Munhall police officer honored for 'hardworking' dedication to job
Munhall officer Jamie Caterino's dedication to the force and the borough he helps protect is unequaled, said police Chief Pat Campbell.
“He's the most hardworking person I've ever met in my life,” Campbell said during a recent borough council meeting. “He's the most loyal person I've ever met. He's a good cop and he's a great friend.”
Caterino was given an award from the chief and Mayor Raymond Bodnar for his efforts in recent investigations as well as his overall performance.
“I wish I had about 15 more Jamie Caterinos,” Bodnar said. “You wouldn't have any drug problem. I mean that. I have to chase him out of the borough building half the time. This guy right here, he's No. 1 in my book.”
“This is the culmination of a lot of different things,” Campbell said. “Dozens upon dozens of search warrants that detective Jamie Caterino's generated over the last few years. Felony arrests, probably more than any other officer in the county. Three things in the past few months have really stood apart.”
• Caterino was the initiating officer investigating a Steel Valley area heroin-trafficking ring.
Federal, state and local law enforcement officials unsealed the indictments of 34 people allegedly involved with the drug activity in March.
• He also was quick to respond to the fatal shooting of John Sumpter IV, 32, of Pittsburgh near Club Pink in Munhall on March 3.
Caterino was parked behind the business surveilling a suspect from the federal drug case when shots rang out.
He and other officers arrested Paul Barone, 23, of Munhall.
Barone is charged with homicide and a weapons violation in connection with that incident. Those charges were held for court at a preliminary hearing on Friday at Pittsburgh Municipal Court.
• Caterino was able to negotiate 41-year-old Anthony Scholl's surrender on March 28 during a standoff.
Scholl is accused of killing his mother, Bernadette Scholl, 74, of Munhall in her home in the Munhall-Housing Association at Longfellow Drive.
Anthony Scholl was remanded to Allegheny County Jail. He is charged with homicide and weapons violations. Investigators recovered numerous firearms from the room where he was barricaded.
A preliminary hearing in the case is scheduled for July 26 at 8:30 a.m. at Pittsburgh Municipal Court. Scholl was denied bail.
Allegheny County Police assistant Superintendent James Morton lauded Munhall police's efforts at the scene.
Campbell said other officers will be recognized later this year for their roles in the Club Pink incident and the standoff.
Caterino was humble in accepting the award.
“I wouldn't want to work for another mayor or chief,” he said. “Thanks a lot. I appreciate it.”
Caterino was not the only person honored for public service.
Resident Brian Davis presented Bodnar with a certificate from state Rep. Marc Gergely, D-White Oak, in recognition of the mayor's 43 years of public service.
Bodnar served on council from 1972-87 when he was appointed mayor. Bodnar replaced William W. Knight, who died on Feb. 1, 1987, after serving as mayor for more than 30 years.
Bodnar, who served in the Army and fought in the Korean War, is the current president of Steel Valley Council of Governments.
“As our mayor, he has gone above and beyond the call of duty,” Davis said. “Applying for grants for our community, supporting local churches, youth groups, youth organizations as well as sponsoring and coaching youth baseball.”
Davis went on to highlight numerous activities Bodnar's been involved in, including Memorial Day events.
Davis called for the renaming of a street or park in Bodnar's honor.
“We do need to get something together,” council vice president Rob Falce added.
The mayor was surprised to receive the recognition.
“He did such a nice job of presenting and making his point,” Bodnar said after the meeting. “I really appreciated it. It touches my heart a little bit.”
Michael DiVittorio is a staff writer for Trib Total Media. He can be reached at 412-664-9161, ext. 1965, or firstname.lastname@example.org.