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Wounded Lower Swatara police officer and his partner honored by Rep. Mehaffie, DA Chardo

By Laura Hayes

laurahayes@pressandjournal.com

717-944-4628
Posted 1/16/20

The two Lower Swatara Township police officers who responded to a domestic incident during which Officer Timothy Shea was shot were honored by state Rep. Tom Mehaffie and Dauphin County District …

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Wounded Lower Swatara police officer and his partner honored by Rep. Mehaffie, DA Chardo

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The two Lower Swatara Township police officers who responded to a domestic incident during which Officer Timothy Shea was shot were honored by state Rep. Tom Mehaffie and Dauphin County District Attorney Fran Chardo during the Jan. 15 Board of Commissioners meeting.

“I don’t think words can really describe it. We’re just doing our job, but at the same time we’re glad that we’re being recognized and for the support from the community,” the other officer, Josh Malott, said in an interview.

Chardo awarded them the District Attorney’s Medal of Valor, which he said is the highest award his office bestows on law enforcement officers.

On Oct. 14, the pair responded to a home in the 100 block of Bentley Lane in the Swatara Shores trailer park.

The ex-boyfriend of the resident, Andrew Changhan Park, 48, of Mechanicsburg, allegedly shot Shea during a brief confrontation.

Park was scheduled for plea court Tuesday but the case was continued.

Shea was struck in the right leg and applied a tourniquet to himself. The two officers and the women in the home were able to get out, and Park became barricaded himself inside for several hours until he surrendered.

Shea returned to the force in December. He said it’s like he never left, but the bond between the two of them is stronger, they said.

“It was true heroism what they did in responding to what appeared to be a routine burglary call,” Chardo said.

Mehaffie, R-Lower Swatara Township, presented the officers with certificates from the state House of Representatives and flags that flew over the capital.

“You can’t really give enough and say enough how wonderful they did in saving that young lady’s life,” Mehaffie said.

Chardo said his office consults with a committee made up of distinguished law enforcement officers and police chiefs about the award he presented.

“It was unanimous in their judgement that these two officers deserved the district attorney’s highest award, the Medal of Valor, for their conduct on Oct. 14, 2019, as Rep. Mehaffie said, in saving this woman’s life and in putting their own lives at risk in so doing,” Chardo said.

They exposed themselves to gunfire. Malott put his own body in front of Shea’s as they got out of the house, and Shea got the woman to safety, Chardo said.

“It was true heroism, and they both deserve this honor,” Chardo said.

Board President Jon Wilt said the honors the pair received from Mehaffie and Chardo and from others over the past several months were “well-deserved.”

In an interview after, Chardo called their actions “incredible acts of valor.” The pair exemplify the incredible officers in the community, Chardo said.

“But what they did on that evening, though, went above and beyond anything that we see on a day-to-day basis,” Chardo said.

The Lower Swatara Fire Department filled the meeting room to support their “brothers in blue,” Lower Swatara Fire Chief John Weikle said.

“We really respect the job they do, and they assist us and we assist them. So we consider them brothers just like the police department would,” Weikle said.

After they were presented with the awards, Shea and Malott thanked Mehaffie and Chardo.

“There’s nothing we can really say to show our gratitude for these. We’re just here doing our job, so thank you very much,” Shea said during the meeting.

Malott also thanked the community and their families for their support.

“It’s been a huge help through everything. I’m glad it turned out the way that it did,” Malott said.

Shea, who started with the department in January 2018, was unanimously promoted from a probationary officer later in the meeting along with Officer Derek Weinoldt.