Southern Chester County Regional Police Department Annual Awards Ceremony

New Garden Township Building
Event Date: 
Thursday, April 13, 2017 - 7:30pm

Public Service Announcement


March 22, 2017


Join us, Thursday, April 13, 2017 at 7:30 pm at the New Garden Township municipal building located at 299 Starr Road for our last official act to recognize the officers from the former New Garden Township Police Department at our annual Award and Recognition Ceremony! 


As everyone knows by now, the New Garden Township Police Department came to a close at 11:59 pm on December 31, 2016.  But, we still have some unfinished business to take care of!  Several of our police officers performed exceptionally well in 2016 and while we have a new name we intend to carry on this wonderful tradition of publically recognizing officers for their exceptional work! 


2016 DUI Enforcement Award Recipients:


Police Officer Maria Mattioni – 1st Year Award

Police Officer Stephen Madonna – 1st Year Award

Police Officer Benjamin Brown – 1st Year Award

Police Officer Jeremy O’Neill – 1st Year Award

Cpl. John Gibson – 2nd Year Award

Police Officer Ryan D. Kushner – 3rd Year Award

Cpl. Joseph P. Versagli – Lifetime Award


The first recognition is the DUI Enforcement Award.  The New Garden Township Police Department distinguishes this enforcement because it is in harmony with our duty to protect “Human Life”, which is our first core value!  


There is no debate, their hard work has made New Garden Township and Chester County a safer place to live and travel.  The aforementioned six police officers will receive a DUI Enforcement Award ribbon for their 2016 enforcement efforts. 


2016 Life Saving Award Recipients:


Sgt. Joseph F. Greenwalt

P.O. Jeremy O’Neill



Our second award recognition is the Life Saving Award, which is awarded to police officers for their heroic or distinguishable actions that result in the saving of person’s life.


On Tuesday, February 23, 2016 at approximately 6:15 pm, Sgt. Greenwalt and P.O. Jeremy O’Neill responded to a check on the welfare of a person.  The caller advised police that she received a vague text message from the victim expressing his feelings.  When the caller attempted to respond, she found that the victim had turned his phone off.  The caller further advised that the victim in recent days exhibited signs of depression. 


While out at the scene, officers were told by coworkers that the victim was not present and not been seen since approximately 5:00 pm.  Sgt. Greenwalt and P.O. Jeremy O’Neill were advised by witnesses that they had not observed any unusual behavior throughout the day. 


Police conducted a search of the immediate area for the victim and his vehicle which were negative.  Despite their negative search results, the officers decided to widen their search.  Upon performing this secondary search, Sgt. Greenwalt and P.O. Jeremy O’Neill observed a vehicle parked idling approximately 50 yards from the building hidden.  Sgt. Greenwalt and P.O. Jeremy O’Neill approached the vehicle and located the victim inside attempting to commit suicide by carbon monoxide asphyxiation.


Sgt. Greenwalt and P.O. Jeremy O’Neill were able to extricate the victim and immediately rendered aid.  Additional assistance was rendered by Avondale Station #23 personnel.  The victim was transported to Jennersville Regional Hospital where he was admitted for treatment.


2016 Meritorious Service Award Recipient:


P.O. Ryan D. Kushner


Our third recognition is new to our assemblage of award categories is the Meritorious Service Award.  We recognize distinguishable and conspicuous initiative performed by a police officer when the conduct is valiant and by their actions result in an apprehension or by the action our community’s safety is ensured.


On the late night hours of June 13, 2016 P.O. Ryan Kushner, a three-year veteran of the police department, acted on information received about a suspect who was armed and dangerous and wanted in connection for triple homicide that he committed hours earlier in the State of West Virginia.  P.O. Kushner placed himself in an area to optimize his chances of locating the wanted person, who was reportedly heading to Southern Chester County.


P.O. Kushner located the suspect vehicle as he left New Garden Township and entered Avondale Borough.  P.O. Kushner initiated a traffic stop and whereupon he arrested the triple homicide suspect, Erick David Shute, without incident.  The fugitive was eventually extradited back to the State of West Virginia.     


2016 Chief Gerald W. Davis Award Recipient:


Sgt. Keith Cowdright


Our fourth and final recognition is our most prestigious award to a police officer for exceptional work throughout the year noted.


Our 2016 Chief Gerald W. Davis Award recipient is our former criminal investigator, Sgt. Keith Cowdright.   Sgt. Cowdright was the police department’s sole criminal investigator where he handled numerous investigations many of which are noteworthy.  However, one investigation stands out among all his work and is truly exceptional. 


On June 29, 2016, Sgt. Cowdright was called out to investigate a fentanyl laced heroin overdose resulting in a death.  Sgt. Cowdright coordinated the many support agencies needed to investigate this case to include working with the US Attorney’s Office and Drug Enforcement Administration in the District of Delaware.  Sgt. Cowdright’s timely actions, networking and thoroughness resulted in a suspect being identified from Wilmington, DE. 


Within days, the investigation would lead to a buy/bust arrest of two suspects, the seizure of 50 logs (6,500 bags) of heroin and an illegal weapon.  On October 13, 2016 Donte Jacobs, age 28 of Delaware was indicted on the delivery of fentanyl and heroin that resulted in the death of another person.  As stated by Special Assistant U.S. Attorney Christopher de Barrena-Sarobe, Sgt. Cowdright’s approach with an eye towards moving it forward resulted in justice being assured where it may have otherwise floundered.


The public is encouraged to join the celebration; invite your family and friends to help us recognize our police officers for outstanding work!   A small reception will follow the ceremony.


Media Point of Contact:    Chief Gerald R. Simpson


                                                610-268-2907, ext. 105


The pictures of the officers are attached separate from this release.