While Canonsburg police continue to mourn the loss of one of their own, another generous organization is helping the department out by donating a much-needed police cruiser.
Officer Scott Bashioum was fatally shot, and Officer James Saieva Jr. was wounded three weeks ago while responding to a domestic violence report. The gunman also shot and killed his pregnant wife, Dalia Sabae, before he killed himself.
The police department also lost two police cruisers that night, and thanks to the generosity of the local VFW, the department received a brand new cruiser Wednesday.
The VFW had set aside $25,000, and the organization’s president asked the police chief if that would cover the cost of a new vehicle. The VFW found out the cruiser was actually $36,000, and the president said, “Done.”
Saieva, who was shot and wounded that night, was at Wednesday’s dedication and continues to recover from his wounds. By his side was Officer Don Cross, who drove the cruiser into the line of fire and pulled the fallen officers out of the line of fire.
Canonsburg police Chief Al Coghill said he chose a black cruiser for a reason.
“We believe (the gunman) probably saw that white police car drive by trying to locate the residence (and) it would have stood out. This black car with ghost markings will be more stealth going to instances like domestic violence,” Coghill said.
Law enforcement from across Washington County came out for the dedication, as many people wanted to show support for the department as it tries to heal.
“Most boroughs and townships struggle to find money for a police car. It’s a great relief to us and a way to start healing knowing organizations like the VFW 191 are behind you,” Coghill said.
The VFW leaders said their annual fish fry raises enough money to pay for operating costs, so that all of the money they raise can go to good causes like this one.
© 2019 Cox Media Group.