Berks officers thankful Philly cops survived gun battle

Armed officers stand by during the standoff in case shooting resumed.

As six Philadelphia police officers recover from being shot, Berks County law enforcement is sending good wishes for a speedy recovery.

Sheriff Eric Weaknecht and Reading police representatives said watching the situation unfold Wednesday was tough, but they are thankful the wounded officers are expected to survive.

"There's that sense of relief, that pressure off once you hear that everyone survived," said Capt. Paul Reilly, Reading Police Department.

Watching the standoff unfold brought back sad memories for Reading police and the Berks County sheriff.

"Every time we see a situation like this, obviously that's where my mind goes, what tragic events we went through and what we had to deal with," Weaknecht said.

He's talking about June 2011, when a man shot and killed Deputy Kyle Pagerly while authorities were serving a warrant in Albany Township. The officers hurt in Philadelphia were also serving a warrant when things took a turn.

"My main concern was the poor officers," Weaknecht said.

The sheriff added that part of being an officer is hoping for the best while trying to prepare for the worst, at the same time, trying to serve and protect the public.

It's been 13 years since Reading police Ofc. Scott Wertz died after responding to a fight at a convenience store at North Eighth and Walnut streets. His killer is on death row, and the loss still stings, but police have a job to do.

"You think about our operations, when we do our vice search warrants or go in and look for dangerous people," Reilly said. "You know the unexpected can happen. It's a dangerous job that we do."

Law enforcement is also remembering Reading police Ofc. Michael Wise, who was killed in the line of duty in 2004.

Reading police said if Philadelphia Police need help in any way, they'll be there.