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Hero Down: Allentown Police Det. James Stanko Succumbs To Illness

Allentown, PA – Allentown Police Department (APD) Detective James “Jim” Stanko died on Jan. 17 after battling an undisclosed illness.

The 51-year-old detective spent more than two weeks in the hospital prior to his death, The Morning Call reported.

He passed away with his loved ones by his side, the APD said in a press release later that day.

“It is with great sadness that I learned of the passing of Det. Jim Stanko,” APD Chief Charles Roca said the press release. “Jim is the type of officer that represents the highest values and ideals of the Allentown Police Department. The positive impact that he made with so many people, speaks to his character and the legacy that he established.”

Det. Stanko served the APD for 13 years.

“My deepest condolences and prayers of support go to his family and our department during this time,” Chief Roca wrote. “I want to say thank you to our community for the outpouring of prayers and support for Jim.”

Det. Stanko was most recently assigned to the agency’s Community Outreach Unit, where he worked as a youth detective.

He was involved in multiple programs, including the Youth Police Academy, the Police Athletic League, the Opioid Crisis Initiative, the Boys and Girls Club, and many others.

“Our Allentown Police Department is better for the years of service that Det. Stanko gave, and his life and career provide a great example of the impact that one person can have on a community,” Allentown Mayor Matt Tuerk said in the press release. “The people of Allentown will miss his kindness and grieve with Jim’s family.”

Det. Stanko leaves behind his wife, Sharon, and his daughters, Brooke and Lily, according to his obituary.

He is also survived by his brother, niece, nephew, great-niece, aunts, uncles, and grandparents.

Det. Stanko will be laid to rest Jan. 24.

Our thoughts and prayers are with the family of Allentown Police Department Detective James “Jim” Stanko, both blood and blue. Thank you for your service.

Rest easy, hero. We’ll hold the line from here.

Written by
Holly Matkin

Holly is a former probation and parole officer who is married to a sheriff’s deputy. She is a regular contributor to Signature Montana magazine, and has written feature articles for Distinctly Montana magazine.

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Written by Holly Matkin


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