Promotions, new cops, accolades at York City Police ceremony

Liz Evans Scolforo
York Dispatch

The York City Police Department's 2017 officer of the year, Sgt. Timothy Clymer, possesses what his chief called an unstoppable work ethic.

York City Police Chief Troy Bankert said Clymer was honored for his work last year as a patrol officer, a field-training officer for rookies and as an authority on drunken and drugged driving.

York City Police Officer of the Year Timothy Clymer is kissed by his wife Molly Ann who holds their son, Liam, 18-months, after Clymer accepted the honor during a police ceremony at York City Hall Monday, June 11, 2018. Bill Kalina photo

At a promotions and award ceremony on Monday, June 11, the chief praised Clymer's "exceptional diligence" and noted that his patrol statistics, which includes arrests, are "demonstrably superior to (those of) his peers."

The 32-year-old, who was hired as a city officer in January 2009, was promoted to sergeant in May 2018 and is still undergoing training for the position, he said.

Born in Hackettstown, New Jersey, and raised in State College, Clymer said he enjoys going to work every day, whether that's helping people or teaching younger officers.

Clymer said he hopes to be an inspiration for younger officers.

He said his parents, grandparents and wife all share the same diligent work ethic.

"I'm proud of the work I've done," he said, adding it's satisfying to make "even a small difference in someone's life."

His wife, Molly Clymer, and their 18-month-old son, Liam, attended Monday's ceremony. She stood by Clymer's side as he accepted the honor, and he held Liam in his arms.

Clymer said he will be a patrol supervisor on the 7 a.m. to 7 p.m. shift.

Made uncle proud: Monday's York City ceremony was the second one attended by David Baez Jr. — one of 10 new probationary officers sworn in Monday. They must graduate from HACC's police academy, then undergo 20 weeks of field training before their work begins in earnest.

Bankert said two more new officers are being hired as well, bringing the number of uniformed officers to 105.

Baez, 26, was just a kid in September 2000 when he watched proudly as his uncle, longtime York City Detective Andy Baez, was sworn in.

Afterward, he hugged his uncle in an emotional moment caught by a York Dispatch photographer.

At left, York City Detective Andy Baez is hugged by nephew David Baez Jr.  at the detective's September 2000 swearing-in ceremony. On Monday, June 11, 2018, the detective watched proudly as his nephew, now 26, took the officer's oath to become a York City police officer.

On Monday, it was Detective Baez's turn to watch with pride as his nephew took the officer's oath to protect the community and defend the Constitution.

David Baez said he's been thinking about being a police officer for years, primarily because of his uncle.

The younger Baez, who was born and raised in York, said he was able to spend time observing his uncle and other detectives during his internship with the York City Police Department.

"Maybe eventually I'll have his desk," David Baez said with a grin.

Trio of promotions: Matt Leitzel, a lieutenant who was made acting captain when Bankert was promoted to interim chief, was officially promoted to captain Monday as wife Heather Leitzel and sons Tyler, 12, and Brandon, 16, surrounded him.

York City Police Chief Troy Bankert is outfitted with upgraded bars by his wife Mary and mother Donna, right, during a police ceremony at York City Hall Monday, June 11, 2018. Bankert accepted the honor during the ceremony. Bill Kalina photo

Sgt. Rob Goshen was promoted to lieutenant while standing next to his wife, Tracey Goshen.

And Chief Troy Bankert took the oath of office as well, marking his permanency as chief in York City Mayor Michael Helfrich's administration.

"It's important for the chief and the mayor to be completely honest with each other," Bankert said, whether they agree or not. And he said he and Helfrich have that kind of honest relationship.

The new officers: In addition to David Baez Jr., nine other officers took the oath of office Monday. They were: 

Terrence Bradshaw, 40, was born and raised in Baltimore City. He enlisted in the Army at 23 and was promoted to sergeant before being deployed to Iraq. Since then, Bradshaw has worked security jobs for the federal government and has served in the Army Reserve for 17 years.

Ross Casteel, 30, was born in Germany and raised in Maryland. He joined the Army at 17 and was deployed to Afghanistan. Casteel has been a paramedic in the York area for the past six years and is one semester away from completing his bachelor's degree in homeland security.

Probationary police officers await the swearing-in ceremony at York City Hall Monday, June 11, 2018. Ten officers were sworn-in. Bill Kalina photo

Andrew Groh, 23, was born in Maryland and raised in York County. A 2012 graduate of the York County School of Technology, Groh is an Army veteran who did a tour in Afghanistan in 2014.

Joel Lawrence, 23, is a graduate of Eastern York High School and currently serves in the Army Reserves as a communications specialist. Unlike most of his fellow rookies, Lawrence has already enrolled in the HACC police academy and will graduate June 25, according to city officials.

More:York City's police chief promises tenacity, vigilance, adaptability

Alexander Nova, 29, hails from Miami, Florida. He served six years in the Air Force Reserve, during which time he was involved in Operation Noble Eagle, "which he can't tell me anything about," Helfrich said. Nova has a bachelor's degree in criminology from Mount Saint Mary College.

Sarah Myers, 30, grew up in Spring Grove and received a bachelor's degree in athletic training from Messiah College in 2010. She spent seven years working for WellSpan Health before deciding to become a police officer.

Tyler Benton, 26, was born in Towson, Maryland, but spent most of his life in York. A 2010 Central York High School graduate, he studied criminal justice at Bloomsburg University and spent six years as an infantryman in the Pennsylvania Army National Guard.

Ryan Rhodes, 41, is originally from the Hanover area and graduated from New Oxford High School in 1995.

Griffin Jackson, 26, grew up in Youngsville, Warren County. He spent six years in the Army National Guard and received a bachelor's degree in criminal justice from the University of Pittsburgh at Bradford.

"Is that a good-looking team or what?" the mayor asked.

— Reach Liz Evans Scolforo at or on Twitter at @LizScolforoYD.