Annual Police Recognition Ceremony
At the June 10, 2019, meeting of the Manheim Township Commissioners, Chief Thomas Rudzinski recognized several employees for their outstanding achievements and service to the community in 2018. Congratulations to all who were honored!
Distinguished Service Award – Officer Cody Lewis, Detective Lee Billiter, and Detective Jason Parmer
In December 2018, Officer Lewis responded to a Lancaster Township residence for a heroin overdose. While there, he found a stolen AR-15, drug packaging material, and a large amount of cash. Detectives Billiter and Parmer were assigned and subsequently found 1300 bags of heroin, three guns, and other stolen items.
Distinguished Service Award – Officer Cody Lewis
In April 2018, Officer Lewis received information of ongoing drug activity at a Lancaster Township residence. He took it upon himself to investigate the complaint, identify a suspect, conduct surveillance, and gather evidence. He then led a special detail to execute a search warrant, during which 40 bags of heroin and a large amount of cash were found.
Distinguished Service Award – Officer Lucas Starsinic and Officer Mark Shivers
In January 2018, Officer Starsinic made a traffic stop for a minor violation. Movements and actions of the passengers led Starsinic and Officer Mark Shivers, who responded to assist, to believe that the occupants were armed. An eventual search led to the recovery of a stolen handgun and drugs, as well as the arrest of the occupants.
Meritorious Award – Detective Steven Newman
In late 2017 and early 2018, a local gym reported ongoing thefts. Detective Newman spent countless hours watching surveillance footage in an attempt to identify a suspect. Using the logs for the gyms, he was eventually able to identify and charge a suspect in connection with thirteen thefts.
Humanitarian Award – Officer Michele Johns
In February 2018, Officer Johns organized a collection of used ballistic vests which she packaged and sent to Armor of God, a non-profit group that recycles vests and provides them to police officers. She organized a second collection in November 2018. In May, she assisted a disabled woman by collecting pet food and toys, and in August, she collected financial donations for a local emergency services worker who was disabled.
Humanitarian Award – Officer Jesse Crnkovic
Officer Jesse Crnkovic organized the department’s participation in Toys for Tots, assisted as an instructor with a Forensic Camp for kids, volunteered at Camp Cadet, and led efforts to clean up the property around the police station.
Lifesaving Award – Officer Lucas Starsinic and Officer Tyler Wagner
In April 2018, Officers Starsinic and Wagner saved the life of a man who had collapsed at a softball game in Manheim Township by performing CPR and utilizing an AED.
Lifesaving Award – Officer Joel Ayers
In March 2018, Officer Ayers saved the life of a man who had been shot in the leg, lacerating the femoral artery. He applied a tourniquet and performed first aid until the arrival of EMS.
Lifesaving Award – Detective Sergeant Brian Freysz
In April 2018, Sergeant Freysz responded to a local business for a report of an unconscious person who he found was in cardiac arrest. He saved the life of the person by performing CPR and continuing emergency care until the arrival of EMS.
Commissioner’s Firearms Proficiency Award – Officer Mark Shivers
This award is given to the officer with the highest annual qualification score. This year Officer Shivers achieved those honors.
Civilian of the Year Award – Tanya Benner
Tanya Benner has been with the department for five years and is assigned to the Records Division. She was selected for this award by her peers as the best representative of our civilian personnel.
Officer of the Year – Officer Cody Lewis
Officer Lewis has been with the department for 12 years and is currently assigned to the Second Platoon. His primary area of responsibility is Lancaster Township. Officer Lewis excels at drug investigations, as evidenced by the other awards he has received this year. This award is selected by the sworn employees as the person who has made an obvious and stead impact on the department’s goals.
Chiefs Award – Officer Natalie Littlehale
Officer Littlehale has been with the department for 23 years and is currently assigned as the Community Outreach officer. In that role, she has been exemplary in bringing public acclaim to the department and has created police partnerships and improved communications with residents and the community. She has been instrumental in the following programs: car seat checks, Car Fit for older adults, Trunk or Treat, Forensic Camp, events at local businesses, pop-up picnics, Chill with a Cop, Project Lifesaver, National Night Out, and Like It/Lock It. She is also involved with the Center for Traffic Safety and the Pennsylvania Occupant Protection Task Force, and directed the department’s Night Before Christmas video.
Medal of Valor – Officer Calvin Steidler
The Medal of Valor is awarded for an act of distinguished valor in an incident involving adverse conditions and hazard to life and limb. In May 2018, Officer Steidler confronted an armed individual and utilized deadly force to stop the threat to himself and other officers.