The 8th Police District has named its Officers of the Month for November and December as well as its 2011 Officers of the Year.
Members of the community are invited to help honor the Officers of the Year during a banquet at Cannstatters, 9130 Academy Road, on Sunday, March 18, from 3 to 7 p.m. The cost is $25 per person.
The honorees will include Officers James Snyder, Dimitrios Loizos, James Boccalupo, John Seymour and George Schmid, all of whom responded to an armed robbery of a pharmacy during which police exchanged gunfire with the robbers.
The crime occurred on Feb. 14, 2011, at the CVS, 8525 Frankford Ave. Seymour and Schmid were first on the scene and told by employees and patrons that two gunmen were at the rear of the store stealing merchandise from the pharmacy.
Seymour and Schmid evacuated the civilians and confronted the robbers, who allegedly opened fire on the store’s drive-thru window in an effort to create an avenue of escape.
Both robbers then climbed out the window, where Loizos spotted them. A gun battled ensued. Moments later, the robbers climbed a fence and into the rear driveway of nearby homes, encountering Snyder and Boccalupo in the process. The robbers allegedly fired more shots at those officers, who also returned fire.
The robbers managed to flee and escape, despite a lengthy search of the area by police.
But during a subsequent investigation involving Northeast Detectives, police identified three people who allegedly were involved in the heist and arrested two of them on attempted murder, assault, robbery and related charges.
Boccalupo also was selected as Officer of the Month for foiling an attempted burglary.
On Dec. 3, he went to the 2800 block of Sebring St. in response to a report of a burglary in progress. He saw a man hiding in a back yard adjacent to the targeted house. The man had a hammer. The officer detained him.
Boccalupo inspected the targeted house and found that window screens had been torn and window frames damaged. He arrested the man for burglary and related offenses.
The November Officers of the Month were Elgin Rogers and Rufus Ragland, who captured two alleged armed robbers as they fled the scene of the crime.
Rogers and Ragland were on patrol on Nov. 10 in the area of Knights and Fairdale roads when they saw two males running toward Benjamin Rush School for an unknown reason.
As the officers followed the men, police radio reported an armed robbery at the nearby Fairdale Pharmacy. The men tried to hide in bushes behind the school, but the officers spotted them and chased them on foot, capturing both.
One of the alleged robbers had 13 bottles of pills, gloves and a handgun. The officers then found scissors, zip ties and $230 cash in the bushes. Witnesses identified both men as the robbers.
For information about the Officer of the Year banquet, call the 8th district at 215-686-3080. ••EndFragment