POUGHKEEPSIE – The City of Poughkeepsie Policemen’s Benevolent Association (PBA) honored several of its current and former members for exemplary work in the line of duty this week. This is the first time the awards dinner has been held since before the pandemic.
City of Poughkeepsie Police Chief Tom Pape addressed the men and women of his department and commended them for their dedication to the city, despite the political climate.
“I want you to think about what our community would look like without the officers who go out every day and do this job,” Pape said, adding, “People say that things are so bad, that there is so much violence, so many guns, and crime is out of control. Well think about what we would do without the men and women who serve this community each and every day – it’s horrifying to think about that.”
Officers Edwin Acken and Devon Zanin were both presented the Combat Cross award for an incident that occurred in November of 2020 when the two were attempting to interact with an emotionally disturbed man who was armed with a screwdriver. The man lunged at the officers and a struggle ensued. Acken was stabbed in the neck with the screwdriver before the man could be subdued. Acken was also honored with the Wounded in Combat citation.
“Our officers encounter deadly situations on a regular basis and perform admirably as they work to keep the city safe,” said PBA President Kevin VanWagner, adding “I am honored to work with such highly-trained men and women that are dedicated to keeping people safe.”
PBA Vice-president, Detective Robert Stecher, the emcee for the event said “We have honored 47 officers for a variety of accomplishments including saving lives and performing exceptional police work, for incidents they encountered in 2019 and 2020, but in reality, every officer in Poughkeepsie deserves to be commended for the work they do.”