Council immortalizes fallen officer with memorial display

Cpl. Steven Levy lost his life in the line of duty on Oct. 21, 1999. With his end of watch occurring 20 years ago, mayor Joann Gattinelli and members of council erected a memorial wall to the township’s lone fallen officer. (Anthony J. Mazziotti III/The Sun)

A lot has changed in 20 years. For instance, the cell phone was nothing like it is today, there was no social media on the internet and people were terrified of Y2K. A lot has stayed the same over that course of time, too, like Washington Township’s appreciation for Cpl. Steven Levy who lost his life in the line of duty.

Mayor Joann Gattinelli and members of council want to ensure his legacy lives on by way of a dedicated wall in the courtroom at the municipal building. The dedication was made at the Oct. 2 council meeting.

Levy served on the Washington Township Police Department for 13 years at the time of his end of watch. He earned the rank of corporal, as well as serving with a countywide critical incident team. He proudly wore badge No. 63. He answered a domestic violence call on Thursday, Oct. 21, 1999, and suffered a gunshot wound to the face that proved fatal.

“On that day our world as we knew it changed forever,” Gattinelli said. “Cpl. Levy is the first and only officer in Washington Township history to lose his life in the line of duty. We’re here tonight to remember Cpl. Levy. I’m pleased to reveal the wall which we have dedicated to No. 63, Cpl. Levy, as a reminder of his life and dedication to his position on this 20th anniversary of his end of watch. I am forever grateful to all of our first responders and their sacrifices.”

The dedicated wall, by the exit of the courtroom in the municipal building, includes his name, badge number, a portrait as well as newspaper articles from his passing and funeral. In attendance at the dedication ceremony were his father and brother, Al and Barry Levy.

“I think it’s a great honor that, after all these years, they still remember him,” Barry said of the dedicated wall. “It’s been a long time, 20 years. I know things have changed since then.”

He’s happy to see his brother’s legacy live in on a high-traffic township building.

“I’ve seen that picture at the police station. It’s even nicer they put it in this building so when they have the meetings everybody can see that. Not many people visit the police station, more people probably come to the meetings. They can see him and remember,” he added.

Though Levy’s end of watch was 20 years ago he has left an everlasting imprint in Washington Township. His memory will live on forever, not only as a mural in the courtroom of the municipal building, but through a proclamation by Gattinelli that Oct. 21 will be recognized as “Steven L. Levy Remembrance Day” in honor of his dedication of service to the Washington Township community.