Harrisburg − October 4, 2023 − Today, the Pennsylvania Senate advanced Senate Bill 621, which designates the Penn Street Bridge as the Police Officer Scott A. Wertz Memorial Bridge.
Wertz dedicated 20 years of his life to public service and law enforcement. A life-long Berks County resident, he graduated from Wilson High School in 1984. Wertz worked for six years as a correctional officer at the Berks County prison. He joined the Reading Police Department in 1997, serving as a member of the patrol division, a field training officer, and in a special detail in the criminal investigations division as part of the auto theft task force. On August 6, 2006, Wertz died in the line of duty while responding with his partner to a call to assist his fellow officers who were attempting to break up a fight.
The bill must pass the Pennsylvania House of Representatives before the naming is official. Sen. Judy Schwank (D-Berks), who sponsored the language naming the bridge in honor of Wertz, said she expects the bill to pass the House without issue. Schwank added that she believes this is a fitting tribute to Wertz.
“Officer Wertz was a dedicated public servant and loving husband and father,” Schwank said. “Like many members of our community, I don’t want his service and personal sacrifice to be forgotten. The Penn Street Bridge is iconic and is the gateway to the City of Reading. Naming it in Officer Wertz’s honor will preserve his story and legacy for future generations.”