Ardmore, Lower Merion Township, PA — Officials and dignitaries from Lower Merion Township gathered in the Township administration building to perform what many police call a "badging" ceremony.  A badging ceremony merely is inducting new members into the Police Department by swearing them in and then giving them their Officers badge or shield.


The new officers are Cassandra McCormick, Ryan McByrne, and Brian Iannelli.

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The ceremony started with Lower Merion Police Superintendent Michael McGrath introducing the three new officers and welcoming their friends and families who had gathered in the board of commissioners meeting room for the swearing-in ceremony.

The superintendent introduced the police departments command staff who were assembled and standing behind the speakers. Most of the commanding officer's were wearing white uniform shirts with pressed dress uniform pants.  The Lower Merion police color guard stood off to the right of Superintendent McGrath.

McGrath got right to the point and thanked the friends and families of the new officers who were in attendance.  He told the audience how competitive and selective the process is for becoming a Lower Merion police officer.

"Let me give you a brief description of what these officers have gone through to this point," started McGrath. "This process began back in November 2017, when two hundred eighty-one people sat for the written test.  One hundred forty-five moved on to the next level, which was an oral board, of those seventy-seven applicants successfully completed that phase and then at the conclusion of that phase, there was a physical agility test given. Fifty-four remained, and they were placed on the certified eligibility list by the Civil Service Commission." 

At this point, Commissioner and chair of the police committee V. Scott Zelov addressed the audience. 

"You are joining a dedicated and well-trained and hard-working Police Department here in Lower Merion, and you are going to be serving a community that is very demanding, a community that has high expectations, but a community that has been very appreciative of the work and the dedication," stated Zelov.  

Zelov spoke about how the commissioners interact with the officers and their responsibilities.  He closed his remarks by welcoming the new officers and wishing them great success with this outstanding Police Department.

Township manager Ernie McNeely spoke directly to the new officers and welcomed them in joining the team of Lower Merion Township employees. 

"We're asking you to be wise beyond your years, were ask you to keep us secure and to be problem solvers in our community. So we are asking a lot of you, but you have a great Police Department, a great organization behind you to do the job."

Next up was Magisterial District Judge Henry Schireson, who also welcomed the new officers to the Township. Shireson went on to talk about the almost 40 years that he worked with Montgomery County police departments, first as a prosecutor for five years and then as a District Justice for 35 years.  He finished his remarks by stating:  

"I have worked with dozens of police departments, and Lower Merion was then and is now, in my opinion, the preeminent Police Department in this County.  They set a very high standard, and I am confident that the reason you are sitting here is that you meet that standard in the eyes of people who are much better than I in finding talent to serve in the police department," said Schireson.

The Judge spoke about the badge and the "awesome power that it gives in a free society," the power to detain, arrest and in extreme circumstances use deadly force. 

"We have to be sure that people are intellectually, physically morally and psychologically fit to serve this very very responsible position" He closed his remarks by welcoming them to the Township's Department, to working with them and to the Township as an employee,

McGrath then called the officers to join him in the oval.  The oval is the township seal embedded into the carpet squares flooring tiles.

Judge Schireson then swore the officers in which allows them to work as Police Officers in Lower Merion Township and Narberth Borough.  

(L-R) Superintendent McGrath, Ernie McNeely, Scott Zelov, Officer McCormick & Judge Schireson


Officer McCormick is already certified as a police officer.  She worked in the Lycoming County DA's office before becoming a police officer.  Since she is already certified, she will start training immediately with the department.  McCormick currently resides in King of Prussia, PA.


(L-R) Superintendent McGrath, Ernie McNeely, Scott Zelov, OfficerMcByrne & Judge Schireson


Ryan McByrne is formerly an employee of the City of Baltimore where he worked in Emergency Management.  He will start training immediately, and he will also attend the Montgomery County Police Academy. McByrne is a resident of Haverford Township.


Officer Brian Innella most recently worked as a project manager for SEI in Oaks, PA.  He will start training immediately, and he will also attend the Montgomery County Police Academy.  McByrne is a resident of King of Prussia.


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