2014 West Hempfield Twp Awards & Commendation

2014 Awards and Commendations

Presented by the West Hempfield Township Board of Supervisors May 5, 2015

Each year the West Hempfield Township Board of Supervisors recognizes members of our police department and/or citizens in our community for actions that they had taken during the previous year that are believed to have been above what is expected of them and in some instances, have helped save or prolong a life of another individual. Tonight we have 4 awards recognizing 4 separate officers, all from West Hempfield Township Police Department. "This is always a great opportunity for the officers to be recognized for some outstanding accomplishments." said Chief Mark Pugliese. "It is an honor for me to be a part of this ceremony, this police department, and our community."


The first award being presented is the West Hempfield Township Police Department’s Perfect Attendance Award

The Perfect Attendance Award is a new award for the police department and Officer Schwab will become the first ever recipient of it. The Perfect Attendance Award is awarded to an officer who takes no time off during a specific calendar year for illness. Additionally, the officer is required to have reported for his/her scheduled shifts on time and prepared for duty.

This award will be presented to Officer John J. Schwab. For his perfect attendance record for the years of 2013 & 2014, Officer John J. Schwab is hereby awarded the West Hempfield Township Police Department’s Perfect Attendance Award.

The next award to be presented will be the Commendation Award

The Commendation Award is granted to any employee for an outstanding act that involved performance above and beyond the employee's basic assignment. It is awarded to police officers of any rank for outstanding performance of duties under unusual, complicated, or hazardous conditions.

This award is being presented to Corporal Douglas Ober.  In January of 2013 one of our detectives was assigned to a Lancaster County task force for an extended period of time. That detective continues to serve on the task force leaving only 1 detective to handle the high priority or extensive criminal investigations of the department. In order to distribute the workload as well as effectively solve or clear cases, Chief Pugliese has been rotating a few officers in to the Criminal Investigative Division for short periods of time. Cpl Ober was temporarily assigned to investigations from January 7th, 2014 through May 27th, 2014 and from September 22nd, 2014 through January 29th, 2015. During Cpl Ober’s tenure in investigation he worked diligently and with great tenacity on a multitude of investigations involving Burglary, Theft and Theft from Vehicles to name a few. He developed various leads and worked with several other jurisdictions. Through his efforts, along with the efforts of investigators from neighboring departments, several arrests were made and they were able to clear the vast number of those cases. For his actions, Corporal Douglas L. Ober is hereby awarded the West Hempfield Township Police Department Commendation Award. It should be noted that Cpl. Ober and his brother, Duane Ober, who is a member of the fire services in Manheim Borough, were both recognized during the Lancaster Barnstormers opening night as local emergency services heroes.

The next award is to recognize an officer with the Life Saving Award

The Life Saving Award is awarded to an officer whose actions that, if not performed, would, beyond a reasonable doubt, have resulted in the death of a person or persons.

This award goes to Officer Alfonso Villano.  On January 3rd, 2015 at approximately 2:51 pm, Officer Villano was dispatched to an address on Cedar Chase Drive for a report of a person choking. Officer Villano was the first emergency responder to arrive and was advised that a 49 year old male was choking on a piece of food and could not breath. Officer Villano found the victim to be semi-conscious and not breathing. Officer Villano immediately administered the “Heimlich Maneuver” to the victim. This dislodged the stuck food item, allowing the victim to breath. After a few moments the victim became fully conscious and his breathing returned to normal. Emergency Medical Services transported the victim to the hospital where he fully recovered. For his actions, Officer Alfonso P. Villano is hereby awarded the West Hempfield Township Police Department’s Life Saving Award. Officer Villano is also to be recognized by Lancaster Emergency Medical Services Association (LEMSA) for his actions during this incident. LEMSA was represented by Paramedic Ron Baier.

Our final award is for the 2014 Officer of the Year

Officer of the Year is awarded to an officer who distinguished him/herself through either an accumulation of exceptional contributions or a single incident, and whose actions clearly place the individual well above others of equal rank or grade. Areas of recognition include, but are not limited to: extraordinary valor, positive community impact, administrative accomplishments, crime prevention, training programs, traffic safety and innovative approaches to public service. This individual shall have truly represented the department in a favorable light, having reflected the vision and mission statements in his/her daily actions.

The 2014 Officer of the Year is Officer Karl J. Hartranft. Officer Hartranft first joined the West Hempfield Township Police Department as a part-time officer in September of 2004. His primary duties at the time would be to assist in filling vacant shifts on the patrol schedule. In August of 2005 Officer Hartranft became a full-time officer with the department being assigned to the patrol division. During his 10 years of service, Officer Hartranft has received many letters of appreciation from citizens that he has assisted as well as letters of commendation from outside law enforcement agencies as well as our police department. In 2013 he was recognized with the department’s Life Saving Award for actions he had taken in performing CPR on a victim. Officer Hartranft is a certified Crisis Intervention Officer having received specialized training on dealing with individuals with mental health disorders and with individuals in general who are going through some type of a crisis event in their lives. He is a certified Bicycle Patrol Officer and you will often find him on the bike at community events giving him the opportunity to interact with the public, especially the youth of the area. Officer Hartranft continues to be one of the more proactive officers within the department. In 2013 he was recognized for the highest number of DUI arrest within the department, an award that he is scheduled to receive again this year. Additionally, Officer Hartranft is scheduled to receive an award from the Pennsylvania Department of Transportation for his efforts with both the Aggressive Driver and Buckle Up PA Campaigns. Officer Hartranft is a dedicated officer having proven himself as a dependable, hardworking officer. He is a law enforcement professional who constantly looks for way to improve the department and the community that he serves. Officer Karl J. Hartranft is hereby awarded the West Hempfield Township Police Department’s 2014 Officer of the Year.