Former McKeesport police Chief Tom Carter has received an award for outstanding performance in law enforcement.
Carter, who nowadays is a lieutenant with the Allegheny County Sheriff’s Office, was among more than two dozen law enforcement officers and agencies recognized Friday in Pittsburgh by Law Enforcement Agency Directors, or LEAD.
U.S. Attorney for the Western District of Pennsylvania David Hickton delivered the keynote address for the ceremony recognizing federal, state and local law enforcement.
Several Allegheny County police officers whose investigation of a drug trafficking ring led to numerous drug arrests in the City of Duquesne also received LEAD awards.
Carter, who joined the sheriff’s office in 2001, was recognized for reducing operating costs related to guarding hospitalized prisoners. Before Carter began examining and improving procedures, hospital overtime costs were in the neighborhood of $350,000 in 2008. Carter is credited with reducing costs by $150,000 in 2009.
“Basically, it’s budgeting and logistics,” said Carter of his success. “It involved a lot of teamwork and working with (Allegheny County Jail) deputy warden Lance Bohn at the jail. There used to be a lot less cooperation between the jail and the sheriff’s office.”
Allegheny County Sheriff William Mullen said, “It was through his tireless efforts that we were able to save $150,000 of the taxpayers’ money.”
Hickton had high praise for all the officers recognized at the event said collaboration between agencies is necessary to reduce crime and stop terrorism.
“We are in awe of the very great courage, commitment and selfless dedication of our award winners and their families,” he said.
Special recognition was given to all officers who’ve sacrificed their lives in the line of duty.
State Trooper Paul G. Richey, who was killed Jan. 13 while investigating a domestic disturbance in Cranberry Township, Venango County, was awarded one of the LEAD Awards posthumously.
Allegheny County police detectives Jonathan Love, Jaison Mikelonis, the late Don Stritmatter and police Sgt. Joseph Sotak were recognized for their work on an investigation into a heroin trafficking operation that had ties to New Jersey. Love and Mikelonis, in particular, were credited for working with Duquesne police for making numerous arrests in that city.
“This is indicative of what we do in Western Pennsylvania,” Allegheny County police superintendent Charles Moffatt said, referring to the coordinated effort between departments. “This was a long and involved operation that proved fruitful.”