On Monday, January 22, 2018, five new deputies – Matthew Cataudella, Charles Cusanno, Christopher Hensel, Richard Rhames Jr., and Duncan Smith -- attended a swearing-in Courtroom One of the Chester County Justice Center. The quintet will participate in three weeks of orientation followed by eight weeks of field training.
Speaking at the ceremony, Chester County Sheriff Carolyn Bunny Welsh explained that the positions were highly competitive. “Their families should be very proud,” she said. “These are the best of the best.”
Matthew Cataudella is a graduate of Neshaminy High School, Immaculata University, and the Montgomery County Municipal Police Academy. He is a non-commissioned officer in the Pennsylvania Army National Guard. He comes to the Chester County Sheriff’s Office from the Laureldale Borough Police Department in Berks County. He also worked as a police officer for Franklin and Marshall College.
Cataudella was inspired to pursue law enforcement by a family member. The Philadelphia native enjoys outdoor sports, especially archery. He is also an avid fan of Philadelphia sports teams as well as Penn State football.
Charles Cusanno, also a Philadelphia native, served in the U.S. Marines for nearly a decade, attaining the rank of sergeant. Cussano worked for more than 24 years as a trooper with the Pennsylvania State Police; in fact, he was one of the responding officers when an East Marlborough Township man facing eviction opened fire in 2003, wounding two Chester County deputy sheriffs.
Cusanno said he was drawn to law enforcement by a desire “to lock up bad guys,” the first member of his family to become a police officer. In his spare time, he enjoys pursuing sports and other activities with his family and rooting for Philadelphia’s sports teams.
Christopher Hensel graduated from Swarthmore High School and attended Northern Arizona University, the Art Institute of Philadelphia and Delaware County Community College’s Police Academy. Born in Albuquerque, N.M., Hensel said his father’s military background sparked his interest in law enforcement.
Hensel served as a military police officer in the U.S. Army, attaining the rank of staff sergeant, and then operated his own photography business for a couple of decades. He said he missed law enforcement and began working at the Lincoln University Police Department before joining the Chester County Sheriff’s Office (CCSO). He’ll be rooting for the Philadelphia Eagles in the Super Bowl.
Richard Rhames Jr. graduated from Academy Park High School. He attended Community College of Philadelphia and then Delaware County Community College’s Police Academy. For the past two years, he has worked for the Darby Borough Police Department.
Rhames grew up in Philadelphia, where both of his parents worked in law enforcement and fully supported their son’s decision to follow in their footsteps. Rhames, who played basketball and ran cross country in high school, enjoys following a variety of sports with his family. He brings a passion for Philadelphia’s teams to the CCSO, and he will be sporting his best Birds’ apparel for the Super Bowl.
Duncan Smith graduated from Springfield High School and attended Kutztown University before graduating from Delaware County Community College’s Police Academy. He comes to the CCSO with full-time experience from the Lincoln University Police Department and part-time positions with the boroughs of South Coatesville, Yeadon, and Clifton Heights.
For Smith, a native of Morton in Delaware County, the motivation to pursue a law-enforcement career didn’t come from his family – he’s the first to pursue police work -- however, he enjoyed positive influences from friends and associates and a desire to provide public service. Now that he’s working in Chester County, he may be angling for help to locate the best fishing spots -- when he’s not busy rooting for the Eagles.
“These five deputies bring us a wealth of different experiences and talents,” said Welsh. “They will undergo intense training together as a team, and I am confident that each will also succeed individually here in the Sheriff’s Office.”