LOCKPORT — By Bill Wolcott
Law officers were likened to the Good Shepherd at the Lockport Police Appreciation Dinner at Cornell Cooperative Extension on Saturday night.
“You are the good shepherds and God is pleased,” said the Rev. Gary Kibler whose St. Mary’s Church steeple overlooks the police department. The priest noted that sometimes the sheep need tough love, but the shepherds are acting from their heart.
Several police officers were honored. “They don’t get a lot of credit for the things they do over the course of the year, so it’s nice to take a public setting to not some of the good things,” Chief Larry Eggert said. “We’ve always had a pretty close relationship with both the sheriff’s department and the state police. We’re a a pretty good sized little city and don’t have all the resources we need, so we have to partner with the state police and the sheriff at times to work through the big cases.”
Lt. Brian Wentland, Det. Kevin Schrader and Det./Lt. Scott Seekins received special acknowledgment.
Wentland is the co-commander of the SWAT team with the sheriff’s department. “It’s unusual for the sheriff’s department to give an outsider command responsibility,” Eggert said. “It’s an honor and let’s you know what kind of an officer he is.”
Wentland was the supervisor for the 8 Molson Canal Concerts this summer downtown. “He did a good job there,” the chief said. “We had no problems. He’s my go-to guy. If I need something, he’s there and he does it.”
Seekins, a detective, is in charge of technology and the police car maintenance. “He does more for the department than any three people I know,” Eggert said. “He’s very busy. There are a million different things that he does without complaint or question.”
Newman has been a drug detective for nine years. “He’s done several huge cases in the last few years,” the chief said. “He’s stopped a lot of drugs coming into the city. He’s one of those unsung guys.”
Newman is responsible for several arrest roundups and the confiscation of drug money and drugs.
The state police and Niagara County Sheriffs Department were honored for “Continued efforts, past, present and future to help keep our community safe.” John Rosenberg of Prudden & Kant Funeral Home and Tim Mulvey of Mullane Motors were sited for their support. An Award of Appreciation was presented to the Lockport Union-Sun & Journal.
The theme was patriotic with a large flag backdrop. State Trooper Major Christopher Cummings was the guest speaker. Sgt. Pete Robinson of state correction sang and officer Dave Cudahy led the procession with bagpipes. The CRS Band played until midnight.
Several guests sang the praises of Donna Schrader who produced the Badge of Bravery dinner.
“Every year she gives these beautiful awards,” Mayor Mike Tucker said. “I come here and never know what to expect. Donna Schrader does such a beautiful job. It’s a first-class thing. It’s a good to honor the officers who protect and serve our city.”
Contact reporter Bill Wolcott
at 439-9222, ext. 6246.
Commendation Awards: Officers Gregory Chambers, Dennis Sobieraski, Richard Provenzano, Eric Herrington, Rodney Peters and Adam Piedmont who is back from Iraq. Also honored were Lt. David Barrancotta, Det. Lt. John Yotter, Det. Kevin Schrader, Det. Travis Mapes, Lt. Wentland and K-9 officer Steve Ritchie,
Meritorious awards: Det. Kevin Schrader, Lt. Brian Wentland, Lt. Douglas Haak, Det. Travis Mapes, Officers Adam Piedmont, Aric Morgan, Kevin Lucinski and Rodney Peters.
Letters of Recognition: Officer Greg Chambers, Dennis Sobieraski, Steve Ritchie, Aric Morgan, Julie Rohde, Anthony Pittman, Rick Provenzano, John Nolan, Matthew Streckewald and Det. Kevin Schader and Lt. David Barrancotta.
LOCKPORT — By Bill Wolcott
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