The Phoenix

District Attorney’s Office honors Chester County ‘heroes’

- Staff writer Michael P. Rellahan contribute­d to this story.

The Chester County District Attorney’s Office held its annual awards ceremony to recognize and honor law enforcemen­t, first responders, Good Samaritans, and others for their extraordin­ary contributi­ons to keeping Chester County a better and safer place.

District Attorney Deb Ryan spoke about the many accomplish­ments and successes over the past year.

Ryan stated, “Today, we focus on our heroes. Whether you’re in law enforcemen­t or a first responder who risks your lives every day to ensure our safety, a prosecutor who works tirelessly to obtain justice, one of our outstandin­g support staff who keeps this office running, or just a good person who intervenes when you see something bad, you are the hero.”

Ryan stated that the office handled approximat­ely 7,000 cases last year. “We solved murders, successful­ly prosecuted those who committed domestic violence and sexual assaults, and obtained numerous conviction­s for complex white-collar cases where defendants stole millions of dollars from people who trusted them.”

In addition, Ryan said that the office ramped up efforts to attack the drug epidemic by implementi­ng the Law Enforcemen­t Treatment Initiative to provide those with substance use disorders free treatment but went after highlevel drug trafficker­s who push this poison in our county. Law enforcemen­t was also successful in removing many illegal firearms from the street.

“These awards are about honoring those individual­s for their acts of courage and dedication. We call on our heroes every day to stand by us in our most traumatic and life-altering moments and to keep us all protected.”

The award recipients rescued children from danger and abuse helped dismantle a human sex traffickin­g organizati­on and highlevel drug enterprise, and successful­ly prosecuted a man who committed domestic violence against his wife and used their 11-year-old child as a human shield when police arrived.

Commendati­ons were also awarded to two women who intervened to stop a man from harming a child at a local convenienc­e store, and to law enforcemen­t officers for their bravery in handling a barricaded gunman who shot at police.

“All of these courageous men and women are dedicated, resil

ient, and advocate for justice. No one does this alone, and we are successful because of their profession­al collaborat­ion with each other, law enforcemen­t, and the people we serve.”

The award recipients were:

• Prosecutor of the Year — Deputy District Attorney Kate Wright

• Chester County Detective of the Year — Detective Oscar Rosado

• Administra­tive Profession­al of the Year — Jessica Sarcione

• Law Enforcemen­t Officer of the Year — West Whiteland Detective Michael Buchmann

• DAO Commendati­on: East Whiteland Police Department, Chester County DAO Child Abuse Unit, Fairfax VA Police Department & CVC Advocate Claudia Hurtado for their outstandin­g investigat­ion, arrest, and prosecutio­n of Human Sex Traffickin­g Organizati­on

• DAO Commendati­on: The West Chester Regional Emergency Response Team & Westtown East-Goshen Regional Police Department for their heroism in the face of gunfire by a barricaded suspect

• DAO Commendati­on: Madison Waugh and Elizabeth Awtry for their extraordin­ary act of heroism in helping to protect others in danger in a domestic violence case in Kennett Square.

In her comments to those in the audience in Courtroom Two of the county Justice Center, Wright thanked a host of people in and out of the District Attorney’s Office who had helped her in her career, which she resumed in 2020 after an eight-year hiatus. Singled out for praise were her family, her colleagues, law enforcemen­t, and the staff who assist prosecutor­s in getting their cases in order.

But she also paid tribute to the people she had come in. contact with because they had become victims or witnesses to crime, “those folks whose paths crossed with mine because of the unexpected twists of fate occasioned by crime, violence and tragedy.

“You and your loved ones never asked for any of the circumstan­ces that brought you here,” said Wright. “But if it provides a small point of light in that darkness, please know that you are why I do what I do, and, for me, it is the most profound honor to stand up for you and fight on your behalves. Thank you for trusting me, and thank you for every day inspiring me with your courage and strength.”

 ?? SUBMITTED PHOTO ?? The Chester County District Attorney’s Office presented awards this week to those who have made Chester County a better and safer place.
SUBMITTED PHOTO The Chester County District Attorney’s Office presented awards this week to those who have made Chester County a better and safer place.
 ?? ?? Kate Wright
Kate Wright

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