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Former Bobcat Football Player, Powerlifter Lewis Armstrong Named Philadelphia Police Department District 25 Officer Of The Month (03/06/20)

(All photos submitted) Above: Lewis and his parents, Dr. Robert and Brenda Armstrong

Former Clarion Area Bobcat football player and powerlifting team member, Lewis Armstrong, a Patrol Officer with Philadelphia Police Department (the nation’s fourth largest), was honored, along with his partner Patrol Officer Gregory Kotchi as the District 25 September 2019, Officers of the Month for September, 2019, in a ceremony on Tuesday, February 11th.

The Ceremony at the District 25 Headquarters, recognized Officers of the Month for September, October, November and December.

District 25 is part of East Division, which includes Districts 24, 25, 26. The Division located in North Philly, in an area that, according to latest statistics, is the most violent in the city.

(L-R) Patrol Officer Gregory Kotchi, Patrol Officer Lewis Armstrong and Captain Javier Rodriguez during the ceremony

The two officers were recognized for their actions on the night of September 10th. They were patrolling and area where there was an ongoing turf war between local drug trafficking organizations, that had seen an uptick in gun violence.

While on patrol, the officers observed a male walking on the sidewalk who appeared to have an “L” shaped object under his shirt around his waistband, that resembled a firearm.  The officers recognized him from an Intelligence report, as one of the someone the District was concerned could possibly become involved in a retaliatory shooting, in the turf war.

As the officers were exiting their vehicle the man fled on foot. A foot chase ensued lasting several blocks, during which the man threw the handgun onto the highway. The officers caught up with the man and after a lengthy struggle, took him into custody. They also recovered the loaded weapon.

Lewis and a friend and fellow Patrolman on the streets of Philadelphia

Officers Armstrong and Kotchi have been submitted for a commendation of merit.

Captain Javier Rodriguez, Commanding Officer of the 25th District recommended the officers for a Commendation of Merit, saying, “Due to their alert and aggressive patrol tactics, and the sound communication between the two; these officers were able to effect the arrest of an armed and dangerous adversary in an area that is plagued with gun violence within the City of Philadelphia.  As a result of these police actions, I request that these officers be awarded a Commendation for Merit.”  

Sergeant Richard Lineman, Lewis’ Squad Leader, shared this with Clarion Sports Zone “Officer Lewis Armstrong is an extraordinary asset to my squad. He has shown a tremendous work ethic that very few possess.”

Lewis’ work ethic was not lost on Coach Judd Allan, who was Lewis’ head coach his senior year after being an assistant for several years. “Lewis was a great kid – one of my favorites! He was a quiet leader who took his roles very seriously… he led our 2010 Bobcats in tackles as well. I could always count on him being the most prepared kid on our defense. He was hard-nosed, a great competitor, and kind to his teammates. I’m proud to hear he’s getting recognized for the same things off the field and in life!”

Lewis had 111 tackles (8 tackles for loss, 2 sacks), 10.1 tackles per game and 4.17 yards per carry his senior year. He participated in the West Penn Football Coaches Association (WPFCA) North-South All-Star Game in Hickory, having a great game for the North Squad.

Current Bobcat Coach Larry Wiser, who was Lewis’ head coach, through his junior year, had this to say, “Bob and Brenda have done such a great job of instilling good morals and values in all of their children. 

“Number one son Lewis was one of the players that was always asking how he could be a better player. He was a very good linebacker, running back, and leader for the Bobcats. The last game he played, (West Penn Coaches Association) All-Star Game at Hickory may have been his best game ever.

“My admiration for Lewis took another turn when he voluntarily joined the Philadelphia Police Department. To say the least, we are all at Clarion proud of this young man.”

Lewis joined the Philadelphia Police Department, on December 18th, 2017 and graduated from the Police Academy on August 31st, 2018. He has been in the 25th District ever since.

(Photo by Emily Powers) Lewis deadlifting at a powerlifting meet at Redbank Valley in 2015

Lewis, who has been a competitive bodybuilder said, “I met my girlfriend Chelsea who is from the Philadelphia area back in 2015 at a bodybuilding competition in Plymouth meeting. By the time I finished college, I knew I wanted to be a police officer.

“After moving here I believed that this was where I could make the most impact, and fortunately after a lot of waiting, I was accepted into the Philadelphia Police Academy.”

(Congratulations Lewis. Echoing Coach Wiser, “You make us Clarion proud!!! Congratulations to Officer Kotchi also!!!!)