Up­per Gwynedd Po­lice De­part­ment names Of­fi­cer of the Year

North Penn Life - - News - By Bradley Sch­legel bschlegel@jour­nalregis­ter.com

John Brinkmann, a pa­trol sergeant with the Up­per Gwynedd Town­ship Po­lice De­part­ment, said be­ing named the 2012 Offier of the Year has spe­cial mean­ing be­cause of how the win­ner is cho­sen.

The de­part­ment’s mem­bers nom­i­nate the win­ner each year, ac­cord­ing to Chief David Duffy.

“It means a lot coming from the guys,” Brinkmann said. “It means they see what I try to do for them, which is make things a lit­tle eas­ier for them on a daily ba­sis.”

Brinkmann, a 17-year veteran of the de­part­ment, re­ceived the award from Deputy Chief David Poirier at the de­part­ment’s 2012 awards cer­e­mony ear­lier this week.

Duffy cited Brinkmann’s mo­rale, peer sup­port, over­all pro­fes­sion­al­ism and over­all safety as the rea­sons he was cho­sen.

The de­part­ment’s traf­fic safety of­fi­cer since 2004, Brinkmann said he still en­joys in­ter­act­ing with the pub­lic and the of­fi­cers.

Fa­cil­i­tat­ing their needs and help­ing out with calls al­lows pa­trol of­fi­cers to com­plete their spe­cial func­tions, ac­cord­ing to Brinkmann.

“Ev­ery­body has spe­cial func­tions,” he said.

In­ter­act­ing with younger of­fi­cers — who of­ten re­quire an ex­pla­na­tion with each or­der — can be a chal­lenge, ac­cord­ing to Brinkmann.

“Ev­ery new of­fi­cer is unique,” said Brinkmann, 41, the de­part­ment’s deputy field train­ing of­fi­cer. “It’s up to us to ad­just.”

Of­fi­cer Robert Pro was hon­ored for the most DUI ar­rests, ac­cord­ing to Duffy.

He said of­fi­cers Joe Robin­son and Chad Staub re­ceived the de­part­ment’s Top Gun Awards for post­ing the high­est over­all scores in its firearm qual­i­fi­ca­tions.

Sgt. Ted Caiola re­ceived a Mer­i­to­ri­ous Ser­vice Award for ap­pre- hend­ing an armed kid­nap­ping sus­pect — and re­cov­er­ing the vic­tim — in Lans­dale, ac­cord­ing to Duffy.

Judge John Mur­ray, the former district judge in Whitpain, swore in Matthew Toro, a new of­fi­cer.

Gopa Kaur, the at­ten­dant at the BP Gas Sta­tion at the in­ter­sec­tion of Broad Street and Sum­ney­town Pike that was robbed in Novem­ber, re­ceived an of­fi­cial com­men­da­tion.

“De­spite be­ing robbed at gun­point, Gopa re­mained calm and help­ful,” Duffy wrote in an email. “Her help led to an ar­rest of the sus­pect.”

The an­nual awards cer­e­mony is good for the de­part­ment’s mo­rale, ac­cord­ing to Brinkmann.

He called it an op­por­tu­nity for the of­fi­cers to re­ceive pub­lic ap­pre­ci­a­tion they don’t nor­mally get.

“Deep down, re­gard­less of what any­body says, I think ev­ery­one likes be­ing ac­knowl­edged for do­ing good,” Brinkmann said.

Photo by MARK C. PSORAS

Up­per Gwynedd po­lice Sgt. John Brinkman was re­cently named the de­part­ment’s 2012 Of­fi­cer of the Year.

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