Abington’s Sergeant Roger Gillispie and officer Tammy Gillispie announce retirement

The Abington Township Police Department recently announced the retirement of Sergeant Roger Gillispie and his wife and fellow officer Tammy Gillispie after 29 and 22 years of service to the Department and the community.

From the Department’s Facebook post:

Sergeant Gillispie joined the Department in January 1994 and served in our Patrol Division for 17 years. During that time, Sergeant Gillispie served honorably as a Field Training Officer, a Crisis Negotiator, and a member of our Anti-Crime Team. Throughout his time in the Patrol Division, Roger received numerous Departmental Commendations and Unit Citations for his outstanding work and was one of only a few in the history of our department to receive the Valor Commendation. Back in March of 2005, Sergeant Gillispie and a Cheltenham officer exchanged gunfire with a suspect who was wanted for First Degree Murder out of Norristown. After striking the suspect, he was taken into custody and is currently serving a lengthy sentence. In the wake of this critical incident, Roger took the lead in identifying lessons-learned during this encounter and helped our Department to be more proactive on issues related to officer wellness and dealing with PTSD.

In 2011 Roger was assigned to our Community Policing Division, where he served for twelve years as the Assistant Commander. Throughout his time in this critical role, Roger was instrumental in coordinating our response to many very difficult issues, and always found opportunities bring the Department and the community together. Roger used his years of law enforcement experience and his creative approach to improve our existing programs and to create new ones. As many of us who worked in Community Policing know, the number of programs, new initiatives, community meetings, partnerships, and the need for constant fundraising can be daunting. Roger, however, made these tasks look easy. Each year, Roger and his team worked to improve our PAL Food Fest at Philmont Country Club, the 24-Hour Relay, our National Night Out, our Keswick Comedy Nights, our Police Explorers’ Program, and one of his favorites, our Citizens Police Academy. In February 2017, Officer Gillispie was promoted to the rank of Sergeant and remained in the Community Policing Division. It was during Sergeant Gillispie’s time in Community Policing that the Department received the CISCO Communications Community Policing Award for Excellence. There is no doubt that Roger’s leadership and commitment to our Department, this Division, and his fellow officers and support staff made this award possible. And as Roger would often say, none of this would be possible without the love and support of Tammy. We are all going to miss Roger’s retirement poems, his biting sarcasm, and his ability to find creative solutions to complex problems.

Tammy joined the Department as a police officer in July of 2001. She served 10 years as an officer before suffering an injury that precluded her from serving as a police officer. During her years as a police officer, Tammy was known for her attention to detail, thorough report writing, and excellent investigation skills. Had it not been for her injury, there is no doubt that Tammy would have had a successful career as a police officer, and most likely, would have earned a position as an Investigator in our Detective Division. As it turned out Tammy, transitioned from a sworn member of our Patrol Division to a key role as a member of our professional support staff in the Detective Division. Her background and expertise that she developed as an officer was instrumental in her new assignment which began in September of 2010. Tammy began as the Detectives’ Administrative Assistant, but quickly assumed many of the complex tasks related to our Cody RMS, gathering and maintaining statistical data, ensuring that we remained in compliance with various mandates, improving our Evidence Room and Tracking systems, and assisting other Divisions as needed. There was nothing that Tammy could not do when it comes to the critical administrative support functions on which we all relied, and there is nothing that she would not do to assist all of us. As the Department transitioned to Cody, Tammy was the undisputed resident expert, and she was always available to train and support the officers on the road. Tammy was integral to the success of this transition, and many of us who were using Cody at that time could not have done it without her. While Tammy has been spending many hours training others to assume many of her responsibilities, it has become increasingly more clear that she wore many hats, and it will be very difficult to replace her. All of us who relied on her for so many things over these past two decades are going to miss her. Tammy displayed extraordinary courage and commitment after her injury, and never once complained about how difficult this transition was.

On behalf of the men and women of the Abington Township Police Department, I want to thank Roger and Tammy from the bottom of my heart for their dedication to the citizens of Abington Township and the members of the Department. May they enjoy the next chapter of their lives with many years of health and happiness.

Chief Patrick Molloy

Photo credit: Abington Township Police Department