Bethlehem Press

Tuesday, October 24, 2017
5969 - The Nathan Ogden award, established in 2002, is for a police officer who distinguishes himself and his profession. (This can go with sidebar Previous Nathan Ogden Award winners) 5969 - The Nathan Ogden award, established in 2002, is for a police officer who distinguishes himself and his profession. (This can go with sidebar Previous Nathan Ogden Award winners)
PRESS PHOTO BY BERNIE O’HAREChief Guy Lesser watches as CPL Chris Leidy accepts award. PRESS PHOTO BY BERNIE O’HAREChief Guy Lesser watches as CPL Chris Leidy accepts award.

Officer recieves nathan Ogden award

Monday, July 3, 2017 by Bernie O’Hare Special to the Bethlehem Press in Local News

In 1771, Northampton County Deputy Sheriff Nathan Ogden was killed while attempting to execute an arrest warrant. He is the first known law enforcement officer to make the ultimate sacrifice for his community in America. Unfortunately, many others have followed. Last year alone, 134 police officers died in the line of duty. In memory of Nathan Ogden and his fallen comrades, the Northampton County Chiefs of Police Association established an annual award in 2002 for a police officer who distinguishes himself and his profession. This year’s recipient is Detective Chris Leidy of the Lower Saucon police department.

Larry Palmer, Police Chief in Palmer Township and president of the Northampton County Police Chief’s association, presented the award. The costs associated with this statue are paid by Bill Hillanbrand of Northampton County Emergency Management Services.

Lower Saucon Police Chief Guy Lesser explained why Leidy, who was first hired in 1999 as a part-time police officer, deserved this award.

Leidy first began to stand out when he broke up a criminal mischief ring involving 13 juveniles Chief Lesser noticed there were no citizen complaints following matters he investigated. Leidy is also responsible for the Township’s first K-9 unit and for leading the way to getting the police department accredited.

But the one word that best describes this soft spoken officer is persistence. It is Leidy who spearheaded what ultimately became a grand jury investigation into a home invasion. That eventually led to David Bermudez. He was later determined to be involved in and charged with several robberies. He’s currently doing 10 years.

That same persistence is on display in a five-year investigation of an armed robbery that resulted in a Florida arrest.

Leidy called the award a “great honor” and said he is “proud to represent Lower Saucon.” He is also credited Chief Lesser for having confidence in him and encouraging him.

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

2015 - Sgt. George Volpe, Northampton County Sheriff’s Department

2016 - Sgt.Michael Melinsky, Colonial Regional Police Department