Huntingdon Daily News: Police chief honored with justice award

Huntingdon Borough Police Department Chief of Police Charles T. Streightiff was honored Wednesday at the Pennsylvania Criminal Justice Advisory Board (CJAB) Conference in State College as one of the two 2024 recipients of the John A. Zottola Mental Health and Justice Award.

Streightiff is the first law enforcement officer to receive this award.

The Pennsylvania Commission on Crime and Delinquency (PCCD) created the Honorable John A. Zottola Mental Health and Justice Award in 2022 in memory of his dedication and commitment to serving justice-involved special populations. Judge Zottola served as the chairman of the Mental Health and Justice Advisory Committee (MHJAC) for nine years, as well as providing oversight for the Allegheny County Mental Health Court and the Allegheny County Veterans’ Court, which he founded.

The award is to be bestowed annually upon someone who, in service to the courts, their community and special criminal justice populations, exhibits the same leadership, dedication and passion as exhibited by Judge Zottola.

In 2023, Streightiff was the recipient of the Blue Ribbon Champion For Safe Kids Award, the first and only law enforcement officer in the commonwealth to receive the award, during a ceremony at the state Capitol in Harrisburg. That award is presented annually by the PA Family Support Alliance.

During Wednesday’s ceremony, Streightiff called attention to the Huntingdon County team of multiple agencies and disciplines (law enforcement, social services, service providers, treatment/prevention, the courts, etc.) that are working together on the best practices and response methods to reports of child abuse.

Streightiff highlighted those same efforts in comments he made at Tuesday’s child abuse awareness ceremony coordinated by Huntingdon County Children’s Services in front of the Huntingdon County Courthouse.

Streightiff has over 20 years of law enforcement experience and has served as Huntingdon Borough Police Chief since October 2021. Before that he served as an HPD patrol officer, criminal investigator and corporal. He began his law enforcement career with the Hagerstown, Maryland, police department.

Streightiff was nominated for the award by Huntngdon County Children’s Services Director Kelvin Abrashoff, who was in attendance for Wednesday’s awards ceremony.

The family of Judge Zottola was presented with the inaugural award in 2022. In 2023, the recipient of the award was William F. Ward, esquire, who succeeded Judge Zottola as chair of MHJAC.

State Supreme Court Justice Kevin Dougherty was the other recipient honored with the John A. Zottola Mental Health and Justice Award Wednesday.

From Huntingdon Daily News, April 11, 2024

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