At the December 5, 2017 Highland Park Borough Council Meeting, the council members honored a few members of the Highland Park Police Department for personal generosity and particularly effective response.
- G. Panichella, Sgt. J. Culver & Ptl. B. O’Mara – On October 12, 2017, the lieutenant, sergeant and patrolman received a 911 call about a contractor who severed his entire hand. Ptl. O’Mara, first on scene was able to apply his tourniquet to Mr. Shangle. Lt. Panichella jumped in the back seat of a patrol car with Mr. Shangle and started to administer emergency firstaid. Sgt. Culver then drove the police vehicle to the emergency room of RWJ Barnabas Health. Mr. Shangle was able to have his hand reattached and has some movement! “I’m glad you like to drive fast,” said Mr. Shangle, who was wished a speedy and successful recovery.
- T. Haas– On July 3, 2017, a resident reported that her purse has been stolen. Inside the purse was all of the resident’s personal information including her driver’s license and EBT Card. The EBT card helps the resident buy groceries – and without it, the individual would be unable to provide food for her children. Sgt. Haas took $200.00 of his own money and paid for the resident’s food. He also made arrangements to get the resident to the Department of Motor Vehicles to assist in her getting her a new driver’s license. Sgt. Haas never reported these actions illustrating his act of personal generosity. Unbeknownst to Sgt. Haas, another individual reported incident to Chief of Police Stephan Rizco.
“Sgt. Haas is one of our Finest Officers, who did not even want to be recognized for this. If you know Sgt. Haas, you know he would give someone his last sip of water on a thousand degree day. Sgt. Haas is truly the epitome of a class officer & person. Thank you for representing what all officers should strive to be,” said Chief Rizco.