Hyland, Murtagh named Chesco law enforcement officers of the year

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WEST CHESTER — Chester County District Attorney Tom Hogan was joined by law      enforcement from around Chester County on Friday for the annual law enforcement officer of the year awards ceremony (the “LEO Award”). The LEO Award is presented to the most outstanding law enforcement officer in Chester County every year. The ceremony this year was in Courtroom 1 of the Chester County Justice Center.

This year’s LEO Award recipients were Tom Hyland and Ryan Murtagh.

Hyland works for the Phoenixville Police Department. Murtagh works for the Parkesburg Police Department and the Downingtown Police Department.

Hyland and Murtagh received the LEO Award for outstanding work in fighting the heroin and opioid crisis. They were part of the team that led Operation Wildfire in Chester County, a targeted law enforcement sweep that arrested over 40 heroin/opioid dealers throughout the county. Hyland and Murtagh, with the backing of their police chiefs, then continued their partnership, working with law enforcement throughout Chester County to attack the opioid epidemic.

“Tom Hyland and Ryan Murtagh are well­ deserving of the LEO Award,” Hogan sad in presenting the award. “Their hard work, team work, and relentless intensity make them model police officers. They are a credit to their police departments and Chester County law enforcement.”

Other awards were presented during the ceremony.

Detective Jim Ciliberto was named Chester County Detective of the Year.

Detective Ciliberto, a veteran investigator for the Pennsylvania State Police before he joined the Chester County Detectives, was the lead investigator in the Scotty McMillan murder case, where a three year old toddler was beaten to death by his mother’s boyfriend and his mother. Detective Ciliberto also has been a key investigator in multiple other child abuse cases and adult homicide cases.

Deputy District Attorney Erik Walschburger was named Prosecutor of the Year. Walschburger is the prosecutor in charge of all diversionary programs in Chester County, including Drug Court, Accelerated Rehabilitative Disposition, Mental Health Court, and Veteran’s Court. Walschburger was praised for his commitment, expertise, and compassion in handling these diversionary programs.

The West Chester Fire Department (“WCFD”) received a special District Attorney’s Commendation for their work in responding to the Barclay Friends fire. WCFD firefighters responded to the blaze on November 16 and were part of the team that saved 133 residents from the deadly fire. WCFD is comprised of three volunteer fire companies: Fame Fire Company, Good Will Fire Company, and First West Chester Fire Company. Former WCFD Chief Mike McDonald and current WCFD Chief Jonathan Stafford accepted the commendation on behalf of all of the responding firefighters.

“The firefighters, police officers, and other first responders who risked their lives to save the Barclay Friends residents from this fire showed the highest degree of heroism,” Hogan said. “We all appreciate their professionalism and bravery. It is even more impressive that they are allvolunteer fire companies, doing this work solely for the reward of protecting Chester County.”

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