strength and courage.

    An Angel In The Sky Must Leave His Place Of Rest,
    Gently Tucking His Wings Beneath His Armored Vest.
    For Duty Has Called, There Is Much Work To Do
    Little Did He Know, This One Is Dressed In Blue.

    Arriving On The Scene, He Knows Just What To Say,
    “Follow Me, Fallen Brother, I’ll Show You The Way.”
    “Your Duty Has Ended, Your Work Is Now Through.”
    “Come Hang Your Hat Beside Mine, I was A Cop, Too.”

    • marilyn

      This was beautiful. Brought tears to my eyes. My prayers are with the police department and the family. God Bless!!


    All jobs are dangerous if you don’t follow safely measures. Officer Kotecki was doing a job he was train to do! But people still get hurt or killed on job with all safely precautions follow. I work on high voltage power lines everyday to provide consumers with power (rain, shine, ice) conditions as well. We heft to remember everyone does some sort of service to communities. I know a lot of police officer’s, fire fighters, ems personal they are the best of what services they provide! It’s a shame this happen. Officer Kotecki will alway’s be remember by everyone and never be forgotten.

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