PITTSBURGH (KDKA) — Several hundred law enforcement officials and supporters took part in an annual recognition ceremony at Sheraton Station Square today.
It’s a special salute to individual officers who have gone beyond the norm in their service to this community.
At the Amen Corner’s annual Senator John Heinz Law Enforcement Awards ceremony, police officers were recognized in a variety of categories like the Courageous Act Award to Officers Steve Kondrosky and Jeff Haynes for pursuing and arresting a killer outside a McKeesport bar — and the Protect & Serve Award to Officers Matthew Smith and Angie Lane for keeping a battered child alive until medics arrived — and the Starsky & Hutch Award to Officers Lawrence Connolly and Brendan Nee for saving the life of a man who jumped off the Birmingham Bridge.
KDKA Money & Politics Editor Jon Delano, a regular presenter at this awards ceremony, presented the Amen Corner’s 9-1-1 Quick Response Award.
Ten University of Pittsburgh police officers were honored for responding within one minute and forty-six seconds to a 9-1-1 call from Western Psychiatric Institute last March when a man armed with two semi-automatics and multiple rounds starting shooting.
Quick response from Pitt police limited casualties to one death and seven wounded.
“That is one of the benefits of the Oakland area,” Sgt. Dan Papal told Jon Delano. “There is a tremendous law enforcement presence and response is very quick. For as large as the population is, the actual geographic area is pretty small and that tends to aid response time. Fortunately, I believe we responded quick enough to prevent further tragedy.”
As horrific as the loss that occurred at Western Psych was, it could have been a lot worse.
For their quick response, Lt. David Basile, Sgt. Dan Papale, and Officers Joshua Acre, Ron Bennett, Guy Johnson, Tom Lasky, Stephen Tomovich, Brian Turack, Brian Veze, and Joseph Washinksi each received a special award.