UPPER GWYNEDD — A new officer now has his badge and has formally joined the Upper Gwynedd Police Department, as that board said 'Thank you' to a local business.

New officer Minjoo Kim was sworn in before a crowd of family and friends during the commissioners' business meeting on Monday night. 

"He has been assigned to a tactical operations squad, and he is highly respected by SEPTA police command staff," said commissioner Jim Santi.

"His quality and character stood out very positively among several other candidates in a highly competitive process," he said.

As his fellow officers stood by for support, Santi read a brief biography of Kim, noting that the new officer is a resident of Hatfield Township who was originally born in South Korea and moved with his family to America in 1996. Kim graduated from Wissahickon High School in 2004 and from the Montgomery County Police Academy in 2008, and has worked for SEPTA police since 2015, Santi said.

Kim then received his oath from District Judge Suzan Leonard and his badge from his parents, as Police Chief David Duffy thanked the township's Civil Service Commission members for selecting and vetting the new hire.

After a round of applause and photos, Duffy then read a police department commendation for Paul Kraynak and the owners of North Penn Art, a Broad Street business that came through for the department in February.

"A common reason people visit the Upper Gwynedd police station is because they were a victim of a crime, or a traumatic event," said Duffy, reading from the commendation.

The station is also often visited by local Scout troops, students, and other community members, so decorations throughout are meant to make the station more inviting.

"Because the community has ownership of the police station, it's well-maintained, and designed to be both functioning and welcoming," Duffy said, with pictures, plaques, and other items on display throughout.

In early February, Duffy said, the station "sustained significant water damage, due to a sprinkler pipe that had frozen and then burst in the lobby."

"Several items on the walls, and other displays, were quickly removed to avert their destruction by spraying water," Duffy said.

The department then called North Penn Art, and the company then worked to repair, restore, and re-hang all of the artwork that had been damaged by the water. When police asked for a bill, the company said 'no charge' because the department protects the public, according to the chief.

"Over 34 pieces were re-positioned to complement another 21 on display. Therefore, Paul Kraynak and the staff of North Penn Art are formally recognized, for their generosity in support of the mission of the Upper Gwynedd Police Department," he said.

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