Connecticut State Police Patch STATE OF CONNECTICUT
Department of Public Safety
1111 Country Club Road
Middletown, Connecticut 06457
January 15, 2010

State Police Troopers from

TroopS F, H, W

Receive Service Awards

   State Police Troopers from Troop F in Westbrook,  Troop H in Hartford and Troop W in Windsor Locks received awards for service during a ceremony January 15 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 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:

   Trooper First Class Curtis Booker   On July 6, 2009, at 2:20 p.m., Troop H broadcast a “be on the lookout” alert for a red pickup truck, reporting that the vehicle was involved in a road rage incident in the area of Interstate 91 in Hartford.  The operator of the vehicle reportedly displayed a handgun.  The vehicle was soon spotted by a Trooper in the vicinity of Exit 38 in Windsor.  The suspect vehicle was able to elude the Trooper by quickly exiting the highway. 

   Trooper Booker was in Windsor when he spotted the vehicle on a local road driving toward his cruiser.   To prevent an escape, Trooper Booker moved his patrol vehicle directly into the path of the pickup, forcing it to stop. 

   The driver was observed making several furtive movements by reaching under his seat when Trooper Booker initiated a felony motor vehicle stop.  He took a position of cover, drew his service weapon and took the operator into custody without incident. Located beneath the driver’s seat was a fully loaded Smith and Wesson 9mm semi-automatic pistol.  Trooper Booker earned a Meritorious Service Award for his actions.

   Trooper First Class Kenneth Dillon   On April 7, 2009 at 8:32 p.m., Trooper Dillon was dispatched to assist the Windsor Locks Police Department with an accident involving a passenger car and a pedestrian at a busy intersection with Route 75.  Trooper Dillon, also a trained paramedic, determined that the male pedestrian had sustained traumatic injuries to his body and was in and out of consciousness. Trooper Dillon assumed command of the scene and stabilized the man until the arrival of ambulance personnel who assisted with advanced life saving implements.   Trooper Dillon travelled with the ambulance to the hospital so that he could continue treatment of the injured man.  The victim was transported to Hartford Hospital and survived this accident.  

The significant medical treatment rendered by Trooper Dillon prior to the arrival of the ambulance gave the victim the best possible second chance for life. He earned a Lifesaving Award.

   TFC Adam Brown, East Haddam Officer Craig Mansfield  On April 29, 2009, at 4:53 p.m., Troop F received a call of an unconscious & unresponsive male within a vehicle on Bridge Street in Haddam.  Chester Resident Trooper Brown arrived on the scene and found East Haddam Officer Mansfield – who was off-duty at the time – performing CPR on the victim.  Trooper Brown assisted Officer Mansfield with the victim, who did not have a pulse and was not breathing.

   The victim was resuscitated for a short period of time when they lost the victim’s pulse and observed no breathing again.  Officer Mansfield retrieved an airway device from his medical kit and re-established the victim’s airway.  Both Trooper Brown and Officer Mansfield started CPR again and restored the victim’s breathing.  Haddam Ambulance personnel along with a paramedic responded and transported the victim to a local hospital.  The victim survived the incident and recovered shortly thereafter. 

   Trooper Brown and Officer Mansfield were each awarded a Lifesaving Award.

   Trooper First Class Vincent Bellizzi Trooper Bellizzi was on patrol on Interstate 91 when he came across two vehicles pulled over on the exit 27 on-ramp.  A distraught female standing near the vehicle informed Trooper Bellizzi that her fiancée was inside the vehicle and he was not breathing. 

Trooper Bellizzi approached the victim and found a faint pulse, but his was turning blue.  Trooper Bellizzi initiated two cycles of CPR and the victim responded positively by breathing on his own.  The victim’s pulse increased as well.  Paramedics arrived on scene and the victim later became responsive.

   The quick response of Trooper First Class Vincent Bellizzi undoubtedly saved the life of the victim. He was presented with a Lifesaving Award.

   Trooper John Wilson, Trooper Sherwane Hudson   On July 19, 2009, at 6:30 a.m., Trooper Wilson and Trooper Hudson were dispatched to check for a pedestrian walking near the I-91 and I-84 flyover in Hartford. 

   Trooper Wilson located the pedestrian, who was walking on Interstate 91 Southbound, south of exit 31.  The pedestrian started to walk away from Trooper Wilson and as the Trooper increased his pace, the pedestrian increased her pace.  It became apparent that the woman was despondent, as she didn’t respond to Trooper Wilson’s inquiries.

   Upon Trooper Hudson’s arrival on-scene, the pedestrian jumped onto the jersey barrier and grabbed a shard of glass from a discarded broken bottle.  The pedestrian then cut her left wrist causing a gaping wound.  The Troopers were able to distract the pedestrian and prevented her from cutting herself again or jumping in traffic by placing her against the jersey barrier.  The Troopers’ applied direct pressure to stop the bleeding in her wrist.  The pedestrian was then transported to a local hospital for treatment. 

   The quick response of Trooper John Wilson and Trooper Sherwane Hudson earned each a Lifesaving Award.

   Trooper First Class Curtis Booker   On June 5, 2009, at approximately 6:10 p.m., Trooper Booker was travelling on Interstate-91 Northbound in the exit 30-32 area when traffic came to a sudden stop.  Trooper Booker observed a stationary medium-sized tanker truck sideways in the travel portion of the roadway and damage to the Jersey barrier.

   Several motorists advised Trooper Booker that the driver of the truck was not breathing and had no pulse.   As Trooper Booker started CPR, an off-duty registered nurse and an EMT arrived on scene to assist.  The EMT stabilized the truck driver’s head, the nurse began rescue breathing and Trooper Booker started chest compressions.  With these efforts, the truck driver began coughing and breathing.  The quick response of these professionals ultimately saved the life of this individual.    Trooper Booker earned a Lifesaving Award for his efforts.

   Trooper First Class Steven Orlowski   On May 19, 2009, Trooper Orlowski was on his way home from work when he came upon what appeared to be a school bus accident on Route 83 in Vernon. 

When Trooper Orlowski stopped to check for injuries, he noticed that the operator had no pulse and appeared to have suffered a heart attack.  Trooper Orlowski immediately radioed for help and began life-saving CPR.  He continued CPR until the arrival of medical technicians, who transported the victim to a local hospital.

   With the rapid response and medical intervention of Trooper Orlowski, the victim made a full recovery. His quick actions earned him a Lifesaving Award.

   Lt. Samuel Izzarelli, Sergeant Joseph Biela, Trooper First Class Debbie Jeney, Trooper First Class Michael Pirolli, Trooper First Class Mike Saunders, Doreen Clavet, Marisol Laboy,Sabrina Kinder all of the Sex Offender Unit and Joseph Lapierre, Jeanne Skellett and Paulette Whipple of the Dept. of Information Technology  Since 1988, the Connecticut State Police Sex Offender Unit has had the primary responsibility to ensure the important public safety mission of sex offender registration and notification programs for the entire state of Connecticut.  There have been numerous statutory changes to expand the protective shield of the registry.

Significant technical, legal and operational skills are needed to oversee the implementation of the modifications to the registry.  Moreover, coordination with various state & federal judicial, legislative and executive entities, other law enforcement organizations, and information technology service providers are instrumental to the continued success of the registry.

   Over the past few years, Lt.  Izzarelli has played a lead management/supervisory role that has allowed the Sex Offender Registry to maintain its high profile to protect citizens. Recently, sworn and civilian members of the unit, with the assistance of experts from the Dept. of Information Technology, completed a noteworthy upgrade to the registry’s database that met the federal mandates of the Adam Walsh Act.

   The dedication, commitment and expertise of Lt. Izzarelli and the SOR staff has allowed the State Police to continue to be the leader in the administration and oversight of an effective, productive Sex Offender Registry.  Lt. Izzarelli received an Outstanding Service Award; all other received a Unit Citation Award.

   Trooper First Class Matthew Ward, Trooper First Class Charles Burns, Sergeant James Gilman, Trooper First Class Judson Howes, Dispatcher Stefanie Riccardo, Mr. Hilary Lasak    

   From October 2008 through January 2009, the towns of Haddam and Killingworth experienced 21 residential burglaries. In late 2008, a burglary task force was established and included Trooper Burns and Sgt. Gilman.  This task force was formed to aggressively investigate the burglaries.

Sgt. Gilman and Trooper Burns worked tirelessly on their investigation.  On January 19, 2009, Haddam Neck resident Mr. Lasak obtained a photo of a suspicious vehicle in his neighborhood.  The Department of Motor Vehicles provided a list of vehicles matching the suspect vehicle.  After hours of searching, Dispatcher Riccardo was able to run multiple registration plates to obtain a similar match to a plate given weeks prior. A follow-up investigation on the suspect vehicle by Trooper Burns and Trooper Howes led to a confession by a female suspect. 

   During the weeks afterward, Sgt. Gilman and Trooper Burns developed three other suspects and obtained two additional confession statements.  The investigation, assisted by Trooper Ward, resulted in the seizure of more than 200 pieces of stolen jewelry recovered from across the state.  This discovery linked the four suspects to all 21 residential burglaries in Haddam and Killingworth. The investigation also linked the subjects to 15 additional burglaries in surrounding towns and resulted in 48 felony arrest warrants obtained for the 21 residential burglaries.

   Sgt. Gilman and Troopers Ward, Burns and Howes earned Outstanding Service Awards; Dispatcher Riccardo and Mr. Lasak earned Commissioner’s Recognition Awards.

   Trooper First Class Gregory Smith   On August 10, 2009, at 4:30 a.m., an armed robbery was reported at a convenience store in Durham.  While en route to the scene, Trooper Smith saw the suspect vehicle traveling toward him, coming from the store’s location.

   Trooper Smith knew that the road would be a viable escape route from the convenience store.  He illuminated the interior compartment of the vehicle as it passed by him and noted that the occupant in the front passenger seat matched the description of the reported assailant.  Knowing that the crime scene was secure, Trooper Smith turned his vehicle around and caught up to the suspect vehicle several miles north from where he initially saw it.

   During a motor vehicle stop, he found the front passenger gone and the operator and a rear passenger still in the vehicle.  Trooper Smith obtained a verbal confession from the occupants.  He learned the identity of the front passenger who had robbed the store and located the mask worn during the robbery inside the vehicle.  Trooper Smith obtained a better description of the escaped suspect’s clothing and information that led to the recovery of items of evidentiary value.  He maintained radio contact with other investigators in the area and advised them of the suspect’s possible location and path of travel.  Trooper Smith obtained a sworn written statement regarding the roles everyone played in the robbery.

   The escaped suspect was located a short time later on foot in Middlefield and was taken into custody. Trooper Smith earned an Outstanding Service Award.

   John A. Martin   On August 8, 2009, at approximately 3:30 p.m., a small aircraft experienced complete engine failure and its pilot was forced to make an emergency landing.  Having no alternative, the pilot chose to make an emergency water landing in Long Island Sound.  The aircraft was seen flying at an extremely low level and crashed approximately 100 yards from shore in the town of Westbrook. 

   John A. Martin was operating a jet ski nearby and observed the plane in obvious distress.  He maneuvered his jet ski to follow the plane’s flight path until it crashed into the water.  Martin then approached the downed aircraft to render assistance to the plane’s occupants.  With disregard to his own personal safety, Martin immediately responded to this dangerous and life-threatening event and was able to assist the pilot from the aircraft and safely transport him to shore.  

   Mr. Martin acted quickly when he rushed towards the downed aircraft in an effort to save its occupant. He earned a Commissioner’s Recognition Award.

   Dispatcher Paula Freeman, Mr. Steven Biella On September 13, 2009, at about 3:30 a.m., Mr. Biella, owner of a company in Berlin, saw a suspicious pick-up truck in the parking lot of his business. When he approached the vehicle, it fled the scene.  Biella contacted Troop H in Hartford via cell phone and informed Dispatcher Freeman that he was following the vehicle. He advised Dispatcher Freeman that the pick-up truck entered Interstate 84 westbound from Route 9.

   Biella continued to update Dispatcher Freeman with the pick-up truck's location.  Plainville Police were notified of the situation and responded to the area to assist.  As the suspect truck approached exit 33, Plainville Police located and stopped the vehicle.  Troop H Troopers arrived on scene a short time later.   

   Inside the pick-up, Plainville Police and Troop H Troopers found six men all dressed in wet, muddy camouflaged clothing, along with at least 40 freshly cut catalytic converters, worth an estimated $75,000, and battery-operated saws.  Biella's business did not suffer any losses, but it was later determined by Berlin Police that an area business had 28 catalytic converters stolen.

   Dispatcher Freeman and Mr. Biella received Commissioner’s Recognition Awards.