The 8th Police District and its civilian Advisory Council have received a lot of support from local business in recent years for a myriad of new community events like the annual National Night Out, Fall Festival, Easter egg hunt for children and holiday buffet dinner for the working officers.
The 8th PDAC recently recognized dozens of businesses and organizations for their ongoing support. Representatives from each recognized business received framed certificates of appreciation, along with Philadelphia police logo mugs and other small gifts.
The honorees included Thunderbird Lanes bowling, ShopRite of Morrell Plaza, Acme of Red Lion Road, Village Catering, Crown Cork & Seal, Nationwide Insurance of Holme Avenue, Michele’s Bakery, Duncan Chiropractic, TD Bank, Philadelphia Police and Fire Federal Credit Union, Greater Northeast Philadelphia Chamber of Commerce, Azalea Gardens Landscaping, Muller Inc., Santucci’s Bar and Grill, The Dining Car, Liberty Bell Diner, Royal Bank of America, Philadelphia Water Ice, Frankford Candy, Wawa (multiple locations), Giant Foods, Sweet Lucy Barbeque, Philly Pretzel, Flyers SkateZone, Rillings Bakery, Penn Maid Dairy, Hostess Brands (Wonderbread), Patriot Guards, Dietz and Watson and Lowes of Roosevelt Boulevard.
The PDAC issued a special thank-you to Aaron Pinder, the custodian and maintenance man for the 8th district at Academy and Red Lion roads.
• In an unrelated award presentation, Officer Brandon Badey was named the district’s August Officer of the Month. Badey captured an armed robbery suspect.
On Aug. 24 at about 2 a.m., Badey was on patrol in the 3300 block of Keswick Road when he saw three men attacking another person. The men allegedly pointed a knife at the victim, cut him in the head and stole his iPod, gold chain and $175 cash.
As the attackers fled, Badey grabbed and arrested one of them, but the other two escaped. Badey reported a description of the wanted men to police radio. Other officers later arrested a second man. The third robber remains at large.
At the 8th PDAC’s September meeting, the group had a backlog of six Officer of the Month Awards to hand out. In addition, two officers won special recognition from Capt. Deborah Kelly for exemplary service to the district’s residents.
“You’ve been hearing a lot about the heroes of 9/11 recently. (But) you’ve got quite a lot of heroes in the community,” said Kelly, the 8th district commander.
Officers Gregory Sulock and Michael Trask, along with Trask’s 10-year-old son, Michael, all earned special Captain’s Awards.
On April 28, Sulock saved a woman from a burning apartment building. The fire occurred on the 8900 block of Frankford Ave. Sulock was on patrol in the area when he saw smoke and stopped at the burning building.
Neighbors on the ground told him that a woman was trapped on the second floor. The doors were locked, so Sulock kicked in a rear entrance and climbed a smoke-filled stairwell, directed only by the woman’s cries for help.
Officer Stefan Gallagher, also of the 8th district, soon arrived at the scene, as did firefighters, who helped Sulock to pull the woman from the building. Gallagher entered the building, too. And when Sulock began to struggle with smoke inhalation, Gallagher helped him to safety.
Sulock and Gallagher were both named Officers of the Month for April.
Trask earned his Captain’s Award for capturing two teenaged armed robbery suspects while off-duty.
On Aug. 11, three juveniles allegedly assaulted a 15-year-old and robbed him at gunpoint in a park on the 11000 block of Knights Road. Although the victims provided detailed descriptions of the assailants, they remained at large for days.
About a week after the attack, Trask and his son were in the same park when they saw two youths fitting the descriptions of two of the alleged robbers. As the elder Trask contacted the robbery victim and asked him to return to the park to identify the crooks, the suspects allegedly robbed another youth.
When the initial victim arrived, he identified the suspects. Trask arrested them both. Father and son were honored for spotting them
Additional Officer of the Month Awards were presented to Joe Hansbury and Natalie Crone for May, Sgt. Jeffery Strunk for June and Edward Schoffler for July.
On May 12, Hansbury and Crone were called to a gas station adjacent to Franklin Mills mall where a man and woman were suspected of smoking marijuana inside a car. While investigating the car, the officers found a bag containing 120 grams of marijuana. Both occupants were arrested.
On May 19, Hansbury and Crone observed a car containing a large amount of copper piping parked outside a vacant commercial property adjacent to Franklin Mills. Inside the empty store, the officers encountered two alleged burglars who were removing the pipes from the building. Both suspects were arrested.
On June 17, Strunk arrested two men in connection with the kidnapping, assault and attempted robbery of a Parkwood woman. The suspects, including one who allegedly posed as an off-duty police officer, grabbed the victim as she entered her home and forced her to a bank on the 12000 block of Knights Road, where they instructed her to withdraw money.
Strunk observed the confrontation in the bank parking lot and investigated. As the suspects fled in a car, they dragged Strunk on the pavement for a short distance. Strunk, with the help of other officers, captured the suspects at Knights Road and Frankford Avenue.
On July 22, Schoffler conducted a car stop on the 2700 block of Tremont St. when he noticed that two occupants of the vehicle fit the descriptions of suspects in an armed robbery that had occurred two days earlier. Schoffler investigated and found inside the car a credit card belonging to one of the robbery victims, along with a hockey mask allegedly used in the crime. Both suspects were arrested and charged with the robbery.
In other news from the meeting:
• A collection box is in the 8th district lobby in support of a winter coat drive. Donations of clean, gently used coats will be accepted through Nov. 12.
• The 8th PDAC recently contributed $650 toward the purchase of equipment for bicycle patrol officers in the district, Muller said. Also, the PDAC donated $500 for the purchase of tickets to the recent Hero Thrill Show, which benefited scholarships for the children of officers slain in the line of duty. ••
Reporter William Kenny can be reached at 215-354-3031 or email@example.com