2002 Law Enforcement Officer of the Year
Andrew S. Knaub is a 20 year veteran with the Newberry Township Police Department where he is currently assigned as a patrol officer.
Officer Knaub served in the United States Army Military Police where he held the rank of Sergeant (E5). Officer Knaub's Law Enforcement experience includes serving with the Conewago Township Police Department and the Manchester Borough Police Department
In addition to his duties as patrol officer, Officer Knaub handles accident investigations and is a child safety seat restraint system specialist. Officer Knaub is a member of the Lewisberry and Newberry Fire Companies, FOP Lodge #73, the West Shore Police Association, Hawks Gun Club, Victory Athletic Association and the Sinnamahony Sportsman Association.
As a police officer, you are called to situations that are tragic; you see the worst side of things. Rarely do you know why someone is angry or depressed. You don't often have the opportunity to ask the questions that may give you a better way of dealing with a person's problem. A situation may require you to make a split-second decision that could affect not only the individual, but also his or her whole family.
On March 19, 2002 Officer Andrew Knaub was dispatched to an address on Reeser Hill Rd., for the report of a man threatening suicide. Officer Knaub was working the night shift alone, and did not have immediate backup. When he arrived at the home, he was faced with a man wielding a hunting knife. As Officer Knaub talked to the man, the subject continued to tell Knaub "he would kill himself." The man's spouse was present and continued to plead with him to put the knife down. Officer Knaub's repeated requests to drop the knife were ignored by the man, who said "he wanted to die". As the man walked toward Officer Knaub, he plunged the knife into his own chest. The man pulled the knife from his chest, and continued to walk toward Officer Knaub, saying the officer would have to kill him. Officer Knaub drew his gun and repeatedly ordered the man to put the knife down, but the man continued advancing. Officer Knaub used pepper spray on the advancing man. The pepper spray worked quickly, and the man fell to the ground, allowing Officer Knaub to disarm him.
Officer Knaub attended to the man's injuries, and escorted him to the waiting ambulance for transport to the hospital where he eventually recovered from his injuries. Officer Knaub would only learn later from the man's family members why he had attempted to take his own life.
Just two weeks prior to the March 19th incident Officer Knaub was called to a residence in Newberry Township for a toddler that had stopped breathing. Officer Knaub arrived, located the child and began CPR on the two-year-old. When medical personnel arrived, the child was placed in the ambulance, and Officer Knaub drove the ambulance, allowing EMS personnel to continue their efforts en route to the hospital. Despite their efforts, the child died.
It was this child's grandfather who two weeks later, overwhelmed with grief and depression, attempted to take his own life with a hunting knife, placing Officer Knaub in incredible personal danger.
Sergeant Snyder of Newberry Township Police Department in nominating Officer Knaub said; "I thought about these events and wondered how awful it would have been for this family to endure the death of a child and then followed by the death of his grandparent two weeks later. Andy is my co-worker, highly respected by his fellow officers and the community, he is a devoted husband and father, I am very proud to call him my friend."
Officer Knaub's actions saved the life of one man, while protecting an entire family and community from suffering even a greater tragedy.
Nominated by: John C. Snyder, Sergeant, Newberry Township Police Department
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