Whitehall detective honored with award
A recently retired Lehigh County chief of police and a detective with Whitehall Police Department, assigned to Lehigh County Drug Task Force and commander of the Lehigh County Municipal Emergency Response Team (MERT), received awards for exemplary service at a luncheon of the Lehigh County Chiefs of Police Association at DeSales University, Center Valley, Nov. 14.
Whitehall Township Chief of Police Michael J. Marks gave a presentation on Det. Andrew M. Artim Jr. and accepted the Police Officer of the Year Award on his behalf. Artim, commander of MERT, was unable to be present at the event.
Artim began his career in law enforcement with Whitehall Police Department in 1988 as a patrol officer. He was nominated for the award by Marks. He became a field training officer in 1991. In 1992, he was transferred to the then newly formed Lehigh County Drug Task Force and became its acting commander in 2001. In the course of Artim’s vice career, he either has been directly responsible for or assisted with the seizure of hundreds of thousands of dollars worth of illegal narcotics and property as well as hundreds of firearms that were taken from criminals.
Artim was a founding member of the Whitehall Township Emergency Response Team, which was formed in 1996. In 2002, he became a founding member of the Lehigh County MERT, becoming its commander in 2012. As the MERT commander, Artim has emphasized purpose-built training and the adoption of proven methods that have enhanced its role as a specialized tactical team.
Artim has received nine official commendations for merit and investigations from Whitehall Township, the City of Allentown and the Lehigh County District Attorney.
“Det. Artim is the consummate law enforcement professional. His character and integrity are beyond reproach. He genuinely loves his job, and that is reflected in his ability to perform it so well. He has made the MERT a unified and effective group. Det. Artim justifiably takes great pride in the MERT and his accomplishments in making it one of the premiere emergency response teams in the state,” Marks said. “Lehigh County is fortunate to have his skill and expertise.”
Lehigh County District Attorney James B. Martin presented the 31st annual Col. John K. Schafer Memorial Award to former Upper Saucon Township Police Chief Robert Coyle.
The Schafer award is named in honor of a former Pennsylvania State Police commissioner who had a 23-year career with the state police, part of which was with Troop M, Bethlehem. Schafer rose through ranks of the state police to be appointed commissioner by Gov. Robert Casey in 1987. Sadly, his tenure was cut short by his death from cancer later that year.
Coyle received a Bachelor of Arts degree from LaSalle University and a master’s degree in business administration from Wilkes University. In addition, he earned a master’s degree in taxation from Philadelphia University.
He spent his entire law enforcement career with Upper Saucon Police Department (USPD). He began his tenure there in 1977, retiring Aug. 1, 2017. He became chief in 1991.
Coyle’s 26 years as chief saw not only exponential growth within the township but also within USPD. Under Coyle’s leadership, the department grew to a force of 21 members. He was instrumental in adding specialties such as a drug task force detective, the Drug Abuse Resistance Education (D.A.R.E.) program and a canine program to the department.
Coyle was responsible for the implementation of technology projects and related equipment within the department. Under his tenure as chief, he oversaw the department’s transition to computerized records management. As part of that project, he coordinated the development of specifications for all hardware and software to facilitate the conversion.
Coyle was not only active in Upper Saucon Township, but also within the Lehigh County law enforcement community. He was member of the MERT Oversight Committee. He was also involved in the establishment of the CODY Records Management System for police departments in Lehigh County and was on the steering committee for the RIIC, which allows members of local law enforcement to share with and to gather information from other jurisdictions in Pennsylvania.
Martin said, “Chief Coyle’s 40-year career in Upper Saucon Township is one [that] shows not only his dedication to law enforcement but also to his community. He has been an outstanding public servant.”