PITTSBURGH (KDKA) — One by one, 12 officers with Allegheny County Police were promoted while their families looked on. Their titles ranged from inspector to lieutenant and sergeant.
On top of that, members of the department’s SWAT team were honored for their bravery and response to the Oct. 27 Tree of Life mass shooting.
“I think it’s human nature we always look for the light in times of darkness and the light we get from all the bravery and courage from all the responders that showed up that day without any thought to their own safety,” Allegheny County Police Superintendent Coleman McDonough said.
Lt. Ken Ruckel was one of the men promoted during Friday’s ceremony.
“I feel humbled. I appreciate the outpouring of support amongst all the family here and friends, the media,” Lt. Ken Ruckel said.
Lt. Ruckel was one of many officers that went into the Tree of Life Synagogue on that fateful day.
“I was involved in the evacuation of some of the officers that were injured and also the apprehension of the suspect,” Lt. Ruckel said.
It’s been a tough year for police not only because of Tree of Life, but also because of East Pittsburgh when Antwon Rose II was shot and killed by East Pittsburgh police officer Michael Rosfeld over the summer. The shooting resulting in numerous protests.
“Their bravery and their willingness to put their own personal safety at risk to save the lives of others is what we have in this region and what we have here locally that we can be so proud of,” Allegheny County Executive Rich Fitzgerald said.