PHILADELPHIA – Francesco (Frank) McBride is the 2012 Amtrak Police Officer of the Year. Based in Philadelphia, Investigator McBride was assigned several high-profile cases, many of which involved the theft of copper wire from the Amtrak system. Copper wire theft can disrupt train operations and damage railroad systems, putting passenger and crew safety at risk.
Chief of Police Polly Hanson, Board of Directors Vice Chairman Jeffrey Moreland, and Safety, Security and Environmental Affairs Committee Chairman Albert DiClemente presented the award to Investigator McBride for his significant contributions to the Amtrak community, including the successful resolution of 52 cases assigned to him. Forty-eight of those cases resulted in arrest.
“Through his unwavering tenacity to carry an investigation through to the end, Investigator McBride continually contributes to employee and passenger safety and security,” said Chief Hanson. “Investigator McBride consistently demonstrates the qualities of an exemplary law enforcement officer and it is my honor to recognize him with this prestigious award.”
In one case, Investigator McBride conducted a check of several local scrap yards, searching through 5,000 pounds of copper and locating the stolen tools and other materials. Subsequent detective work revealed the suspect’s name, which Investigator McBride recognized from a previous investigation. This suspect was the girlfriend of another suspect arrested for theft of Amtrak property the year before. A warrant was obtained and a surveillance operation conducted resulting in the arrest of both suspects and a confession by the boyfriend. A third party was also arrested in connection with the crimes.
Between August 23 and August 27, 2012, several incidents of copper wire theft were reported, resulting in damages to Amtrak of approximately $25,000 and causing disruptions to train service. Investigator McBride identified the area where these thefts were reported as the same area where wire thefts were reported a few months before, and learned that the suspect arrested in those incidents had been released on bail. Upon investigation at local scrap yards, it was discovered that the same suspect and an accomplice had sold stolen wire to the local scrap yard. Both suspects were apprehended near the scene of the crime and confessed to the wire theft during interrogation.
Investigator McBride began his career with the Amtrak Police on August 30, 2001 and has worked as a Patrol Officer and K-9 Officer, in addition to his current role as Investigator. He is also a member of the Department’s Pipe & Drum Unit, Peer Support Program and helped create the Mid-Atlantic Division North Safety Committee.
The Officer of the Year award is a prestigious honor, presented this year during National Police Week which was created by President John F. Kennedy in 1962 to honor law enforcement officers who have paid the ultimate sacrifice protecting others.
For more information about the Amtrak Police Department, visit http://police.amtrak.com.
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