COATESVILLE >> A Pennsylvania State Police trooper with close ties to the Coatesville area community was recognized for her service, at Monday night’s City Council meeting.
Waleska Gonzalez, who had served as a community service officer in Chester County but recently transferred to the state police Philadelphia barracks for a promotion, was lauded by fellow law enforcement officers, state legislators and community members for helping residents of Chester County.
Coatesville Police Chief Jack Laufer mentioned that Laurie Shannon-Bailey, a Coatesville community activist, had reached out to him about a plan to publicly recognize and thank Gonzalez.
Laufer noted that he had the opportunity to work with Gonzalez on community projects, and she was instrumental to projects in the City of Coatesville and the surrounding area.
Laufer congratulated Gonzalez on her promotion to corporal and transfer to Philadelphia, but said it was unfortunate she had to leave Chester County.
“It’s Philadelphia County’s gain and our loss here in Chester County,” he said.
State police Major Maurice Tomlinson, who had been Gonzalez’s supervisor at the Lancaster barracks, also spoke highly of Gonzalez, and thanked her for her dedication to each community she has served.
Laufer presented Gonzalez with a plaque on behalf of the Coatesville Police Department in recognition of her service to the community, and a “You Make a Difference” letter from the city.
“Corporal Gonzalez, the City of Coatesville would like to take the opportunity to recognize your years of service to the residents of the city and greater Coatesville area,” the letter read.
The letter also thanked Gonzalez for providing extraordinary services to local residents and acting as a role model to many children in the area.
Shannon-Bailey presented Gonzalez with a citation from the office of state Sen. Andy Dinniman, D-19.
“You are being recognized by the City of Coatesville Police Department and the Pennsylvania State Police because of your record of service to the Coatesville community and for the inspiration you provide to others,” the citation read. “By doing so, you have brought pride to your family, to your friends and to the citizens of Chester County.”
Shannon-Bailey also read from the plaque presented to Gonzalez: “The citizens of Coatesville acknowledge and celebrate your dedication to our community. We thank you for your commitment to public service, your efforts to prevent tragedy, and your contributions to the development of sustainable relationships between community and law enforcement.”
Andrea Keenan presented Gonzalez with a citation from the office of state Rep. Harry Lewis Jr., R-74.
Coatesville City Councilman Donald Folks told Gonzalez she’s a class act, and thanked her for being a role model to local kids. “Don’t be a stranger; come back and see us,” he said.
Council Vice President Carmen Green said it was a breath of fresh air to see Gonzalez being recognized in a positive light, given today’s climate with negativity toward police. It’s nice to have good relations between police and the community, she added.
Council President Linda Lavender-Norris said it was a pleasure having Gonzalez in the Coatesville community, and her service is much appreciated. “Coatesville is better for your presence,” she said. “Consider this home.”