Officer of the Year honored in the 7th district

Dur­ing the course of a year, po­lice of­ficers can en­counter some pretty wild situ­ations. For Of­ficer Timothy Taylor of the North­east’s 7th dis­trict, wild be­came al­most routine in 2013.

Taylor re­cor­ded the most ar­rests of any­body in his squad dur­ing the year as he cap­tured a lit­any of al­leged killers, thugs, burg­lars and thieves. For those ef­forts, Taylor was named as the 7th dis­trict’s Of­ficer of the Year dur­ing the May 15 meet­ing of the Po­lice Dis­trict Ad­vis­ory Coun­cil at New Boulevard Diner.

Nu­mer­ous pub­lic and po­lice de­part­ment lead­ers took part in the award ce­re­mony, in­clud­ing state Sens. Mike Stack III and Tina Tartagli­one and state Reps. Kev­in Boyle and John Sabat­ina Jr., along with rep­res­ent­at­ives for U.S. Rep. Allyson Schwartz, state Rep. Brendan Boyle, City Con­trol­ler Alan Butkovitz and City Coun­cil­man Bri­an O’Neill.

Po­lice lead­ers on hand in­cluded Deputy Com­mis­sion­er Kev­in Beth­el, North­east Di­vi­sion In­spect­or Ben­jamin Naish and Capt. Frank Bach­may­er, com­mand­er of the 7th dis­trict.

Taylor’s “com­mit­ment to both the de­part­ment and the com­munity he serves … is evid­ent in the qual­ity of his work on a daily basis,” wrote the of­ficer’s su­per­visor, Sgt. Steven J. Car­roll, in a nom­in­a­tion let­ter.

Dur­ing 2013, Taylor won the dis­trict’s Of­ficer of the Month Award four times, in­clud­ing once in col­lab­or­a­tion with his part­ner, Of­ficer Ern­est Green. In Ju­ly, the part­ners cap­tured two men who were wanted in con­nec­tion with an at­temp­ted murder. Taylor also saved a life in the case as he ad­min­istered CPR to the shoot­ing vic­tim, who had suffered a wound of the back.

Taylor also won the monthly award in Au­gust, when he spot­ted a young man sus­pec­ted of burg­lary and chased him on foot for sev­er­al blocks be­fore mak­ing the ar­rest. As a res­ult, po­lice re­covered about $8,500 worth of stolen prop­erty and were able to identi­fy and cap­ture a second al­leged burg­lar.

Taylor made two note­worthy ar­rests in Oc­to­ber when he used live sur­veil­lance to loc­ate and cap­ture a North­east man wanted for a shoot­ing in Cen­ter City. It wasn’t an easy ar­rest as the sus­pect fled his house and led the of­ficer on a vehicle pur­suit. In the same month, Taylor locked up three al­leged thieves who had broken in­to cars at Con­well Play­ground.

In Decem­ber, Taylor won his fourth monthly award after ar­rest­ing two guys who al­legedly beat up a fe­male Wash­ing­ton High stu­dent at a bus stop.

Car­roll wrote that Taylor has been re­com­men­ded for of­fi­cial de­part­ment cita­tions for those vari­ous epis­odes. Ac­cord­ing to the ser­geant, Taylor has made a big im­pact in the dis­trict since his trans­fer there about two years ago.

Taylor joined the po­lice de­part­ment 13 years ago and spent much of his ca­reer in the 35th dis­trict. In the 7th, he has be­come a lead­er in his squad, Car­roll said, and is al­ways avail­able to back up his fel­low of­ficers or provide ad­vice to less ex­per­i­enced col­leagues. Taylor shares his pos­it­ive at­ti­tude with the pub­lic, too, and has garnered praise from cit­izens he has served. In ad­di­tion to his stand­ard du­ties, Taylor is trained as a bi­cycle of­ficer and has par­ti­cip­ated in the bi­cycle demon­stra­tion at the an­nu­al Hero Thrill Show four times, help­ing to raise money for the fam­il­ies of fallen po­lice and fire­fight­ers.

Two oth­er 7th dis­trict of­ficers were also nom­in­ated for the Of­ficer of the Year Award. Of­ficer Ter­rence Black was de­scribed as a “hard work­ing, ded­ic­ated of­ficer who is pas­sion­ate in the per­form­ance of his du­ties and com­mit­ment to the com­munity,” in a nom­in­a­tion let­ter writ­ten by Lt. John Mor­gan, who also iden­ti­fied Black as a “self-mo­tiv­ated of­ficer who takes a per­son­al in­terest in the com­munity he serves.”

Mean­while, Lt. Mike Root nom­in­ated Of­ficer Pa­tri­cia Her­sh­man for the award. Her­sh­man was as­signed to the 7th dis­trict in 2003 fol­low­ing 12 years in the 12th dis­trict. She has been the “school beat” of­ficer at George Wash­ing­ton High School for the last sev­en years.

In ad­di­tion to help­ing the school main­tain a pos­it­ive and wel­com­ing cli­mate, free of drugs, vi­ol­ence, in­tim­id­a­tion and fear, Her­sh­man made nu­mer­ous im­port­ant ar­rests dur­ing 2013. Her ef­forts res­ul­ted in ar­rests on and around school grounds in­volving weapons, nar­cot­ics, as­saults, thefts, rob­ber­ies and dis­orderly con­duct. Fur­ther, the school of­ficers’ pres­ence in and around the site helps de­ter dan­ger­ous activ­ity and dif­fuse ser­i­ous situ­ations that may arise, Root said.

In a sep­ar­ate award present­a­tion, the 7th PDAC re­cog­nized Peter Gron­czewski and Dav­id Van Skiver as the dis­trict’s Of­ficers of the Month for April. The part­ners res­cued a wo­man who had at­temp­ted to com­mit sui­cide in a park­ing lot on the 11000 block of Roosevelt Blvd.

The in­cid­ent oc­curred on April 6 at about 2 a.m. The of­ficers were on patrol when they saw a car parked in the lot with its head­lights on and the en­gine run­ning. As they ap­proached the car, they saw no one in­side, so they ran the li­cense plate through the po­lice data­base and learned that the re­gistered own­er had been re­por­ted miss­ing and sui­cid­al.

The of­ficers took a closer look in­side the car and saw that an un­con­scious wo­man was ly­ing on the rear floor be­neath a front seat, which had been re­clined fully. There was a sui­cide note on the front seat.

The of­ficers found that the wo­man had a slight pulse and had her trans­por­ted to a loc­al hos­pit­al for treat­ment of a drug over­dose. The wo­man sur­vived. Her fath­er later vis­ited the po­lice dis­trict to per­son­ally thank the of­ficers for sav­ing his daugh­ter’s life. ••

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