OFFICIAL PUBLICATION OF THE COUNTY OF ALLEGHENY LODGE 91 FRATERNAL ORDER OF POLICE

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1 OFFICIAL PUBLICATION OF THE COUNTY OF ALLEGHENY LODGE 91 FRATERNAL ORDER OF POLICE Scott Township Police Department VOL. 47 NO

2 OFFICIAL PUBLICATION OF THE COUNTY OF ALLEGHENY LODGE 91 FRATERNAL ORDER OF POLICE (published annually) Lodge Home Address: 676 West Eighth Avenue, West Homestead, PA Lodge Home Phone: Lodge Business Phone: Publications Committee Henry Wiehagen Paul C. Cmar Floyd M. Nevling Volume 47, Number 1 20l4 Meeting Schedule: Monthly meetings are held on the third Wednesday of each month. Meetings alternate between afternoons, and evenings. Afternoon meetings commence at 2:00 p.m. and evening meetings at 7:00 p.m. Due to special events, meetings are not always held in alternating order. Meeting times should always be verified by notice from the lodge secretary or the officer s department representative. Light refreshments normally follow each meeting. Legal Aid: Any lodge member requesting legal aid must report to the Board of Trustees an hour and 45 minutes prior to the start of the regular meeting. Legal aid will not be given to any member who is not in good standing with the lodge. Emergency legal aid may be granted by the President; however, the recipient must still appear before the Board of Trustees at the next regularly scheduled meeting. Any member having particular problems concerning legal aid should consult with his or her representative. Meeting Location: All meetings will be held at the lodge home, unless the President designates another location.

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4 President s Message At the end of2013, Lodge 91 sent every member of the lodge a letter outlining the dues structure for Out of nearly 2,000 letters mailed 300 were returned undeliverable. One of our biggest problems is that people move and don t inform the lodge of their new addresses. Later, those members get upset and blame the lodge for not keeping them informed about what is going on or feel they are left out of the loop. What does the FOP do for me? is an oft heard complaint. If the member does not maintain contact with the lodge, he/she will feel left out and not be informed of the many benefits available to lodge members such as negotiations, lobbying in Harrisburg for legislation and to protect arbitration, legal aid for suspensions or dismissal, the death benefit and multiple and varied activities. Every department has a representative. That representative should have all the latest information of what is going on in the lodge. Members should contact their representative for updates and take an interest in lodge business. Lodge 91 is here to serve the members; however, members must also show initiative to keep informed. The combined result will be happier members and a better run lodge. Lodge officers and members can effectively work together in harmony to strengthen the lodge and to have a more enlightened membership. Fraternally, Henry Wiehagen, President Lodge 91, County of Allegheny Fraternal Order of Police 3

5 House of Representatives Commonwealth of Pennsylvania Harrisburg Mental Health Reform Bill Will Address Challenges Facing Law Enforcement Over the last year, as chairman of the House Energy and Commerce Subcommittee on Oversight and Investigations, I embarked on a detailed review of the nation s mental-health system. With my 30-plus years experience as a clinical psychologist, I was profoundly shocked to learn just how archaic and ineffective federal mental-health policy is in our country. Two million patients with serious and persistent mental illness, many of whom lack insight into their schizophrenia or bipolar disorder, go without medical treatment. Why? Because the federal government has never approached serious mental illness as a healthcare issue. This laissez-faire approach to brain illness has directly resulted in growing rates of homelessness and incarceration for the mentally ill over the last 20 years. Sadly, it has also led to numerous tragedies, including 38,000 annual suicides, and countless incidents requiring a response from law enforcement. Representative Tim Murphy Pennsylvania House of Representatives 18th Congressional District The result of my comprehensive review is legislation I authored titled the Helping Families in Mental Health Crisis Act. This bipartisan bill marks the most significant overhaul of the nation s mental-health system since President John F. Kennedy established community mental-health centers 51 years ago. It refocuses programs and resources on psychiatric care for patients and families most in need of services but who are currently the least likely to get it. My bill makes sure those with mental illness get care from the healthcare system instead of the criminal justice system. The current approach to mental health can best be described by its deficits: too little integration with primary or physical care; too few psychiatric hospital beds; too few psychiatrists, psychologists, and clinical social workers, especially ones who are trained and specialize in treating the seriously mentally ill. And too little training for law enforcement, which must deal with the consequences of a broken system. The Helping Families in Mental Health Crisis Act expands training grants for police officers responding to a mental health emergency. The bill also increases the number of mental health providers, outpatient treatment options, and the total number of acute psychiatric beds. Addressing the chronic shortage of psychiatric beds will help patients get truly well rather than just having their condition stabilized at ER, only to end up back on the streets, in jail, or the hospital in a few weeks. 4

6 The vast majority of individuals with mental illnesses live and thrive in the community, but current legal barriers make it exceedingly difficult to keep non-compliant patients in treatment. The legislation addresses this dilemma by encouraging states such as Pennsylvania to adopt assisted outpatient treatment (AOT) laws. AOT ensures mental-health providers target care and resources to the subset of seriously mentally ill who have repeat arrests or visits to the hospital emergency room. With AOT, the courts and families make sure loved ones who are severely mentally ill follow through on their treatment plan. In New York state, participants in the AOT program known as Kendra s Law report having a higher quality of life and less homelessness and substance abuse problems. AOT in New York has reduced costly emergency-room visits and incarceration by 70 percent amongst the mentally ill. * * * * The bill also ties federal dollars to evidence-based medical models of care that have proven results. For example, in a breakthrough treatment project at the National Institute of Mental Health and the University of Pennsylvania called Recovery After Initial Schizophrenia Episode, or RAISE, patients receive care almost immediately upon displaying signs of a mental illness. They receive wrap-around services and low-dose medication to help them recognize and manage their condition. This has resulted in better outcomes, fewer ER visits, and an improved quality of life. Sadly, patients wait on average two years after the first signs of psychosis before seeing a doctor. That elapse of time can cause deep and lasting damage to the human brain, making recovery all the more difficult. Under the Helping Families in Mental Crisis Act, a new assistant secretary for mental-health and substance-use disorders, who has clinical and research experience treating persons with mental illness, would be responsible for seeing that programs like RAISE are widely deployed. The Assistant Secretary will also receive advice on best practices and standards of care from an serious mental illness advisory board. Unlike past mental health groups, this committee draws on the expertise of police officers, district attorneys, and corrections officials who are often on the front lines of helping a person with an untreated serious mental illness. For far too long, those who need help have been getting it the least, and where there is no help, there is no hope. We can, must, and will take mental illness out of the shadows of ignorance, despair, and neglect and into that bright light of hope. It starts with the Helping Families in Mental Health Crisis Act. * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * In his sixth term representing the 18th congressional district encompassing parts of Allegheny, Washington, Westmoreland and Greene Counties, Rep. Tim Murphy also serves as a Lieutenant Commander in the Navy Reserve Medical Service Corps as a psychologist treating Wounded Warriors with post-traumatic stress disorder and traumatic brain injury. Prior to serving in Congress, Dr. Murphy, author of The Angry Child and Overcoming Passive-Aggression, was a practicing psychologist specializing in child and family treatment. 5

7 Scholarships 2013 Four young people went off to college a little happier and their financial burden a bit lighter. The lucky four were winners of the 2013 scholarship drawing held by Lodge 91. The scholarships are worth $ each and are available to children of lodge members for the purpose of attending college or trade school. Winning names were drawn by lot at the annual Kennywood picnic held on June 24th. Excitement electrified the pavilion as members and their guests anxiously awaited the drawing results. Names of the winners and their parent were: Tyler Klein, son of Chief Michael Klein, Harrison Twp. PD; Alexander Zimmerman, son of Robert M. Zimmerman, Scott Twp. PD; Lauren Ferragonio, daughter of Francis Ferragonio, Penn Hills PD, retired; and Bradley Skees, son of Jeffrey Skees, Scott Twp. PD. Applications to compete for a scholarship may be obtained by going to the Fraternal Order of Police, PA, Lodge 91 website. Then click on Members Only Applications can be found under the Forms category. 6

8 F.O.P., County of Allegheny, Lodge #91, FINANCIAL AID APPLICATION Applicant Name: Address: Name of current school: Address: Current grade level: Date of Birth: Year of high school graduation: Intended college: Address: Intended date of attendance: (Proof of attendance will be required if selected for aid.) Parent of Applicant Name: Address: Department: Active Retired Home phone: Work phone: Are you a member in good standing of Lodge 91? Signature of Lodge 91 member: Date: Signature of applicant: Date: DEADLINE FOR SUBMISSION OF APPLICATION IS JUNE 1 Send applications to: Floyd M. Nevling, Fraternal Order of Police, 253 Dutch Lane, Pittsburgh, PA I verify that all the information provided is true to my knowledge of the nominee. Signature of Nominating Individual Send nominating form to Floyd M. Nevling, 253 Dutch Lane, Pittsburgh, PA

9 2013 National Conference Delegates from throughout the United States, Ireland and Canada converged on Cincinnati, Ohio for the 61 st Biennial Conference of the Fraternal Order of Police. The national conference was held August 11th to the 15th, Election of national officers is a main feature of the biennial conference and usually the source of excitement. This aspect of the conference was dull due to the lack of any opposition for offices. Officers retaining their Grand Lodge positions were: President...Chuck Canterbury, Myrtle Beach, SC Vice-president...Ed Brannigan, S. Amboy, NJ 2nd Vice-president...Frank Gale, Denver, CO Secretary...Patrick Yoes, Norco, LA Treasurer... Tom Penoza, New Castle, DE Sergeant-at-Arms...Roger Mayberry, Valley Center, CA The Pennsylvania delegation elected Jim Malloy of Pittsburgh, Fort Pitt Lodge #1 as national trustee. Each state elects its own trustee to the Grand Lodge. A major change to the constitution and by-laws was the increase of dues to the Grand Lodge by a dollar. The yearly per capita for each member that subordinate lodges pay to the national organization is now $ A resolution to support improved background checks for firearms purchases passed unanimously. Lodge 91 delegates faithfully attended all the meetings and caucus. Members also examined the numerous exhibits of police equipment and affiliated displays. The City of Cincinnati combined police and fire color guards participated in the opening ceremony. 8

10 Standing for the national anthem were, left to right, National Secretary Patrick Yoes, Vice-president Ed Brannigan, President Chuck Canterbury and then Secretary of Homeland Security Janet Napolitano. Secretary Napolitano was a featured speaker. Watching the opening ceremony were, left to right, Lodge 91 Delegate Bob Young, his wife Eileen and Delegate Floyd Nevling. Leading the contingents into the convention hall was the U. S. Marine Corps color guard. 9

11 House of Representatives Commonwealth of Pennsylvania Harrisburg Dear Friends in Law Enforcement, As the legislative session reaches its midterm, there are several bills in the works which would directly affect police agencies. At the request of several law officials, H.B was introduced in April. This bill, which is currently being considered by the House Transportation Committee, would expand the use of RADAR to all police departments, not just State Police. The bill would require any officer operating the equipment to be properly certified. This bill is currently in the House Transportation Committee. As many of you know, Pennsylvania Instant Check System was put in place when many state issues were not picked up by the Federal screening. Updates to the Federal system in recent years have corrected those issues. House Bill 921, which I cosponsored with Rep. Tim Krieger, would eliminate the use of the Pennsylvania Instant Check System during gun purchases and instead use the existing National Instant Check System. This bill is currently in the House Judiciary Committee. When the Safe Haven law was updated a few years ago, it was implied that police stations would be a safe haven for a new mother, with an infant up to 28 days old, to drop off the baby if they were unable to care of the child. However, that was not the case. Representative Rosita Youngblood and I co-sponsored House Bill 1090, which declares police stations as legal and accepted drop-off points in the state s Safe Haven Law. This will give a mother who may be overwhelmed another legal option to give up her child without risking the child s life. Many police stations have reported mothers dropping off infants at their headquarters. My bill would make the police stations legal drop-off locations, which will mean law enforcement members will not be forced to make the choice of charging a new mother attempting to do the right thing or ignoring a state law. This bill is currently being considered by the House Judiciary Committee. In December, I authored three individual resolutions recognizing the Pittsburgh first responders for their service. 10 Representative Harry Readshaw Pennsylvania House of Representatives 36th Legislative District

12 H.R. 562 honors the Pittsburgh Bureau of Fire, which was formed as a volunteer group in The bureau became a fully paid, professional firefighting service in 1870 and is renowned for creating the first firefighter union in Today, the Bureau of Fire employs 318 professional firefighters in 29 stations throughout the city. H.R. 563 recognizes the Pittsburgh Police Department, which was formed in Currently, there are approximately 900 law enforcement officers in the city protecting 345,000 residents and the many businesses within the city limits. H.R. 564 honored the Pittsburgh Bureau of Emergency Medical Services, which was created in The EMS crews consist of more than160 paramedics serving on 13 ambulance crews, two rescue trucks, river rescue and other specialty services. The Bureau of EMS annually responds to more than 56,000 calls. H.B is a controversial bill concerning background checks on all gun sales. Law enforcement may give me your opinion by ing me at The three bureaus frequently work together, providing security, safety and emergency needs for major city events, such as the G-20 Summit, the Pittsburgh Marathon, and many professional and collegiate athletic events. The three resolutions were unanimously adopted by the House on Dec. 16. As I close my letter this year, I want to express my appreciation for your dedication of your service in protecting our community and anyone passing through it. Thank you and have a safe Sincerely, State Rep. Harry Readshaw 36th Legislative District Mower Rescue Small engine equipment repair Phone: Push Mowers & Riders Tillers Trimmers & Chainsaws Snow Blowers Generators 11

13 JUS FIDUS LIBERTATUM FINANCIAL SECRETARY FRANK P. WEBER 1315 Woodcliff Drive Monroeville, PA Phone (412) TREASURER PHILIP MERES 105 Mills Avenue Braddock, PA Phone (412) CONDUCTOR DAVID F. BENKO 742 Spencer Woods Drive Glenshaw, PA Phone (412) GUARD E. FRED HERRMANN 212 Elwood Ave. Ext. Plum, PA Phone (412) COUNSELLOR RONALD P. KOERNER 3400 South Park Road Bethel Park, PA Phone (412) CHAPLIN LINDA M. DiPIETRO 6870 Alcoma Drive Pittsburgh, PA Phone (412) PRESIDENT HENRY J. WIEHAGEN 101 Preston Drive North Braddock, PA Phone (412) FIRST VICE PRESIDENT JAMES M. HASARA 6911 Sturgeon Street Pittsburgh, PA Phone (412) SECOND VICE PRESIDENT DENNIS DUNEGAN 5081 Plan Road Murrysville, PA Phone (724) County of Allegheny Lodge No. 91 Fraternal Order of Police RECORDING SECRETARY JOSEPH A. OSINSKI 394 Diehl Drive McKeesport, PA Phone (412) BOARD OF DIRECTORS CHAIRMAN JOSEPH A. SMITH 5523 State Highway Cochranton, PA Phone (412) VICE CHAIRMAN VINCE DiCENZO, JR. 829 Westbury Road North Versailles, PA Phone (412) JOSEPH KLETCH 5717 Scenic View Drive Bethel Park, PA Phone (412) RONALD G. DZIEZGOWSKI, JR Sherwood Drive Bethel Park, PA Phone (412) ANTHONY DIULUS 5153 Delford Street Pittsburgh, PA Phone (412) GREGORY L. GEPPERT 7560 Roslyn Street Pittsburgh, PA Phone (412) CHARLES L. ROKA 4624 Vine Street McKeesport, PA Phone (412) MEMORIAL RESOLUTION Whereas, our Heavenly Father, in His infinite wisdom, has within the past year removed from our midst, the below listed members. With their passing, the Fraternal Order of Police has lost worthy brothers, their communities valued and respected citizens, and their families kind and devoted loved ones. Whereas, the members of County of Allegheny, Lodge 91, desire to perpetuate our departed members memories and to convey our sincere sympathy to their families and comrades by inscribing the deceased members names on our memorial tablet. Sleep, Brothers, sleep. Richard R. Baer Ronald Dziezgowski, Sr. Anthony Gall Thomas Hilla Milton C. Kuszaj William J. Symsek E. Fred Herrmann SUPPORT YOUR POLICE DEPARTMENT 12

14 FRATERNAL ORDER OF POLICE COUNTY OF ALLEGHENY LODGE #91 MEMBER DEATH / BENEFICIARY BENEFIT UPDATE PLAN FORM Name: Address: Telephone: Address: Date of Birth: Department: Social Security Number: - - Gender of Applicant: Male Female Name of Beneficiary: Mail to: Frank Weber, Financial Secretary FOP Lodge #91 c/o 1315 Woodcliff Drive Monroeville, PA If there are any questions please call Frank (412) or Henry (412)

15 Law Enforcement Officials Under Attack Like Never Before Even as the crime rate, especially for violent crime, continues to go down almost every year, Law Enforcement officers seem to be under attack more than ever. By Larry Dunn, Chairman and Founder, Amen Corner Senator John Heinz Law Enforcement Awards Luncheon These attacks don t just come from violent criminals - they also come from various newspaper editorial writers, liberal Judges, far-left politicians, and others who cannot, or will not, understand and appreciate the risks that each and every Law Enforcement Officer faces day after day. While you your fellow Officers are putting your life on the line with every arrest or traffic stop that you make, somewhere across America some arm chair critic is busy trying to figure out how to charge you with violating the so-called rights of just about everybody that you come in contact with. Although the 111 Law Enforcement Officers killed in the line of duty across the country in 2013 was the lowest since 1959, it is still 111 too many. And the as the various critics continue to micro-examine your every action, you and almost 900,000 other Officers across the country suffer over 50,000 assaults and around 15,000 injuries every year, just doing your job of keeping all of us safe, according to the National Law Enforcement Officers Memorial Fund. The Law Enforcement Officers Memorial of Allegheny County (LEOM) was formed in Larry Dunn Former Allegheny County Commissioner 14 the early 1990 s, with the support of F.O.P. Lodges #1 and #91, to build the Police Memorial on the North Shore. The LEOM continues to hold a Remembrance Ceremony at the Memorial on the first Saturday of May (This year s Ceremony will be held Saturday, May 3 at 12 Noon) to recognize the more than 200 Law Enforcement Officers from Allegheny County who have been killed in the line of duty through the years. PA State F.O.P. Executive Board Member Vince DiCenzo, Jr. is the LEOM Chairman, with Sheriff s Commander Donna Best serving as President, and LEOM founders Bill Burke and Ed Lackey continuing their leadership. It has been my privilege to serve as Honorary Chairman of the LEOM. In addition, the 14th Annual Senator John Heinz Law Enforcement Awards Luncheon this October will give Amen Corner our latest opportunity to recognize and highlight the most outstanding Police accomplishments between October 1, 2013 and August 31,2014. I will be sending Nomination Forms to each Police Chief and F.O.P. Lodge, as well as other Police Organization leaders, a little later this year, but I will also have them available at various Police meetings, as soon as the Sheraton Station Square confirms our date for the Luncheon. Please feel free to contact me at or at any

16 time for forms or other information about the Luncheon. To ensure that our award process is as fair as possible, nominations are only made by active chiefs of police, the heads of the various law enforcement organizations (Allegheny County and Western PA Chiefs of Police, F.O.P. Lodges No. 1 and 91, etc.), and top law enforcement officials. Our Awards Committee consists of our Amen Corner presidents and our board of governors. Our priority is to honor local police officers from the cities, boroughs, townships and other municipalities in Allegheny County and the surrounding counties. I would like to thank these law enforcement leaders for the strong support they have given our luncheon for the past 13 years. Their outstanding nominations, along with their attendance each year, have made our luncheons successful, and have enabled us to fulfill our goal of informing the public that we are privileged to have hundreds of courageous Police Officers who have performed heroic, life-saving or other exceptional and noteworthy feats, above and beyond the call of duty. We are grateful that the Police men and women of Lodge 91, along with all of your brother and sister officers, put your lives on the line each and every day to keep over two million citizens of Western Pennsylvania safe and secure. I wish you a very, happy, healthy and, most of all, a safe New Year! 15

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18 Amen Corner Law Enforcement Awards On July 8, 2013, a burglar alarm indicated illegal entry had been made into a Sewickley Borough home. Police quickly alerted, as this residence had been the scene of tumultuous domestic incidents in the past. They knew the house was supposed to be vacant due to the residents having left for the night. The officers also knew the source of the domestics was possibly in the house and could be armed as firearms had been taken from him in the past. Sewickley Borough Sgt. David Mazza and, a member of the Allegheny County Police SWAT team, Lt. Michael O Keefe led a small band of officers into the house and began a search. The officers found the 27 year old actor propped up in an elevated bed, and he refused to come down. A Taser was fired to neutralize him. He yanked the barbs from his body and leapt at the officers, grabbing a rifle strapped to an officer s back. He tried aiming the rifle at the officers, when Sgt. Mazza and Lt. O Keefe fired five bullets into the attacker, fatally wounding him. The actor was an experienced former member ofthe Army rangers, having served in both Iraq and Afghanistan. He reportedly made numerous threats to use deadly bloodshed against others. Sgt. Mazza and Lt. O Keefe are to be commended for quick thinking and taking immediate action to protect their fellow police officers. Their training and grasp of the situation probably prevented police officers from being killed. Henry Wiehagen, President Fraternal Order of Police, County of Allegheny, Lodge 91 The Amen Comer, on October 25, 2013, presented Law Enforcement awards to Allegheny County Police Lt. Michael O Keefe and Sewickley Borough Police Sgt. David Mazza. Left to right, Amen Comer President Erik C. Wagner, FOP Lodge 91 President Henry Wiehagen, Lt. O Keefe, Sgt. Mazza and Amen Comer Awards Chairman Larry Dunn. 17

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20 P.O. Box Hahn Road McMurray PA Phone: Fax: MINUTE QUICK LUBE 2500 East Fifth Ave., McKeesport, PA Corner of Fifth & Hartman down the hill from McKeesport High School

21 New Members Lodge 91 November, 2011 to November, 2012 Membership in the Fraternal Order of Police is composed of a select assemblage of men and women. Only the finest in society may join. In addition to rights, privileges and organization support, membership includes lodge and fraternal responsibilities. Members are encouraged to be active and to contribute to the lodge s perpetuation and the goals of the Fraternal Order of Police. Lodge 91 is always there to help a brother or sister in need; conversely, each member is expected to aid a worthy brother or sister when the occasion arises. The following members are warmly welcomed into the Fraternal Order of Police: Joshua R. Acre Adam Nida Justin G. Allenbaugh Cory Nolte Lindsey Bigger Gary M. Pavlecic Daniel J. Bowman Adam Quinn Christopher Cottone Mark P. Stephenson Connor W. Craig Sidney Summers Chad Green Patricia A. Summers Adam Helf Richard G. Susalia Pat Hindman Brian A. Turack Justin Liptak Shelby Ziskind Curvy Behind Jeans 45 Mall Circle Drive Monroeville, PA Phone: Deluca s Restaurant 2015 Penn Avenue Pittsburgh, Pa Phone:

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23 The Commandant Fred Herrmann February 25, 1945 to August 8, 2013 Fred Herrmann, one of the most popular members of Lodge 91, died on August 8, Brother Herrmann died after a lengthy battle with cancer. Although suffering the painful effects of this terrible disease, he remained steadfast in his duties as lodge guard until nearly the very end of his life. Fred typically greeted every member of the lodge and guests with a wide grin and a hearty hello or playful dig, as he signed them in. He was loved by everyone. Fred was the first commander of the lodge s honor and color guards, which he served faithfully for 15 years. His leadership was to be envied. He would gather his team, many serving for the first time, together before an event and quickly school them in proper procedure. The result was a smooth performance by the rifle squad and color guard, earning much praise from both civilians and police officers. He was so appreciated that the lodge voted him the title of Commandant. Fred had retired from the Edgewood Police Department after 28 years of service. He was devoted to his fellow police officers and transferred that devotion to the members of the Fraternal Order of Police. He held a Life membership and served as a member of the Law Enforcement Officers Memorial Association. He was Mr. FOP. A Navy veteran, Fred served aboard the USS Rankin and later as a Seabee during the Vietnam War. He was an officer in Veterans of Foreign Wars Post Fred left behind his loving wife, Evelyn, of 46 years, his sons, Fred and Dan, and four grandchildren; he also left behind numerous friends, both police officers and civilians. His wake overflowed the funeral home. Lodge 91 President Henry Wiehagen said, Fred will be sorely missed by every member ofthe lodge. His infectious smile lightened up the lodge home and special events. Dick s Snow Plowing Detail 3310 Industrial Boulevard Bethel Park, Pa Phone: Blue Ridge Drive Moon Township, PA Phone:

24 Diehl of Robinson 6181 Steubenville Pike Robinson Twp., PA Sales (888) Service (888) Parts (888)

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27 Carli Coyne State Farm Insurance Agent 1143 S Braddock Ave, Pittsburgh, PA (412) Business 26

28 Koerner s Korner By Ronald P. Koerner Lodge 91 Solicitor COMMONWEALTH COURT REVERSES ORDER OF THE OFFICE OF OPEN RECORDS DIRECTING THE PENNSYLVANIA STATE POLICE TO DISCLOSE THE NAMES OF ALL POLICE OFFICERS ACCREDITED BY MPOETC IN PENNSYLVANIA On February 11, 2013, the Pittsburgh Post Gazette and reporter Andrew McGill submitted a request under the Right-To-Know Law (RTKL) requesting the names of all police officers accredited by MPOETC in Pennsylvania. The Pennsylvania State Police (PSP) objected to this request on the grounds that there are 1,100 municipal law enforcement agencies in Pennsylvania employing 22,000 police officers under MPOETC jurisdiction. The PSP also pointed out through the Affidavit of Major Joseph Elias that this request would endanger those officers engaged in undercover or covert operations. Major Elias also pointed out that neither State Police (PSP) or MPOETC had any knowledge of which police officers are working undercover. Only the local police departments would have this information. The Office of Open Records (OOR) overruled the PSP objections and directed that the State Police contact all 1,100 municipal law enforcement agencies in the State. Both the PSP and MPOETC appealed this Order to the Commonwealth Court and the Court reversed the Office of Open Records (OOR). President Judge Dan Pellegrini who wrote the Commonwealth Court Majority Opinion pointed out that the Right-To-Know Law requires municipalities to provide names of police officers but they can delete the names of officers working undercover or in covert operations. However, neither the PSP nor MPOETC has a record of what duties a policeman performs and it would be an impossible burden to require them to contact all 1,100 police departments to obtain this information. The Commonwealth Court concluded that neither the Pennsylvania State Police nor MPOETC are required to comply with the OOR Order under the Right-To-Know Act. The Court did rule that the Pittsburgh Post Gazette and reporter Andrew McGill could contact the police departments on their own and request the names of the officers; however, the municipalities could delete the names of any officers working undercover or in covert operations and raise any other legal defenses they may have to the requests. It is unknown at this point whether the Pittsburgh Post Gazette will continue to attempt to get the names of the 22,000 police officers employed in the Commonwealth of Pennsylvania. Respectfully submitted, 27 Ronald P. Koerner, Esquire

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