Senate panel approves Neuman bill to honor slain Canonsburg police officer

Full Senate to consider naming bridge after Officer Scott L. Bashioum

HARRISBURG, May 10 – State Rep. Brandon Neuman, D-Washington, said the state Senate’s Transportation Committee today unanimously approved his bill that would name the Central Avenue Bridge in Canonsburg as the Officer Scott L. Bashioum Memorial Bridge.

“Emergency responders like Officer Bashioum, who risk and too often sacrifice their lives to protect us, deserve this lasting tribute,” Neuman said. “Officer Bashioum’s legacy of service and sacrifice has earned our everlasting love and respect.”

H.B 103, approved unanimously in the House in February, now heads to the full Senate for consideration.

Bashioum, 52, was slain Nov. 10, 2016, responding to a domestic violence report in the borough. Bashioum was a seven-year veteran of the Canonsburg Police Force and a 29-year U.S. Air Force veteran.

“Our community is devastated by the loss of a local hero,” Neuman said. “Nothing can fill the void left by his loss, but acknowledging his service and sacrifice with this tribute reminds us of the heroes among us.”

Neuman said naming the span over Chartier Creek also would recognize the bravery of four other officers responding to the attack: James Saieva, Bashioum’s partner who was wounded; Canonsburg Officer Donald Cross, who came under fire; and Officer John Holt and Sgt. Matt Collins of the Cecil and Peters townships police departments, respectively.

The alleged shooter, who took his own life, also killed Dalia Sabae, who was pregnant at the time of her death. Sabae, 28, was an intern working toward obtaining a pharmacist license in Pennsylvania.

“We need to do more to stop domestic violence through education, awareness and better protections,” said Neuman, who noted that the shooter, Sabae's estranged husband, had a Protection from Abuse Order issued against him. “It is my hope that naming the bridge after Officer Bashioum will help to sustain the momentum in our efforts to curtail the horrific consequences of domestic violence.”

Neuman said today’s vote in the Senate was especially poignant as he joined his House colleagues in unanimously adopting House Resolution 16, designating May 14 through May 20 as National Police Week in Pennsylvania and designating Monday, May 15, as Police Officers Memorial Day in Pennsylvania.

According to the Officer Down Memorial Page, Bashioum was the 122nd out of 140 line-of-duty deaths in the United States in 2016 and the third of four officers killed in Pennsylvania last year.

“I am humbled and most appreciative of the support House Bill 103 has received and look forward to it becoming law,” Neuman said. “Officer Bashioum’s incredible heroism and service should never be forgotten.”