Patrolman Daniel Kienle, a rookie Lower Pottsgrove (PA) Township police officer who his chief said handled himself like a veteran, last night (Oct. 6, 2008) was honored as the department’s “Officer Of The Year.”
Chief Michael Shade presented Kienle, whose first job as a patrolman is in Lower Pottsgrove’s ranks, with an award statuette during the township Board of Commissioners’ meeting. Kienle’s fellow officers selected him as the department’s best, Shade said, because of his actions in helping to apprehend a homicide suspect last January.
Kienle, who at the time had been a township patrolman for only six months, responded to a Pottstown Police Department call to be on the lookout for a vehicle being driven by a homicide suspect. Kienle thought he had seen the described vehicle before, during routine patrols, Shade said, and drove his cruiser over to Woodmere Road on the township’s east side. Kienle found the vehicle there at a residence, and called for backup.
“There was a little bit of danger there,” Shade said last night, because the victim and others began exiting the home as Kienle and other officers circled the property. Ultimately, Shade said, the suspect was taken into custody, and Kienle “was the one who handcuffed the guy.” A trial on the homicide charges is scheduled to be held within weeks, Shade added.
A quiet but broadly smiling Kienle was applauded by family, friends, commissioners and a small board meeting audience as the presentation was made. Commissioners afterward eagerly reached to shake the patrolman’s hand. His bronze-colored statuette depicts a standing policeman on duty in uniform and cap, with his right hand on his gun holster and his left hand holding a portable radio to his ear. Its base bears the image of an American eagle.
Shade began the Officer Of The Year program in 2005, board member Stephen Klotz said later. Kienle’s selection by his colleages, Klotz added, “shows (the township) is on the right track. We’re hiring the right kind of officers.”
Related (from the Oct. 6, 2008, Lower Pottsgrove Commissioners’ meeting):