PSP Trooper Honored with Justice Department Award for Exemplary Criminal Investigation

Harrisburg, PA – Acting State Police Commissioner Lieutenant Colonel Robert Evanchick is proud to announce that Trooper Joel D. Follmer, Troop F, Montoursville, was recognized last week by United States Attorney General Jeff Sessions and the Justice Department for exceptional tenacity and determination that led to the arrest of an accused serial rapist with assaults dating back to 1994.

Trooper Follmer was one of three law enforcement officers from across the country to receive an Attorney General’s Award for Distinguished Service in Policing in the category of Criminal Investigations at a ceremony in Washington, D.C., on Tuesday, September 18. He was nominated by Captain Randy M. Devine, commanding officer of Troop F, and Captain Sherman D. Shadle, who served as the Troop F crime section commander during the 18-month series of investigations.

Through tireless work and unwavering dedication, Trooper Follmer identified and arrested the suspect. The man immediately confessed to several cases, and provided information on many others that he had attempted in the past and others he was planning. He is currently awaiting trial.

“I had the privilege to work side by side with Trooper Follmer during this investigation and witnessed firsthand the personal drive and innovative techniques that helped to apprehend the person responsible for a series of heinous crimes,” said Captain Devine. “Trooper Follmer is a model Pennsylvania State Trooper and the work done in this case will serve as a standard for future criminal investigations.”

Trooper Follmer enlisted in the state police in 2009 and is a native of Montgomery, Lycoming County.

The Attorney General’s Award recognizes individual state, local, and tribal sworn rank-and-file police officers and deputies for exceptional efforts in policing. The awards are split into three categories: criminal investigations, field operations, and innovations in community policing. The Justice Department received 2017 nominations for 469 individuals for work done to prevent, intervene in, and respond to crime and public safety issues.