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Connecticut State Police Patch STATE OF CONNECTICUT
Department of Public Safety
1111 Country Club Road
Middletown, Connecticut 06457
 
Contact: 
FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
November 14, 2008

State Police Troopers from

TroopS I, F, H and W

Receive Service Awards

   State Police Troopers from Troop I in Bethany, Troop F in Westbrook, Troop H in Hartford and Troop W in Windsor Locks received awards for service during a ceremony on November 14 at the Connecticut State Police Training Academy in Meriden.

   Twice a year, the Connecticut State Police honors Troopers who demonstrate bravery and outstanding service in the line of duty.  The ceremony also honors men and women serving in local and federal law enforcement agencies, those serving as first responders and civilians.  Award winners received medals and certificates from Department of Public Safety Commissioner John A. Danaher III and State Police Colonel Thomas Davoren.

   Awards were presented in four categories:

Ø      The Meritorious Service Medal is awarded to any person who renders service with a high degree of alertness, perseverance and superior judgment in the performance of a difficult task resulting in the protection of life, recovery of property, the prevention of – or solving of – a major crime or the apprehension of an armed or dangerous person.

Ø      The Lifesaving Award is presented to any person who saves a human life or makes a valiant attempt to save a life.

Ø      The Outstanding Service Award is given to any person who successfully performs an extreme, complex or difficult investigation. The person also may demonstrate exceptional skill or ingenuity in the apprehension of a wanted person, provide outstanding service to the public and or continuously achieves excellence in performance of duties over an extended period of time.

Ø      The Unit Citation is awarded to members of a department, a command or group who combine their resources to achieve success in an investigation or event. The citation recognizes exceptional collective efforts.

Awards were presented to:

Detective Pedro Rosado, Sgt. Paul Killoran, Det. Kevin Dumond, Det. Jong Park, Det. Janice Warkoski, Research Analyst Deborah Romero of the State Police, South Windsor Agent Michael Thompson, Manchester Det. Rick Rivard, Corrections Captain armando Valeriano, New Haven Det. Rafael Segarra, South Windsor Sgt. Elsie Diaz, State’s Attorney Mike Gailor, Inspector Joe Howard, State’s Attorney’s Office, Inspector Steve Kumnick, State’s Attorney’s Office 

   On June 14, 2007, a Home Invasion Task Force was created due to similarities of home invasions in Connecticut.  The Task Force was composed of the State Police, the Chief State’s Attorney’s Office, Department of Corrections, U.S. Secret Service and local law enforcement agencies. 

   Members of the Task Force determined that numerous perpetrators of the same group were involved in eight home invasions.  As a result of an extensive investigation, task force members executed numerous arrest and search warrants on members of the criminal enterprise.  On Sept. 14, 2007, more than 120 law enforcement officers participated in the takedown and all targets were arrested on various criminal charges.  Fifteen individuals were arrested on charges of sexual assault, kidnapping, assault, robbery, risk of injury to minors, possession of firearms, sale of narcotics, auto theft, counterfeiting of U.S. currency and other crimes.

   During the investigation, Det. Rosado and Agent Thompson interrupted a near-shootout between targets of the task force and a street gang.  They stopped the shootout by displaying their weapons and ordering the violators to drop their firearms.  The violators fled before any shootings could take place.  As the violators were fleeing, Det. Rosado and Agent Thompson were nearly struck by vehicles driven by the violators. 

   Det. Rosado and Agent Thompson were presented with the medal for Meritorious Service; all others earned Outstanding Service Awards.

Trooper Kenneth Freed, Trooper First Class Christopher McWilliams, Trooper Darren Connolly, Troop H  

   On March 27, 2008, at approximately 12:45 a.m., the New Britain Police Department broadcast a description of a stolen motor vehicle which was just involved in an abduction. 

   While on patrol, Trooper McWilliams located the vehicle on Route 9 in the area of Exit 30.  The operator engaged police in pursuit with speeds upwards of 100 miles per hour. 

   Shortly thereafter, Trooper Freed and Trooper Connolly joined the pursuit, which went through several towns and resulted in the suspect vehicle crashing into a wooded area in New Britain.  The kidnapped victim was located in the vehicle and suffered minor injuries. 

   Trooper Freed, Trooper First Class McWilliams and Trooper Connolly received awards for Meritorious Service.

Trooper First Class Matthew Ward, Trooper First Class Kevin Slonski, Troop F

   On May 21, 2008, Troop F received a call that a Haddam gas station had just been robbed at gunpoint.  The suspect discharged his weapon outside of the store in the direction of the owner and then fled the area in a vehicle that was quickly located by Trooper Ward in the parking lot of a local elementary school. The school was immediately put into lockdown mode and thoroughly searched, with negative results.

   It was learned that the suspect passed through the school in an attempt to access a wooded area behind the building. State Police also learned that the suspect had numerous firearms registered to him.

   Trooper Slonski joined Trooper Ward in searching for the suspect and interviewing acquaintances.  An intensive search ensued with the cooperation of personnel from Troop F and Troop I, as well as multiple canine teams, members of the Emergency Services Unit and Trooper One.  Near the suspect’s home, Troopers Ward and Slonski located and apprehended the suspect, who was still in possession of a handgun.

   Troopers Ward and Slonski received awards for Meritorious Service.

Dispatcher Vincent D’Elia, Troop I 

   On March 22, 2008, at approximately 7 p.m., Dispatcher D’Elia was on duty at Troop I and received a 911 call from a man who was speaking unclearly and mumbling, but sounded as if he might be asking for help.  The caller could not provide an address or any other information. 

   Dispatcher D’Elia noticed the call was coming off the Wolf Harbor Cell Tower and dispatched Troopers and Milford Police to check the area in the event the caller had been involved in a motor vehicle accident and was off a roadway in the area.  He next contacted Verizon Wireless and learned the phone would be located within a one mile radius of the cell tower.  He also learned that the owner of the phone was a male who resided in Shelton, approximately six miles from the tower.

   With no direction to do so, Dispatcher D’Elia contacted Shelton Police and requested an officer check the residence.  The Shelton officer discovered the man in his home suffering a stroke.  EMS transported the man to the hospital where doctors were able to save his life as a result of the persistent efforts of Dispatcher D’Elia.  Dispatcher D’Elia earned a Lifesaving Award.

Trooper First Class Matthew Ward, Trooper First Class Charles Burns, Troop F; Civilian Glenn Colvin, Civilian Erick Johnson; EMT Sarah Dahlstrom and EMT William Planeta 

   On July 12, 2008, Troop F received reports of a one-car rollover motor vehicle accident on Route 9 in the Town of Haddam.  The vehicle was in the median, possibly on fire. 

   Upon the arrival of Trooper Ward, the vehicle was fully engulfed in fire.  Haddam Ambulance EMT Dahlstrom and EMT Planeta arrived on scene and ran into the woods with Trooper Ward to find a male lying on the ground approximately 20 feet from the vehicle. 

   Two civilians, Erick Johnson and Glenn Colvin, who had stopped to assist prior to State Police arrival, were already with the injured operator.  EMT Dahlstrom quickly determined that the victim had a serious head injury and began treating an open wound on the broken left femur that was protruding through the victim’s thigh.  Trooper Burns then arrived on scene. 

   As the injured operator was being treated, there were several explosions which caused the fire to spread to the area surrounding the injured operator.  With the area unstable, the injured operator was moved by the Troopers, EMTs and civilians to a safer location to be treated.  The operator was later transported via Life Star to Hartford Hospital due to his injuries. 

   Troopers Ward and Burns earned awards for Lifesaving; all others received Commissioner’s Recognition awards.

Trooper First Class Robert Lanouettte  

   On April 28, 2008, a 911 call was made from a hotel in Westbrook reporting that a male guest was complaining of shortness of breath.  The Westbrook Fire Department and emergency medical personnel were dispatched.

   Westbrook Resident Trooper Lanouettte, a certified paramedic, also responded to the call.  The Westbrook Fire Department emergency vehicle was on the scene first. Trooper Lanouette located the automatic external defibrillator on that vehicle and ran to the victim.

   The victim was found in his room in cardiac arrest, unresponsive and without a pulse. Two hotel employees had just begun CPR on the victim. Trooper Lanouette quickly intubated the victim, attached the defibrillator and administered a series of shocks, restoring the victim’s pulse.  The victim was transported to a local medical center and made a complete recovery.

   Trooper Lanouette received an award for Lifesaving.

Trooper First Class Michael Belton  

   On July 11, 2008, at 10 p.m., Trooper Belton and Hartford Police Officer Jose Perez were assigned to work Operation Safe City in Hartford.  Trooper Belton and Officer Perez stopped an intoxicated driver and began conducting a field sobriety test on the roadside.

   Moments later, both men were startled by frantic screams from a woman who was out of view. Trooper Belton quickly ran toward the screams and observed a woman, being attacked by a roaming pit-bull.  The woman fled for her life, but was now cornered by the dog between parked cars and a fence.

   In an instant, Trooper Belton assessed the situation as life threatening, evaluated his field of fire and drew his service weapon. He discharged one shot, striking the attacking dog.  As a result of the single gun shot, the dog stopped his attack and fled, preventing serous injury to the woman and the small dog with her.

  Trooper Belton received an award for Lifesaving.

Sergeant Ken Cain, Trooper First Class David Luke and Trooper Keith Timme, Troop H  

   On August 20, 2008, at approximately midnight, the Hartford Police Department received an emergency 911 call from the engineer of a freight train located in a train yard in Hartford.  The engineer reported that a person was struck by a train and was under the train.  Several units responded to the scene, including units from Operation Safe City 2008.

   A young woman was found under the engine of the train and both of her legs had been severed.  Minute signs of life were detected from the victim and the decision was made to remove the woman from under the train.

   Sgt. Cain, Trooper Luke and Trooper Timme donned biological protection, crawled under the idling locomotive and moved the victim to a safe location.  The Troopers used a drawstring and the victim’s sleeve to tie around each of her legs as tourniquets.  They stabilized and monitored her vital signs and initiated CPR.  The victim later maintained a faint pulse and was transported to St. Francis Hospital.  Later in the day, it was learned that she succumbed to her severe injuries.   

   Sgt. Cain, Trooper Luke and Trooper Timme received awards for Lifesaving.

Trooper First Class Timothy Begley and Hartford Police Officer Daniel Richter   

   On August 24, 2008, Trooper Begley and Officer Richter were alerted by a male frantically waving his arms and pointing toward a residence in Hartford. The Trooper and Officer observed a three-year-old hanging from a cement window sill to avoid falling 25 feet onto the pavement below.  The toddler was attempting to place her toes on a one-inch ledge that was below the window.  The toddler’s entire body was outside the window and would not able to maintain her grip for very long. 

   Officer Richter ran and positioned himself beneath the toddler while Trooper Begley ran into the apartment building to the second floor.  After knocking with no response and fearing the toddler would most definitely fall, Trooper Begley forced entry into apartment and ran to a bedroom.  An air conditioner was installed in a window, with a twelve-inch void through which the toddler had crawled to the ledge. 

   As the toddler struggled to pull herself up, Trooper Begley took hold of her arms and was able to pull her through the window to safety. 

   Trooper Begley and Officer Richter received awards for Lifesaving.

Sergeant Arthur Goodale, Sergeant Kenneth Kelly, Special Agent Kimberly McGrain, Hartford Police Detective Richard Medina  

   On August 9, 2008, Sgt. Goodale and Sgt. Kelly, along with Special Agent McGrain of the Bureau of Alcohol Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives, were assigned to conduct surveillance during the annual Hartford West India Parade. 

   They heard a report on the police radio of shots fired and responded to Main and Cleveland Avenues.  There, Hartford Police Det. Medina was administering first aid to an unconscious young child. The victim was lying on a sidewalk bleeding profusely from a gunshot wound to his head. The child was in grave condition and required immediate medical attention.

   Ambulances could be observed two blocks away, but repeated calls for an ambulance went unanswered.  Due to a chaotic scene, with several gunshots being fired and seven wounded victims, ambulance personnel were reluctant to enter the area until it was secured by law enforcement personnel.

   Fearing the child would bleed to death, Det. Medina, along with S.A. McGrain, Sgt. Kelly and Sgt. Goodale lifted the child and ran to the ambulances. Det. Medina and S.A. McGrain kept direct pressure on the head wound.  Aware that the child would die without prompt medical aid, Det. Medina commandeered an ambulance while a medic took over emergency care of the child.  Det. Medina drove the ambulance to transport the victim to a local hospital. The quick and decisive lifesaving actions of all involved ensured the survival of the child.

   Sgt. Goodale, Sgt. Kelly, Special Agent McGrain and Det. Medina received awards for Lifesaving.

Troop I, Troop H 

   The owner of a tanker-style tractor trailer reported that his driver had failed to return the vehicle and was in unauthorized areas of the state, failing to make scheduled deliveries. 

The vehicle was located by Troopers in the Wethersfield area of Interstate 91.  Troopers attempted to stop the tanker truck but the operator refused to stop and engaged the Troopers in a motor vehicle pursuit. 

   Troopers ensured the safety of all other motorists by controlling access to the highway and the area surrounding the tanker truck until the truck was brought to a safe, forced, controlled stop on I-691 in Cheshire.  The tanker portion had 8,500 gallons of gasoline in it. 

   Troopers managed to keep the driver from exiting the highway onto secondary roadway areas, including a festival in Meriden attended by thousands of people.

All involved in this case earned a Unit Citation Award.

   

Troop H Auxiliary Troopers 

   The State Police Auxiliary Trooper Program was created in 1941 as a way for caring, responsible, civic-minded people to volunteer their time to the citizens of Connecticut by providing extra security during World War II.  At Troop H in Hartford, the Auxiliary Trooper Program continues to thrive, with seven highly-motivated Auxiliary Troopers.  These Auxiliary Troopers have 223 years of combined experience.     

   During the 2007-2008 fiscal year, Troop H Auxiliary Troopers John Corsair, Robert Dubiel, Preston Harper, Michael Nearing, Tony Pagluighi, Michael Tiernan, and Unit Leader Robert Walsh volunteered a combined 371 days for a total of 3,447 hours. 

   Their patrol hours were nearly three times that of any other Troop.  To achieve these numbers, each Auxiliary Trooper had to work one ten-hour shift per week for the entire year, which is in addition to their regular, full-time jobs.  These numbers are not a surprise to the Troopers at Troop H who are used to seeing them around the barracks and assisting them on the road.    

   The Auxiliary Troopers at Troop H are recognized as an integral part of the Troop’s everyday function. They earned a Unit Citation Award for their work.

Connecticut State Police Bureau of Organized Crime, New Haven Police Department, Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms & Explosives  

   During the Winter of 2007, there was a public outcry regarding an increase in illegal narcotics, homicides, violent crimes and gun violence in the City of New Haven. The Connecticut State Police provided assistance to the New Haven Police Department with theses serious offenses and quality of life issues.

   In January 2007, an enforcement initiative, the “Urban Violence Task Force,” was created utilizing members of the Bureau of Organized Crime.  They targeted violent firearm and illegal narcotics-related violations.

   Utilizing their training & experience, and relying on information obtained from law-abiding residents, the Task Force initiated 377 investigations resulting in approximately 400 arrests, predominantly for felony gun and narcotic offenses.  Seized were 51 illegal firearms, $23,825 in U.S. currency, approximately 27 kilos of marijuana and significant cocaine and heroin seizures worth an estimated $300,000.  In addition, 78 arrest warrants were served and 44 search warrants were executed, along with 49 confidential informant buys, five undercover buys, five buy/bust operations and 247 on-site arrests.

   The Task Force helped to reduce New Haven’s murder rate to a five-year low of 13 in 2007.  The Task Force was also responsible, at least in part, for a 40 percent reduction in shootings thus far in 2008.  The collective actions of the individuals assigned to the Task Force contributed to a significant reduction in crime, improved the quality of life in the most violent areas of the city and helped to restore citizen satisfaction with the police.  

   All members of the Task Force earned a Unit Citation award.

Troop F, Westbrook  

   Trooper First Class Adam Brown and Officer Todd Belcourt of the Chester Resident Trooper’s Office initiated a criminal investigation into the fraudulent use of a credit card from the town of Chester.  Their investigation led them to a Bridgeport residence on January 12, 2008, where property purchased with the stolen credit card was observed in plain view. 

   Trooper Brown and Officer Belcourt obtained signed statements from the parties involved, as well as valid consent forms.  Approximately $3,000 worth of property purchased with the stolen credit card was seized from the residence. 

During the course of the investigation, Trooper Brown noted a strong odor of marijuana while inside the residence.  He initiated an interview of the suspect that led to an admission of the presence of narcotics hidden in a closet.   Subsequently, approximately seven pounds of marijuana was seized along with a scale. 

   Trooper Brown was able to obtain both a valid consent to search and a signed confession.  Arrests were made related to the narcotics violations and multiple arrest warrants were applied for related to the original credit card investigation. Trooper Brown is commended for his superior judgment and investigative skills that led to the recovery of stolen property, as well as the seizure of marijuana. 

   A Unit Citation award was presented Trooper Brown and Officer Belcourt.

Connecitcut State Police, Statewide Narcotics Task Force, Statewide Firearms Trafficking Task Force, Auto Theft Unit, U.S. Marshal’s Office, Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives, Members of the Bristol, East Hartford, Hartford, Middletown and Milford Police Departments

   As a result of increased incidents of violent crime in the City of Hartford, the Connecticut State Police partnered with the Hartford Police Department to develop and implement a comprehensive and proactive initiative to curb the violence.

   The objectives were to arrest lawbreakers; deter & prevent commission of incidents of violent crime, gun violence and gang-related activities; and to enhance the quality of life for the citizens of Hartford. 

   The joint initiative, titled “Operation Safe City 2008,” operated between June 16 and September 26. The development, implementation and maintenance of the initiative was successfully accomplished due to the dedication, expertise, mutual trust, respect and interagency cooperation exhibited among the law enforcement professionals selected to participate.

   The following statistics underscore the operation’s effectiveness:  2,580 total arrests; 1,343 total in-custody arrests; $37,736 in cash seized; 63 firearms seized; 656 summons issued; 778 infractions issued; 871 warnings issued; and 78 vehicles seized.

   All involved earned Unit Citation Awards.

Dispatcher Karen Murphy 

   Dispatcher Murphy of Troop W in Windsor Locks took the initiative to study the content of the Bradley Airport’s emergency plans, which were stored in a disjointed manner at Troop W.

   Dispatcher Murphy condensed the material to a flow chart and checklist, which now serves as the instruction sheet for any Hazmat incident, mass casualty event, mutual aid request or airline disaster occurring at the airport. These critical instructions are now readily available to those assigned to Troop W. The instructions will improve the efficiency in the event of one of these disasters.

Due to Dispatcher Murphy’s diligence and research, the flow chart/checklist was also adopted as the official reference guide by the Bradley Fire Department.

   In addition, Dispatcher Murphy proposed revisions to the Troop W emergency plans. She edited outdated procedures, updated contact information and made suggestions for other deficiencies that were detected. Then-Troop W Commander Captain Stebbins endorsed each of Dispatcher Murphy’s proposals, which were then officially recorded into the Troop’s emergency plans.

   Dispatcher Murphy accomplished all of this while still effectively discharging her “official” responsibilities to the Troop.  She went above and beyond the call of duty to make Troop W more efficient and responsive.

   Dispatcher Murphy was named “Dispatcher of the Year” by the State Police.

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