Responders Honored for Aiding West Penn Police Officer

First responders who came to the aid of a West Penn Police Officer were honored during a Patriot Day Ceremony Friday afternoon.

The service and bravery of West Penn Township Police Officer Melissa Ruch were praised by state and local officials on Patriot Day.

Senator David G. Argall (R-Schuylkill/Berks) and Representative Jerry Knowles (R-Berks/Carbon/Schuylkill) joined law enforcement officers of the West Penn Township Police Department, including Chief Brian Johnson, to honor the public service of Officer Ruch.

On September 2, Ruch was injured after an altercation with an individual while checking on a disabled vehicle. She was thrown down a 50-foot embankment where she was later discovered by EMS personnel after radioing for help.

“Fourteen years ago today, many first responders and members of the law enforcement community were called on to protect and save innocent lives during the worst international terrorist attack on U.S. soil,” Argall said. “We continue to call on these dedicated public servants every day. Nine days ago, Officer Ruch was called on to fulfill her duties and was involved in a heinous attack by an individual. Her incident serves as a constant reminder that men and women risk their lives to protect and serve our communities. We should treat every day like Patriot Day.”

“Many of us recognize the dangerous job that members of our law enforcement do,” Knowles said, who served as a police officer in Tamaqua. “If anything positive can come out of the tragic events on 9/11, it was that people appreciated and respected our first responders, police officers and servicemen and women. Recently, it seems that people are disrespecting those who serve and that’s unfortunate for our communities and our country.”

Also attending the event were officers of the West Penn Township Police Department, West Penn Township Supervisors, Representative Gary Day (R-Berks/Lehigh) and Schuylkill County Commissioner George Halcovage.
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