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Nazareth, Pa., United States

Friday, June 12, 2009

Nazareth Police Officer Fred Lahovski: Our Very Own Robocop!

A few weeks ago, I emerged from my bunker after sunset to get a new keyboard for my computer. As I barrelled down a Nazareth street, I noticed flashing red and blue lights in my rear view mirror. They were coming for me!

"Bad boy, bad boy, what you gonna' do? What you gonna' do when they come for you?"

As luck would have it, I had a burnt out headlight. The officer gave me ten days to get it fixed instead of citing me. My brother popped in a new one later that week and I stopped by the Nazareth Police Department so they could check his handiwork.

The police officer who inspected my Jeep is Fred Lahovski. He's part of Nazareth's professional new police force, operating under the able supervision of Chief Michael Sinclair. I've seen Fred at both Nazareth block parties, where he makes it a point to say hello to everyone. But beneath this friendly and seemingly casual exterior is a very dedicated professional. He and other Nazareth cops have actually been working cases on their own time, something very unusual these days.

Lahovski is the cop who once stepped in front of a speeding vehicle to save a child from getting run over by a drunk driver during a block party. He's the officer who once tackled a 32-year-old man who sat with a gun pointed to his head for five hours, threatening to shoot himself. This ill man still shot himself, but it was nonfatal.

I've previously tried to get Lahovski to talk to me about the improvements I've seen in Nazareth, but he told me he is just part of a team. His opinion is that the entire Nazareth police department should be commended.

I'm always so busy snarking the bad guys that I never pay attention to the many dedicated public servants out there.

When I showed Lahovski my Jeep, he noticed a number of Stoffa campaign signs in my jeep. I was planting them all over the place at the time.

"Are those Stoffa signs?" he asked.

Uh oh.

I started sweating, worried he might be investigating the culprit who had been taping Stoffa signs to the hoods of their cruisers. But he let me slide. Instead, he frankly admitted he had some troubles of his own as a youth. Two people helped him to turn his life around - Barbara and John Stoffa. In fact, he even worked for them briefly.

On Sunday night, Lahovski was one of two officers who whisked a 9 year-old Nazareth boy to safety as that boy's distraught father fired on state troopers. We know one of these troopers is now dead. But Lahovski and another trooper saved a life that night. The life of a boy the same age as my grandson. The Express Times correctly called him a local hero.

Lahovski is our very own robocop, one of the good guys. They don't get enough credit.

36 comments:

Anonymous said...

Thank you Officer Lahovski!

Anonymous said...

Great story. Too bad you don't have a real picture of him.

Bernie O'Hare said...

Wish I could post one.

Anonymous said...

I love that you're breaking up your political posts with historical stuff and recognitions like this. It clears the palate between the LongDem Circus updates that make us all dizzy with frustration.

Bernie O'Hare said...

I criticized Bill White earlier today for spenmding thirty minutes of a live chat talking about Eddie Murphy's movie career. But I was wrong. Like you say, we do need to clear the palate now and again.

Anonymous said...

B.O.,

KUDOS to the officer and THIS story,

J. BLACK
www.5minutes2shine.blogspot.com

not so casual observer said...

BRAVO BERNIE Thanks for pointing out a great cop. All too often they are taken for granted or even vilified for doing their jobs.
God Bless and protect them! Daily they put their lives on the line for us, no matter the weather, the middle of the night, or the holiday they are on duty.

Anonymous said...

Bernie,
What a wonderful story. Thank you Officer Lahovski. Hero indeed!

A.J.C. said...

Nice post, Bernie.

Anonymous said...

Nazareth is very fortunate to have such a dedicated, heroic police officer. Officer Lahovski helps form the "thin blue line" that protects us and makes our communities safer.

Anonymous said...

Nice Bernie , and thank you Officer Lahovski- we all forget sometimes there are good guys out there, and we are all the better for it.

The Banker

Chris said...

Thanks for this Bernie. Fred is a great guy - I spoke with him briefly the other night in Tatamy after a meeting, shook his hand and thanked him for what he did this past weekend. I am very happy to know that he's out there looking out for our safety and well being.

Anonymous said...

I (heart) hotdog guy of Bethlehem!

Bernie O'Hare said...

Chris, You're lucky to Officer Lahovski in Tatamy, too. He stops in the cyber cafe there from time to time.

Anonymous said...

Thank you Officer Lahovski. You are appreciated.

Anonymous said...

Thanks for posting a "dog bites man" story about a good guy. We usually get the other kind from the MSM because of our appetite for the sensational. This dude is sensational.

May the fallen trooper RIP and his family and friends be comforted.

Anonymous said...

I happen to be very good friends with Officer Lahovski and have also worked with him on a professional basis catching bad guys.

There is no other person I know who is a better person, both on duty and off-duty. This guy would give you the shirt off his back if you needed it.

The residents of Nazareth and Tatamy as well as Wilson Boro should be very glad to have Fred working in their communities, I know I do.

I know I told you before but, thank you Fred for your service and going above and beyond.

Fred Schoenenberger
Constable, Wilson Boro

Anonymous said...

I have a question...... Why was a Tatamy officer involved in this incident??? If I have my geography correct there are two jurisdictions between Tatamy and Nazareth that were not involved, but those jurisdictions probably have policies that they follow. From what hear the Tatamy car is in Nazareth more than it is in Tatamy on most nights.

Anonymous said...

Wonder if he will get fired for not following policy for travelling so far out of hes juristidiction and leaving the nazareth area without his patrol?

Anonymous said...

Why is Stoffa mentioned? Is this another political ad for Stoffa? Can't you just give the guy a pat on the back without another "Stoffa saves the world" remark. Lighten up O'Hare, he won!

Give it a rest. Stoffa will not ascend on a cloud into Heaven for at least another four years.

Anonymous said...

four years? ill give him 2.

Bernie O'Hare said...

Give it a rest. The election is over. It's part of Lahovski's story.

Anonymous said...

I agree O'Hare give it a rest.

Bernie O'Hare said...

Anon 11:21, 1:33,

Officer Lahovski saved a 9 year old boy's life. Cut the petty bullshit. You only make yourseldf look badm, which is probably why you're anonymous.

Bernie O'Hare said...

Anon 10:02, I knew Lahovski was a very good cop last year and have been bugging him and his chief. When Officer Lahovski told me his story about Stoffa, it was during the election cycle. I kept it to myself bc I did not want to politicize his remarks. But now that the election is essentially over, i thought I'd share what he said.

Anonymous said...

In your story you forgot to mention why Officer Lahovski does not work in Bethlehem Township anymore, or Colonial Regional........

Bernie O'Hare said...

Some people are very jealous, even when a cop saves a boy's life. It's petty and mean-spirited nonsense.

Anonymous said...

Bernie,
What would your post have been if you had received a ticket instead of a warning? Have you actually been able to have a conversation with the chief? I hear he is unavailable to most citizens.

Anonymous said...

Bernard its not a petty thing. He might have helped save a life or maybe the opposite too. YOU JUST DONT KNOW. Check this guys background its not too pretty. So maybe one day you did run into him and he gave you a wink and it flattered you. This doesnt mean he walks on water. He was way out of his jurisdiction not following policy and then you praise it? THANK YOU ANONYMOUS

Bernie O'Hare said...

According to Tatamy's police chief, he was following their policy, and that's where he was workinmg at the time. Your attempts to slime a good man are what I've come to expect from anonymous cowards.

Anonymous said...

nice pic bern are you the one on all fours or the other guy?

Anonymous said...

"According to Tatamys chief, he was following policy"..... That because Tatamy doesnt have any policys.

Bernie O'Hare said...

First you claim Lahovski was failing to follow policy. Then you calim there is none.

He saved a 9 year old boy's life and you can go to hell.

Anonymous said...

awh bernard dont cry now. we are use to you being wrong its ok.

Anonymous said...

I know this is a post from a year ago but you write of a robocop! Isn't it true this man stops at nothing to get the bad guy? Even planting evidense?? So maybe these people aren't all bad they are just normal people that get a bad rap because they don't fit into his ideal way of thinking!Maybe you should do your homework and write about the villian he really is!!

Bernie O'Hare said...

Let's see. This guy risks his life to save a little boy. A few months before that, he pulled someone out of a burning building. And someone anonymously accuses him of planting evidence. Now what do you think I'm going to believe?