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Montco DA Steele Honors Those Who Went Above and Beyond

(From a press release.)

In a ceremony Tuesday at the Montgomery County Fire Academy, Montgomery County District Attorney Kevin R. Steele honored four civilians, 40 law enforcement officers, and a police K-9 with commendations for their extraordinary efforts and exemplary work in protecting and serving the residents of Montgomery County.

Of the law enforcement members honored, one police officer was awarded the “Medal of Valor,” the district attorney’s highest honor. Four officers/troopers were honored with “Heroism” awards for their actions to protect the citizens of Montgomery County.

“Montgomery County has some of the finest law enforcement officers anywhere, and I’m honored to be able to showcase their incredible bravery, exceptional work and dedication to protecting and serving Montgomery County residents, as well as recognize the actions of citizens who stepped up to help law enforcement do their job and help victims,” said Steele. “Montgomery County wouldn’t be the safe and wonderful place it is without this teamwork. I am proud to recognize each of these civilians, police officers, detectives and K-9 Patton for their exemplary performance.”

Honorees who received commendations and a brief description are:


The district attorney’s most prestigious award, the Law Enforcement Medal of Valor is presented to those select members of law enforcement who bravely placed their lives at risk to protect the citizens of Montgomery County. The Medal of Valor was awarded in 2023. Before that, it was last awarded in 2012.

 Cpl. Scott Samuels, Upper Merion Township Police Department: For bravery in the face of life-threatening danger during the apprehension of a defendant who tried to flee from law enforcement after a traffic accident near the King of Prussia Mall, then crashed his vehicle and opened fire, putting lives at risk.


Pennsylvania State Police Trooper Jonathan J. Loesch Jr. and Corporal Jeffrey Simmons, Pennsylvania State Police: For extraordinarily brave and selfless actions during the pursuit of a U-Haul truck driving at a high rate of speed the wrong way on Route 422, and for the execution of a PIT maneuver that successfully ended the chase, saving the lives of many motorists.

Norristown Police Officers Edward Butterworth Sr. and Matthew Walsh  for their remarkable actions when a pickup truck with a girl onboard rolled into the water at River Front Park in Norristown, and for the heroic rescue that ensued, saving a father and daughter from drowning.


Samantha C. Blagus  of Lansdale for remaining at the scene of a fatal shooting, comforting a pregnant woman who had been shot multiple times at a gas station, and for providing impactful, eyewitness testimony during the homicide trial.

Clare Henderson, Mission Kids Child Advocacy Center, for dedicating her professional life to advocating for children who are victims of sexual abuse and exploitation and for tirelessly working to support children in need.

Jonathon Petrow  of Mount Laurel, N.J. for stopping to comfort to a pedestrian who was the victim of a hit and run as he tried to cross Butler Pike in Whitemarsh, and for providing police with video from his Tesla, which helped to identify and convict the defendant.

Fort Washington resident Cauldon D. Quinn for providing key eyewitness testimony at trial, helping to secure a conviction for a defendant who attempted to kill a police officer near the King of Prussia Mall.


Lower Providence Township Police Sgt. Ryan W. Singleton and Officer Timothy Arthur for the outstanding investigation of horrific crash that killed a pregnant woman and her unborn baby resulted in the convictions of the dump truck driver and the truck owner.

Det. Gregory Pitchford with the Lower Merion Township Police Department for the exemplary investigation of a gunpoint carjacking of a woman that initially had limited evidence, ultimately leading to a guilty plea.

Upper Merion Township Police Det. Michael Laverty and Det. Andrew Rook of the Lower Merion Township Police Department for the outstanding investigation that dismantled a bi-coastal drug trafficking organization that was flooding the Southeastern Pennsylvania region with methamphetamine and other illegal drugs.

Philadelphia Police Department K-9 Patton and Officers Brian Quirple and James Zimmerman, Philadelphia Police Department for the significant assist in a missing person-turned-homicide investigation and for providing key testimony during the murder trial about cadaver dog training and their alerting to human remains.

U.S. Marshals Service Supervisory Deputy U.S. Marshal Robert Clark, U.S. Marshals Service Deputy U.S. Marshal Steven Eckman, U.S. Marshals Task Force  PSP Tpr. Matthew Pauly,  Delaware County Deputy Sheriff Christopher Miller, U.S. Marshals Task Force, Chester Police Ofc. Frank Myers, U.S. Marshals Task Force for the diligent, months-long investigation that tracked a defendant who killed an innocent bystander, ultimately locating and taking him into custody.

Montgomery County Detective Bureau Retired Det. Greg Henry and Cheltenham Police Department  Det. Ryan Murray,  Lt. Daniel Farley,  Lt. Andrew Snyder,  Lt. Joseph O’Neill,  Lt. Richard Schaffer,  Det. Ronald Cupo,  Det. Steven Motta, Det. Philip Degliomini,  Sgt. Michael Moore,  Officers Stephanie Pappas,  Brian Walsh, James Stocklos, Justin Sneeringer, Kevin Norton,  Adam Heath,  Zachery Koerper, Tierre Welton,  Philadelphia Police Department OfficersDonte Bush, Det. James Perfidio, Det. Joseph Cremen,  Officer Michael Braun and Officer David Vogler for  the excellent homicide investigation of two defendants who planned the murder of a schoolteacher and then fatally shot her as she waited in a Dunkin’ drive-thru lane with her 11-year-old son in the back seat.