|Sheriff David Dalrymple with SGT George Volpe, the 2015 Nathan Ogden award winner|
|Larry Palmer, President of the NorCo Police Chiefs|
Association, congratulates SGT Volpe on the award.
You may think Deputy Sheriffs exist to serve court papers and provide courtroom security. That's certainly true, but they also track down fugitives. Techella Bellamy, a violent Crips street gang member, had escaped from a juvenile detention facility in New Jersey,and was believed to be hiding out somewhere in Easton. SGT George Volpe was asked to locate him.
Over the next ten months, Volpe and other Deputies used social media, confidential informants and law enforcement contacts to track Bellamy. In numerous raids, Volpe and police were able to arrest other Crips, including one wanted for murder. He seized drugs and weapons that included a machine gun. But Bellamy always eluded him. In one instance, he jumped out a window just as police arrived to set up a perimeter.
During this time, Bellamy had become a one-man crime wave. He become quite active as a carjacker and burglar. One woman reported that she attempted to pull him out of her car on Easton's 14th Street. Easton and Wilson Borough police then tied him to the shooting of two people in Wilson Borough. Volpe, Easton police, Wilson police and the U.S. Marshal's Violent Fugitive Taskforce intensified efforts and decided to hit two places at once, one at Washington Street in Easton and the other at Pawnee Street in Bethlehem. Though those raids were unsuccessful, SGT Volpe was given information that Bellamy was hiding out at an apartment in Phillipsburg. There he was found, tucked into an attic crawl space. Police also recovered a black handgun. Phillipsburg police indicated that there had been recent car thefts in that area, as well as a robbery by a person who matched Bellamy's description.
According to Sheriff David Dalrymple, himself a former Major in the New Jersey State Police, this was a critical arrest. Had Bellamy continued, "It is almost assured that additional lives in Northampton County would have been taken and innocent people, potentially including law enforcement officers, injured or killed." Dalrymple also credited a "true spirit of cooperation" that existed among the many law enforcement agencies who participated in apprehending an armed and dangerous criminal.
Echoing the Sheriff, SGT Volpe credited "everybody coming together."
"We got a guy off the street," he said simply.
Previous Nathan Ogden Award Winners:
2002 - Ptlm. Thomas Barndt, Lower Saucon Township
2003 - Ptlm. Ronald Jones, Lower Saucon Township
2004 - Det. Scott Lipare, Bethlehem Township
2005 - Ptlm. Jeff Johnston, Hellertown
2006 - Ptlm. Dean Wilson, Bethlehem Township
2007 - Ptlm. Anthony Marks, Bethlehem
2008 - Ptlm. Harry Wyant, Pen Argyl
2009 - Det. Daniel Reagan, Easton
2010 - Capt. George Boksan, Bethlehem Township
2011 - Det. James Smith, Bethlehem
2012 - Ptlm. Robert Lasso, Freemansburg
2013 - Ptlm. Steven Horvath, Pen Argyl
2014 - Sgt. Richard Blake, Bethlehem Township
|L to R: Chief Deputy Chris Zieger, Sheriff David Dalrymple, SGT|
David Volpe and Nathan Ogden historian Bill Hillanbrand