Connecticut State Police Patch STATE OF CONNECTICUT
Department of Public Safety
1111 Country Club Road
Middletown, Connecticut 06457
November 29, 2006

Troopers from Troop C Receive Service Awards

State Police Troopers from Troop C in Tolland received awards for service during a ceremony on Wednesday, November 29, at the Connecticut State Police Training Academy in Meriden.

Twice a year, the Connecticut State Police honors Troopers who demonstrated exceptional service in the line of duty.  The ceremony also honors men and women serving in local and federal law enforcement agencies and those serving as first responders, as well as civilians.  Award winners received medals and certificates from Department of Public Safety Commissioner Leonard C. Boyle and State Police Colonel Edward Lynch.

Awards are presented in four categories:

*      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.

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

*      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.

*      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.

      Troop C barracks of the Connecticut State Police, located in Tolland, is proud have several individual award winners from the troop.   

Trooper First Class Karen O’Connor On March 14, 2006, Trooper First Class Karen O’Connor was off duty dining at a restaurant when she noticed a woman who appeared to be choking.  Trooper O’Connor immediately approached the woman and  performed abdominal thrusts on the woman, dislodging the obstruction and allowing the woman to start breathing on her own. Trooper O’Conner was awarded a Lifesaving Medal.

Police Officer Keith Palmer On May 5, 2006, a woman called Troop C reporting that her former husband, a resident of Mansfield, mailed her a suicide note.  Mansfield Police Officer Keith Palmer was assigned to respond to the residence and located the man unresponsive. Officer Palmer called for an ambulance and roused the man into a semi-conscious state.  He kept him in that condition until medical personnel arrived and transported him to a local hospital. Officer Palmer was awarded the Lifesaving Medal.

Trooper Christopher Snow, Trooper John Scannell, Stafford Police Sergeant James Desso On July 2, 2006, Stafford Police Sergeant James Desso observed smoke and flames coming from an apartment in a Stafford residence.  He notified Troop C and the Stafford Resident State Troopers of the fire.  Without hesitation and without the protection of the fire department, Sgt. Desso, Trooper Christopher Snow and Trooper John Scannell entered the burning building, found apartments occupied and quickly moved the occupants out of harms way.  Staffordville Fire Chief Neil Sadlak later stated that the combined efforts of Stafford Police Sgt. Desso, Trooper Snow and Trooper Scannell had saved the lives and prevented a tragedy.   The three were awarded Lifesaving Medals.

Trooper Wayne Opdenbrouw and Dispatcher Michelle White On July 25, 2006, Troop C received a call from a woman whose husband was threatening suicide. Trooper Wayne Opdenbrouw contacted the despondent male via telephone.  At the same time, unbeknownst to the man, Troopers were establishing a perimeter around his residence. Additionally, Dispatcher Michelle White was receiving critical information about the subject, which she relayed to Trooper Opdenbrouw to aid in rapport building. Trooper Opdenbrouw negotiated with the subject for more than an hour and arranged for him to exit his home.  As the subject was leaving, he observed Troopers around his house, became irate and went back into his house. Trooper Opdenbrouw and Dispatcher White combined resources and talked the subject out of his residence. He was secured and transported to a hospital. Trooper Opdenbrouw and Dispatcher White were awarded Lifesaving Medals.

Trooper John Scannell, Officer James Desso, Sergeant Clanford Pierce, Trooper First Class Neil Manning, Trooper First Class Jay Gershowitz, Trooper First Class Daniel McCarthy and Trooper First Class Patrick Dwyer On July 5, 2006, Troop C received a call regarding a despondent male who had run into the woods with a knife and was threatening to harm himself.  Trooper John Scannell and Sergeant James Desso of the Stafford Resident Trooper’s Office were dispatched to the call and established a perimeter. Minutes later, Sergeant Clanford Pierce, Troopers First Class Neil Manning, Jay Gershowitz, Daniel McCarthy and Patrick Dwyer and his K-9 Brit arrived on scene. Trooper Dwyer began a track and was able to locate a bloodied subject sitting in the woods with a knife to his throat.  The subject refused to put the knife down.  Troopers executed a plan and the despondent male agreed to put down the knife. The subject was secured and transported to the hospital. All Troopers involved received a Unit Citation.