Last ride in: Collegeville police officer retires after 40 years

Jim Melwert
January 31, 2019 - 11:05 pm
Sgt. Bruce Penuel started with the Collegeville-Trappe police just over 40 years ago.

Jim Melwert/KYW Newsradio

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COLLEGEVILLE, Pa. (KYW Newsradio) — Friday morning will be the “last ride in” for a police sergeant who has been with the Collegeville Police Department since Jimmy Carter was in the White House. 

Sgt. Bruce Penuel started with the Collegeville-Trappe police just over 40 years ago. 

“The Collegeville Police Department was like Mayberry R.F.D.," he said. 

When he started in November 1978, it was actually the Collegeville-Trappe Police Department. 

“Less than two weeks after I started here, Trappe said they didn’t want to be part of the agreement anymore,” he explained. 

But he says the Collegeville shopping center had just expanded, so they kept him on.

That shopping center would be the scene of the highest profile case he’d be a part of – the murders of Lisa Manderach and her 19-month-old daughter, Devon, by Caleb Fairley at the children’s clothing store in the shopping center.

“Teamwork resolved that in a very short period of time. The local police here did what they needed to do to help Upper Merion’s detective and Montgomery County detectives to get a suspect. And without that teamwork, you’re missing part of the puzzle," Penuel said. 

He says that’s the part of the job he’ll miss the most. 

“I think the camaraderie of the police officers in the area, how they help each other out. And fortunately, I think most of the officers here are interested in helping the public," he said.