JEFFERSON HILLS (KDKA) — The law enforcement community paid final respects to one of their own Saturday.

A funeral service was held for Allegheny County Police Sgt. Perry Vahaly, who died last weekend from injuries he suffered following a motorcycle crash.

Members of the Allegheny County Police Department saluted as fellow law enforcement carried Sgt. Vahaly’s casket into the Thomas Jefferson High School auditorium for the service.

“We suffered a tremendous loss to our department,” said Officer Tod Wateska, of Allegheny County Police. “Not just our department, but the law enforcement community in general today.”

Sgt. Vahaly died in the hospital last weekend after his motorcycle struck a deer along State Route 51 in Rostraver Township, causing him to lose control and crash.

The Air Force veteran and long-time member of the Allegheny County Police Department was described as the consummate professional.

“Sgt. Vahaly was a very well-respected police sergeant. He did any job that was ever asked of him,” said Allegheny County Police Superintendent Charles Moffatt. “He’s well-respected not only by his peers, but by his subordinates… the people whose command he fell under. He’s well-known in the community, beyond Allegheny County.”

Sgt. Vahaly was a member of the Allegheny County Police SWAT Team. He also worked in narcotics, the mounted patrol and was an instructor at the County Police Training Academy.

Officer Wateska says Sgt. Vahaly was one of the best supervisors he ever worked for.

“He’s a leader, he’s not a follower. Everybody follows him,” said Officer Wateska. “He’s not someone who gives you directions and then expects you to just go out and flounder on your own. He’s out there with you in the field every day.”

But as much as he loved his work, people who knew Sgt. Vahaly say family was even more important.

“A 17-year veteran leaves behind seven children, and a wife and a mother,” said Supt. Moffatt.

“He’s a family man. He loved his wife, his children, his mother, more than anything,” added Officer Wateska. “He loved his job, but I can tell you, he loved them a lot more.”

Allegheny County Police Officer Dies Following Motorcycle Crash (92/12)
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