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Family’s Memorial Gift Secures Officers’ Safety

A photo of Sandra Babel accompanied items purchased with her estate gift to benefit township police

A financial donation buys police body armor and more

LOWER POTTSGROVE PA – A $15,000 gift to the Lower Pottsgrove Police Department, presented in memory of a daughter and sister of a life-long township family, has helped purchase “active shooter kits” containing hard body armor, carriers, and trauma and ammunition packs to outfit every one of 13 vehicles in the department’s fleet. The township’s police chief said the memorial would help protect his officers in the woman’s “eternal life.”

The gift also includes two ballistic shields. All the equipment was officially put into service Thursday (Dec. 21, 2017).

Family's Memorial Gift Secures Officers' Safety

Chief Michael Foltz displays one of the equipment items purchased with the Babel family donation, as township Solicitor Charles Garner Jr. looks on.

The  occasionally tearful presentation ceremony by the family of the late Sandra Babel occurred during the Board of Commissioners’ Thursday night meeting. Babel, a 1986 graduate of Pottsgrove High School, died of medical complications in September 2014. She is the daughter of township Fire Marshal Lew Babel and wife Marie, the sister of Christine Babel, and was a personal friend of fellow classmate and Police Chief Michael Foltz.

The Babel family attended the ceremony but asked not to be photographed, a request honored by The Post and other media outlets.

The financial gift, provided from proceeds of Sandra Babel’s estate, reflected what the family said would have been her desire “to protect the police officers who are sworn to care for the citizens of this great community where she grew up.” Each of the protective vests and other worn items it purchased is marked by a small patch, designed by police department Administrative Assistant Jen Griffith, “in remembrance of Sandra,” the chief said. The personalization was handled by the equipment vendor, The Officer Store of Coatesville.

Three rows of guest chairs in the board conference room were filled by police officers and all four of the department’s patrol team sergeants. Several publicly offered their thanks and gratitude to the family. Commissioners also spoke their thanks, and said they were impressed by the family’s efforts to “stand up for” police officers at a time when public criticism of some law enforcement agencies has increased.

Family's Memorial Gift Secures Officers' Safety

Department police officers and sergeants attending the presentation filled three rows of seats

Sandra Babel, a volunteer in local activities and charities

Babel, who was born and raised in the township, was a volunteer in the Sanatoga Fire Company, and also in the Lower Pottsgrove Historical Society. She supported a variety of charities, with both volunteer time and financial support, in the Chester Springs area to which she later moved. Her family described her as “an exquisite cross-stitcher and jewelry designer” who frequently donated pieces to charities’ silent auctions.

She graduated magna cum laude with a bachelor’s degree in accounting, and a minor in finance, from Immaculata College.  She also was a member of the Sigma Beta Delta Honor Society.

Babel worked for Jones Motor Corp, after graduating high school, and later landed a career with SMS Corp. From there she “climbed the ladder,” Foltz said, to a senior management position at Siemens Corp., which she held at the time of her death.

Family's Memorial Gift Secures Officers' Safety

Board of Commissioners’ Police Committee members Stephen Klotz, center, and Earl Swavely, right, joined Foltz for the presentation ceremony

Related (to the Lower Pottsgrove Board of Commissioners’ Dec. 21 meeting):

Photos by The Post Publications

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