Wyomissing is a safer place due to the combined efforts of the borough police crime prevention detail and their leader, Wyo. Police Chief Jeffrey R. Biehl.This fact was evidenced by Biehl receiving the prestigious Police Prevention Award for 2008, presented by the Pennsylvania Crime Control Department (PCCD) at the July 16 PA Chief of Police Association meeting in Lancaster.
Chief Biehl later talked about his award. "I was actually shocked I didn't the crime prevention team nominated me," he said, referring to Crime Investigator Courtney C. Garipoli, Officers Darin A. Anders, Barry W. Moyer and Thomas D. Endy.
"These are the guys that do the real work. I just facilitate the activities and coordinate the programs He said humbly.
Biehl has been a member of the Wyomissing Police Department since 1978, originally beginning as a crime prevention officer. He rose through the ranks as a criminal investigator, later as sergeant, next a lieutenant and finally as chief in 1996.
According to crime prevention unit member officer Thomas D. Endy, the chief has steadily emphasized the importance of crime prevention for the community of 11,500 residents through educational, crime prevention program and high-profile activities, utilizing the efforts of all 22 force members.
Criminal investigator and fellow prevention unit member Courtney Garipoli indicated it was the chief's strong leadership in community policing principles that led to WPD-CPU nominating Biehl.
Always working in the public's interest, Biehl has highlighted the advances in crime prevention through a variety of programs and public events and announcements, leading to "a noted reduction of crime" within the borough, said Endy.
Recently Endy wrote about Biehl's efforts over the years, "He recognizes that not only will crime prevention programs prevent crime, but fosters a healthy relationship with the community so when assistance is needed, they (Wyomissing area residents) will be willing to assist the police department in resolving not only crime but community issues."
From June 2007 to May 2008 alone, the chief was directly responsible for instituting 39 separate, documented programs dealing with crime prevention and improvement of police-community relations:
ˆ· Personally presented or arranged for other team members to give General safety/prevention messages to various community groups, including the Wyomissing School District, concerning personal safety, fraud prevention, aging issues, personal alarm procedures and playground and bicycle safety measures.
ˆ· Arranged for public tours of the police department.
ˆ· Bicycle registration for youngsters held at borough hall.
ˆ· Instituting crime scene i nvestigation patrol tactics.
ˆ· Coordinating several "Outreach events" such as Community Development Running club/Boy Scout Dinner.
ˆ· Conducting school evacuation drills and student feedback activities.
ˆ· Offering professional assessments to prevent break-ins and security breaches.
ˆ· Participating in live WEEU Radio Talk Show concerning Halloween and Trick-or Treat safety procedures for adults and children.
Additionally, Biehl is credited with assisting neighboring departments for National Night Out programs, namely Kid Card ID activities whereby youngsters are given picture identification cards, complete with personal information, designed to aid parent's in their own safety efforts.
Biehl also is known for consistently adjusting Wyomissing's prevention programs to account for the changes in crime trends and the community's current concerns by constantly updating the official website.
The chief also instituted an "adopt a hotel" program where department officers patrol the six hotels in the municipality encouraging residents to report suspicious activities before actual crimes are committed.
He has earmarked grant funds to combat underage drinking and budgeted money to purchase coloring books, key chains and magnates sporting the messages: "Proud to be Crime Free," "Police Officers are Our Friends" and "Community and Police Working Together to Stop Crime."
The unit testifies that Biehl demonstrates his dedication to crime prevention by volunteering to serve on the Board of Directors Crime Alert Berks, frequently dressing up in the alligator mascot costume to serve food at the non-profit organizations fundraisers.
In point of fact, at a recent Crime Alert Organization dinner and fundraiser, Beihl was recognized for his contribution to the Greater-Reading Area once again.
Frequently, chief Biehl serves as dispatcher for the 44 county police departments in order to share criminal intelligence, training and prevention procedures using mass-emails.
He even operates the crime prevention robot at county-wide events, coordinates the use of crime prevention equipment and Kid's Card Photographic machines for the Berks County Crime Prevention Officers Association.
As evidence of their esteem for chief Biehl, in the letter of nomination, officers in the prevention unit said they were proud to nominate Biehl for the award that he has earned several times over.