Pennsylvania State Police 'Cold Case' Team, Hero Troopers Receive Governor's Awards for Excellence

Harrisburg, PA – Colonel Christopher Paris, Commissioner of the Pennsylvania State Police, today commended four personnel dedicated to solving "cold cases" and three troopers who heroically stopped an active shooter after all received recognition for their exemplary actions as recipients of the Governor's Awards for Excellence.

Recipients of the distinguished awards include Corporal Todd McCurdy, Trooper Jeffrey Baney, Teddi Hesser, and Amy Lynn Kreiger of the Criminal Investigation Assessment Unit and Trooper Brent Beaver, Trooper Joseph Burke, and Trooper Thomas Butch, assigned to Troop N, Bloomsburg.

"It is an honor to serve with these women and men, Colonel Paris said. "Their actions were not in self-interest but rather the result of their commitment to providing the finest and most competent police service to the people of Pennsylvania."

The Criminal Investigation Assessment Unit pursues the resolution of unsolved homicide, missing persons, and violent crime investigations. In 2022, the team proposed and initiated in-house forensic genetic genealogy research as a cost-saving measure. Two personnel attained certification and soon identified human remains from a 2016 investigation, bringing closure to the missing person's family. Without this team taking up the case, it likely would have remained unsolved for some time due to outside research costs.

"No state police agency in the northeast United States has previously utilized existing staff to conduct forensic genetic genealogy research," Colonel Paris said. "This historical moment in the 118-year history of the State Police brought closure for the family, accolades to the Department, and confidence to citizens that missing loved ones will not be forgotten."

Troopers Beaver, Burke, and Butch displayed exceptional bravery by placing themselves in harm's way without hesitation, despite the danger of a gunman intent on violence. After fatally shooting three people last November, the actor fired at homes and moving vehicles with a semiautomatic rifle. He shot at the troopers and was fatally struck when the troopers returned fire.

"If not for the heroic actions of these troopers, the shooter surely would have continued his deadly rampage and taken more innocent lives," Colonel Paris said. "Rather than swerve from the path of duty, they acted courageously and selflessly. They are a testament to the professionalism of the Pennsylvania State Police."

The Governor's Awards for Excellence recognize commonwealth employees for exemplary job performance or service that reflects initiative, leadership, innovation and/or increased efficiency. A total of 54 employees from eight agencies received awards for accomplishments in 2022.

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Media Contacts

Adam Reed

State Police Media

Myles Snyder

State Police Media