By: KDKA-TV News Staff

MCKEESPORT (KDKA) – The mayor of McKeesport Michael Cherepko commended the McKeesport Police Department for their efforts following the shooting of Patrolman Geriasimo Athans.

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  • In a report from the Mon Valley Independent, during a city council meeting, Mayor Cherepko thanked the police for keeping McKeesport safe.

    “I have Chief (Adam) Alfer with us here tonight and I’ll continue to commend our police department for all their efforts as they continue to work each and every day to keep our neighborhoods safe, to make McKeesport a safer place to live,” Cherepko said during the meeting. “Each of them, most of them, have significant others at home. All of them have somebody in some sort or another that just dreads the day that a call may come in.”

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    He said that the shooting of Patrolman Athans could have been one of those calls.

    “We came close to that this last month,” he said. “We were very fortunate that everyone is safe, officer Athans is going to make a full recovery and we appreciate the response of our police officers and reacting so unbelievably quickly to the call of a PFA violation that Mr. Francis was violating.”

    Koby Francis was taken into custody in West Virginia on January 5, nine days after the shooting.

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    He is awaiting extradition from West Virginia and is facing several charges.