|STATE OF CONNECTICUT
Department of Public Safety
1111 Country Club Road
Middletown, Connecticut 06457
FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
May 18, 2010
State Police Troopers from
TroopS F, H, I
Receive Service Awards
State Police Troopers from Troop F in Westbrook, Troop H in Hartford and Troop I in Bethany received awards for service during a ceremony May 18 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 State Police Colonel Thomas Davoren.
Awards were presented in four categories:
Ø The Meritorious Service Medal is awarded to those who render 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 those who save a human life or make a valiant attempt to save a life.
Ø The Outstanding Service Award is given to those who successfully perform an extreme, complex or difficult investigation. The person(s) also may demonstrate exceptional skill or ingenuity in the apprehension of a wanted person, provide outstanding service to the public and or continuously achieve 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:
Essex Officer April Pawlow On Nov. 16, 2009, at approximately 5 p.m., Officer April Pawlow was on patrol in the town of Essex when she was summoned by a motor vehicle operator who was frantically blaring her car horn.
The distraught female operator opened the rear door of her vehicle and removed her young child who was unresponsive and limp. Officer Pawlow swiftly determined that the child had an obstructed airway and performed the Heimlich maneuver. The child started breathing. Officer Pawlow continued to closely monitor the child until emergency medical personnel arrived. The child was transported to a local clinic and made a full recovery.
Officer Pawlow earned a Lifesaving Award.
Trooper First Class Gary Cipoletta, Trooper David Malek, Trooper Dawn Taylor On March 31, 2010, Troop F received a report of a rollover motor vehicle collision on Interstate 95 southbound in the town of Old Lyme. Troopers Cipolletta, Malek and Taylor were dispatched to the collision scene.
The Troopers discovered that a tractor trailer truck had struck a vehicle from behind, causing that vehicle to roll over, travel down a 40-foot embankment located off the right shoulder and come to a rest on its roof in a swamp. The vehicle was immediately submerged in swamp water with the operator trapped inside. The Troopers ran down the embankment and jumped into the frigid swamp water, which was approximately four feet deep, in an effort to locate any occupants of the vehicle.
The Troopers were unable to visually see into the vehicle due to the dark, muddy water. They reached through a broken window and Trooper Cipolletta located the arm of the occupant. The Troopers pulled the operator out of the vehicle and placed her on dry land along the swamp edge. The operator was unresponsive and not breathing after being trapped in the submerged vehicle for approximately eight minutes.
The Troopers initiated CPR while they were still standing in swamp water. They continued CPR until the arrival of EMS personnel who transported the operator to a local hospital. The female occupant was in critical condition, but regained consciousness and was released from the hospital just four days after the accident.
Troopers Cipoletta, Malek and Taylor each earned a Lifesaving Award.
Trooper First Class Brian Becker, Trooper Douglas Sackett On March 29, 2008, at approximately 12:26 p.m., Troopers Becker and Sackett responded to a motor vehicle accident on the connecting section of highway from Interstate 84 Westbound and Route 291 to Interstate 384 Eastbound.
Upon arrival, the Troopers were informed by a witness that a vehicle driven by an elderly male drifted into the grass shoulder, at which time he appeared to lose consciousness. The Troopers, along with the witness, removed the elderly man from the vehicle and determined that he was not breathing and had no pulse. Troopers Becker and Sackett began CPR until the arrival of medical personnel. It was later learned that the man had suffered a heart attack while driving, causing the accident.
The Troopers earned a Lifesaving Award for their efforts.
Beacon Falls Officer Caroline O’Bar On August 8, 2009, at approximately 1:20 a.m., Troop I broadcast a description of a vehicle occupied by several persons wanted for questioning in relation to an assault that had just occurred in Watertown.
Officer O’Bar located and stopped the vehicle, which was occupied by four people. Officer O’Bar was advised that the two men in the vehicle had used some type of instrument to severely assault another person. A makeshift baton was located in the front passenger compartment area of the vehicle and seized as evidence. In addition, a golf club was located in the rear passenger area and seized as evidence. Members of the Watertown Police Department arrived shortly afterward and took both the male parties into custody for second degree assault.
Officer O’Bar is commended for her high degree of alertness in locating and stopping this vehicle, allowing for the arrest of wanted suspects. She was awarded an Outstanding Service Award.
Trooper First Class Robert Lanouette Between October & November 2009, Trooper Lanouette was involved in three significant investigations in the Troop F area.
On Oct. 1, 2009, Trooper Lanouette and his assigned K-9, Czar, were conducting a track for a wanted person in Old Lyme. Trooper Lanouette discovered a small marijuana grow operation in a wooded area; a follow-up investigation led to a suspect from Clinton. At the suspect’s residence, the Trooper discovered a large, elaborate marijuana grow operation throughout the home and in outbuildings on the property, as well as several marijuana plants growing throughout the suspect’s eight acres of property. The suspect was arrested and more than 100 marijuana plants, along with large amounts of cultivated marijuana and drug paraphernalia, were seized.
On Oct. 18, Trooper Lanouette was searching for a suspect in an attempted murder in Westbrook. He located the suspect walking on Main Street in Ivoryton. As the Trooper stopped and cautiously approached the man, the suspect removed a handgun from his waistband and fatally shot himself.
One month later, on Nov. 19, Trooper Lanouette and K-9 Czar assisted Clinton Police with a K-9 track for a suspect involved in a home invasion and assault. The track led to a trailer park, where the suspect was hiding inside a structure. Due to Trooper Lanouette’s efforts, the suspect confessed to committing the home invasion.
Trooper Lanouette’s performance during this time period provided excellent service and exceptional skill in law enforcement. He was presented with an Outstanding Service Award.
Jo-Ann Ricci Ms. Ricci is a Secretary II in the Investigation and Enforcement staff of the Office of the State Fire Marshal. For the last 36 years, she has assisted Troopers and Sergeants with conducting the day to day business of the office.
Her immediate supervisor, Sgt. Chris Guari, notes that Jo-Ann’s “role goes largely unnoticed… but her contribution to the agency and the public that we serve has a significant impact.”
Jo-Ann routinely handles correspondence with other troops and units, to local fire marshals, amusement ride companies and engineers, to name a few.
Jo-Ann coordinates and schedules more than 200 inspections by Troopers each year. She coordinates the paperwork for nearly 1,000 rides that come to CT and are cleared for use.
She processes the permits for amusements and circus’ that are issued by the state and, at a time when the agency special licensing unit was reduced from 5 processing techs to just 2, she volunteered to help and cross-trained herself on how to assist with the processing of fireworks and explosives permits.
Her co-workers describe Ms. Ricci as “truly irreplaceable” and they are saddened that Jo-Ann will leave state service this month for a much-deserved retirement.
Ms. Ricci received the Administrative Excellence Award.
Auxiliary Trooper Donald Nordstrom Auxiliary Trooper Nordstrom has served the State of Connecticut as an Auxiliary Trooper for more than 38 years. He currently serves as the Auxiliary Unit Leader for the State Police Firearms Training Unit. Prior to that assignment, he worked out of Troop H as a Patrol Auxiliary.
During 2009, Aux. Trooper Nordstrom volunteered a total of 1,504 hours. His time at the unit is spent on administrative duties, including required auxiliary reports. He maintains all equipment for the department and ensures that it is in working order.
Aux. Tpr. Nordstrom works as a line safety officer during in-service training. He is very skilled and very patient when working with students, as well as the loading machines.
Aux. Tpr. Nordstrom is respected by his peers, a pleasure to work with and always ready to assist the State Police with any request.
Aux. Tpr. Nordstrom was awarded the Auxiliary Trooper of the Year Award.