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Emmaus Borough Council joined the Emmaus Police Department May 15 in recognizing several officers and civilians for their heroic acts.

Police Chief Chuck Palmer explained the ceremony was held on Police Officers Memorial Day during Police Week to commemorate fallen officers.

“Our ceremony today is to recognize,” Palmer said, “ ... and honor the 146 officers across America that made the ultimate sacrifice in 2019.”

The ceremony began with awarding a certificate of merit to Det. Sgt. Jason B. Apgar for his outstanding police work of a five-year investigation which resulted in the 2013 arrest and conviction of three suspects for defrauding an elderly victim of over $260,000.

Sgt. Robert J. Alburger also received an award for merit. On Feb. 9, 2019, Alburger recognized a male suspect at the center of several disruptions after his dispatch to a disturbance. He apprehended the suspect who was believed to be the cause of this disturbance. The suspect was convicted of homicide.

Officer Adam B. Polster received the award of heroism for responding to a fire on June 3, 2016, rescuing three residents from a ladder while exposed to the heat without any protective gear.

Sgt. Troy J. Schantz and Sgt. Vincent J. Murante received awards for bravery after responding to an armed robbery at Key Bank in Emmaus on Feb. 15, 2017. Murante located the suspect’s getaway vehicle and conducted a felony vehicle stop. The suspect fled in the vehicle while Schantz and Murante followed in pursuit, knowing the suspect was armed and dangerous. They apprehended the suspect.

On Feb. 20, 2017 Officer Kevin M. Schmidt patrolled a dealership lot and discovered individuals removing tires and rims from vehicles. Schmidt then blocked the suspect’s vehicle and recovered $17,000 worth of tires to Scott Dealerships. Schmidt received a certificate of merit for his “outstanding act of police work.”

Officer Craig J. Blose earned an achievement award for his “quick response and lifesaving measures” to an individual suffering cardiac arrest on July 21, 2018.

Det. Joseph J. Longenbach and Det. Adam J. Knoblauch received awards for merit. On June 12, 2019, the two responded to a report of shots fired and an attempted criminal homicide near Jefferson Elementary School. The pair’s investigative work led to the arrest of two suspects for attempted criminal homicide.

Next, the police department honored Ret. Police Chief David A. Faust with a certificate of achievement for his “outstanding efforts” during his 29-year career at the Emmaus Police Department. Palmer acknowledged some of Faust’s most notable achievements including the establishment of the first Emmaus K-9 unit.

The police department also recognized civilians David Arber and Matthew Kozloff. On Jan. 16, 2020, an individual entered Xtreme Gun Worx and left with a stolen pistol. Kozloff, an employee, and Arber, a customer, chased the suspect who fled on foot. The two were awarded with a certificate of accommodation for “community partnership.”

Dr. Richard Grgurich and the staff at Emmaus Animal Hospital received an award for their consistent veterinary care to the K-9 unit. The award said their unwavering support “permitted the Emmaus Police Department K-9 Unit to be financially stable.”

Palmer ended the award ceremony by granting Longenbach a gift certificate for exterior detail, provided by Curb Appeal Detail LLC.

Council member John W. Hart shared his gratitude with the police department members in attendance, saying their hard work and dedication reminded him of his hometown’s police force.

“Ladies and gentlemen of the police department, thank you,” Hart said. “ ... congratulations on all the awards mentioned by Chief Palmer ... You’re an outstanding group of individuals and you have been for years. When people ask me about the town ... the second thing out of my mouth is the police department. My family and myself not only feel safe [but] are safe by a result of your actions.”

Mayor Lee Ann Gilbert also congratulated the award recipients and thanked everyone for their service.

“Congratulations to all of you,” Gilbert said. “Every day you summon the courage to wear the badge. We all appreciate the sacrifices you make for our community. So, thank you, you’re all true heroes, and I am honored to work with you every day. Thank you for your service.”

Palmer called the commencement ceremony an “important milestone for the Emmaus Police Department.”

Ret. Officer Edgardo A. Colón asked to end the award ceremony with some kind words.

“ ... After having a fairly long career, I will always treasure the lovely relationships and camaraderie I’ve had with the Emmaus Police Department,” Colón said. “I just want to congratulate all the officers. I think it’s a very nice gesture that the borough and the police department do this to recognize their officers. Congratulations and good job Emmaus Police Department.”

Det. Sgt. Jason B. Apgar