O.T.P.D. adds 3 full-time officers

Three part-time police officers officially became full-time members of the Ohio Township Police Department Monday. Pictured in the front row, from left, are officers Kevin Friess, Barry Bissiere and Michael Weaver. In back are supervisors Herb Hartle, Jim Reid and Tom Beatty, and Police Chief Joe Hanny. Photo by Connie Rankin for The Citizen

Ohio Township has added three full-time officers to its police department, all of them serving until now as part-time officers with the department.

Barry Bissiere, Michael Weaver and Kevin Friess were introduced at the township supervisors’ meeting Monday night, and each received a new badge reflecting their full-time status from one of the supervisors.

Bissiere began employment with Ohio Township in 2016 and was assigned to the patrol division. He served as an airman in The Pennsylvania Air National Guard and was deployed overseas several times, including as part of Operation Inherent Resolve. Bissiere attended Indiana University of Pennsylvania, where he successfully completed all certifications to become a municipal police officer in Pennsylvania.

Weaver is a lifelong resident of Ohio Township. He is well known throughout his neighborhood for shoveling snow covered driveways for his elderly neighbors in the wintertime. Weaver was first assigned to the patrol division in 2017 after graduating magna cum laude from LaRoche University with a degree in criminal justice. He also has graduated from the Allegheny County Police Academy in North Park. Weaver will be transferring from the patrol division to The Avonworth School District as a school resource officer.

Friess grew up in Hampton Township, and currently resides nearby with his wife and children. He has a criminal justice degree is a combat veteran, having served in the United States Marine Corps. His military service led to several deployments in support of Operation Iraqi Freedom. Friess began his employment with Ohio Township in 2016 while working as a police officer for the United States Veteran’s Affairs Police. He continued to do so during his tenure with Ohio Township, where he was employed part-time in the patrol division.

In a statement from the Ohio Township Police Department, it was noted that “these officers have shown such desire to serve with honor and integrity” and have gone above and beyond the basic duties of their positions.

Bissiere became a local celebrity after he saved a dog he saw stranded and struggling in a swimming pool. He later was observed changing a tire by himself for a widowed motorist who was stranded during inclement weather.

Weaver was one of two officers who learned of a family who was going through financial difficulty last Christmas and organized a toy drive. They solicited donations and worked on their own time to provide Christmas presents for the young family, as well as new bedding, furniture, and beds for the kids to sleep in.

Friess discovered a man believed to be trafficking a large amount of heroin and cocaine through one of the neighborhoods covered by Ohio Township Police. The suspect was a convicted felon and in possession of a stolen firearm. Friess obtained numerous search warrants and worked tirelessly with the United States Attorney’s Office to obtain a federal indictment of this individual.

“These are just several examples of the traits of not only these officers, but all the police officers employed by Ohio Township Police. Ohio Township Police have congratulated these officers on their latest professional developments and hope you do as well.”