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

Troopers from Troops H and W
Receive Service Awards

State Police Troopers from Troop H in Hartford and Troop W in Windsor Locks 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 several categories, including:

*      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 H barracks of the Connecticut State Police, located in Hartford, and Troop W, located at Bradley International Airport in Windsor Locks, is proud have award winners from the troops.   

          Trooper Paul Dacruz, Trooper Gerard Joyal, Sergeant Steven Hall  On June 22, 2006, Troop H radioed an all-points bulletin for a vehicle stolen from Springfield, Massachusetts, that was traveling Southbound on I-91. The owner of the vehicle had been assaulted and robbed, and the keys to her vehicle were taken by force. A witness observed the vehicle on I-91, occupied by two individuals.

Trooper Dacruz took up a post with Trooper Joyal and Sergeant Hall. The vehicle was seen driving in the HOV lane during heavy rush hour traffic.  The three Troopers boxed in the stolen car, forcing it to stop.  The two occupants were immediately taken into custody and the vehicle was recovered without damage. The three Troopers were awarded Outstanding Service medals.

         Sgt. Mark Panaccione, Sgt. Craig Larson, Sgt. Chester Harris, Sgt. Joseph Marchio, Det. Robert Bardelli, Det. Ian Case, Det. John Threlfall, Det. Mark Wiener, Det. Janice Warkoski, Det. Ronald DeMaine, Det. Edward Roche, Jr., Det. Gustavo Salas,  Det. Pedro Rosado, Trooper Christopher High  During the month of May 2006, there was a public outcry regarding crime and violence in the neighborhoods of the Northeast area of Hartford. The Connecticut State Police Bureau of Criminal Investigations and the Hartford Police Department joined forces to address these serious criminal offenses and quality of life issues.    
      An initiative, titled “Operation True North,” was formulated by teaming members of the State Police Bureau of Criminal Investigations with Hartford Police to target firearm and narcotic-related violations. The task force members initiated approximately 190 criminal cases and made 264 arrests. Members of the task force also seized 14 firearms, executed nine search warrants, served 12 arrest warrants and conducted six buy/bust narcotics operations, four confidential informant buys, two undercover buys, four reverses and 174 on-sight arrests.  They seized $43,896 in cash, 19.25 ounces of crack cocaine, 2.28 ounces of cocaine, 8.72 ounces of heroin and 144.83 pounds of marijuana. The drugs had a street value of $655,187.10.

The participating law enforcement personnel reduced the flow of narcotic violation and set a positive and professional image of the Connecticut State Police and the Hartford Police Department, while cultivating an outstanding relationship with the law-abiding citizens. This operation could not have been successful without the cooperation of the two agencies working together. These Troopers were commended for their dedication, dependability and commitment and were awarded medals for Outstanding Service. The following Detectives from the Hartford Police Department were awarded a Unit Citation for their work: Sergeant Kevin Ahlquist, Sergeant Steven Dibella, Sergeant David Kardys, Sergeant Ian Thompson, Detective Robert Burgos, Detective Michael Cacioli, Detective Nestor Caraballo, Detective Patrick Farrell, Detective Edward Foster, Detective Eric Gauvin, Detective Mark Manson, Detective Marcos Massa, Detective Brandon O’Brien, Detective Steven Pepler, Detective Brenon Plourde, Detective Mark Rinaldi, Detective Richard Salkeld, Detective Jose Santiago, Detective Debra Scates, Detective John Sherwood, Detective Daniel Villegas.

Sgt. Mike Jagoda, Sgt. Dave Rosado, Sgt. Sal Calvo, Trooper First Class John Thompson, Trooper Patrick Torneo, Trooper Chaun Jones, Trooper Christopher Walsh, Trooper Juan Morales, Trooper John Grigerik, Trooper Tim Begley, Trooper Donald Stankowski, Trooper Paul Dacruz, Trooper Adam Pillsbury, Trooper Rachel Vanness, Trooper Debbie Gutierrez, Trooper Jared Cockfield, Trooper Craig Murray Due to an increase in homicides and gun violence in the neighborhoods of Hartford’s Northeast District, the Connecticut State Police joined forces with Hartford Police to help reduce crime in the Capitol City. A task force, “Operation True North,” was developed to proactively respond to the shootings occurring in these neighborhoods. 

On June 9, 2006, CSP Troopers teamed up with Hartford Police to enforce violations of city ordinances and state statutes affecting quality of life in Hartford.  The task force initiated approximately 554 misdemeanor investigations, all resulting in arrests.  They made more than 100 felony arrests and executed more than 65 outstanding felony and misdemeanor warrants.  The task force also issued 238 motor vehicle summons, 1,009 infractions and 530 warnings.  In addition, 553 summons were issued for quality of life issues and 1,377 calls for service were rendered. 

This patrol task force also seized 61 bags of heroin, 80 grams of cocaine, 2,121 grams of marijuana, 276 grams of crack cocaine and more than $7,800 in cash. A total of 18 weapons were seized, including 11 handguns and a sawed off shotgun.  This unit identified more than 1,000 suspicious persons and conducted intelligence on these persons, resulting in new leads and arrests involving old cases. Not one homicide occurred in the targeted areas while the task force operated. 

These law enforcement professionals set a positive, professional image of the Connecticut State Police and the Hartford Police Department while providing an outstanding service to the communities of Hartford. They received medals for Outstanding Service.

The following people from the Hartford Police Department received a Unit Citation for their role: Chief Daryl Roberts, Deputy Chief Neil Dryfe, Assistant Chief Michael Fallon, Lieutenant William Long III, Sergeant Emory Hightower, Sergeant Shawn Spell, Officer Michael Reynolds, Officer Eric Leonard, Officer Jeff Rousseau, Officer Steve Austin, Officer Justin Lord, Officer Corey Daugherty, Officer Gami Perez, Officer Seth Condon, Officer Matt Duffy, Officer Luis Ruiz, Officer Thomas Kieselback, Officer Chris Jennings, Officer Jeff Hopkins

Detective Paula Brunetto and Sergeant John S. Eckersley On June 5, 2006, Detective Paula Brunetto and Sergeant John S. Eckersley were traveling on Burnside Avenue in East Hartford, a commercial area with heavy traffic.  They observed a small child, later determined to be 18 months old, walk off the curb and into the oncoming traffic. Without hesitation and without regard to their own safety, Det. Brunetto and Sgt. Eckersley positioned their assigned vehicles to stop traffic.  Both Det. Brunetto and Sgt. Eckersley raced to child, who was at the double yellow line in the middle of the busy road.  They earned Lifesaving awards for their efforts.

Trooper First Class Michael Henry On March 20, 2006, Trooper First Class Michael Henry responded to Terminal B at Bradley International Airport to answer reports of an unconscious person.  Upon arrival, Trooper Henry determined that the victim was in cardiac arrest.  Trooper Henry began performing CPR on the victim and continued his efforts until ambulance personnel arrived.  The victim was successfully transported to a local hospital. Trooper Henry earned a Lifesaving award.

Darlene Hanna On July 25, 2006, Dispatcher Darlene Hanna received a 911 call from a suicidal person in Plainville who stated that he overdosed.  He was injured from a fall and was in a wooded area.  Dispatcher Hanna built a rapport with the man and kept him on the phone, while relaying information to Plainville Police.  The victim regained his footing and made his way to a footbridge over the Pequabuc River where he climbed over a fence and stated that he was going to jump.  Using life saving communication skills, Dispatcher Hanna was able to talk the victim back over the fence enabling Plainville Police to find him. She was awarded a Lifesaving Medal.

From Troop H:  Sergeant Roger Beaupre, Sergeant Douglas Pena, Sergeant Jack Sauve, Trooper First Class  John Tollis, Trooper Paul Dacruz, Trooper Kevin Dowe, Trooper Scott Menard, Trooper Alex Perez, Trooper Keith Timme. Central District Major Crime Squad Lieutenant Brian McLean, Sergeant Paul Heon, Sergeant Joseph Quilty, Sergeant James Thomas, Detective James Canon, Detective Karen Gabianelli, Detective William Guida, Jr., Dectective James McGlynn, Detective Rafael Medina, Detective Stevros Mellekas, Detective Thomas Murray,Detective Jeffrey Twohill, Detective Scott Wisner, Trooper Francis Budwitz, Trooper Michael Kudish, Trooper Matthew LaCluyze.  Glastonbury Police Department:  Lieutenant Dennis Woessner, Sergeant David Simoes, Agent Lisa Hamilton, Officer Bruce Nickerson, Officer Nathan Saucier, Officer Andrew Reynolds. Hartford Police Department  Lieutenant Christopher Medford, Sergeant Robert Nelson, Officer Domenick Agostino, Officer Brian Bishop, Officer Dennis O’Conner, Officer Jeffrey Morande  On June 25, 2006, Glastonbury Police Officer Nathan Saucier intervened in a situation that initially appeared as a drunk driver. Unbeknownst to the officer, the parties he encountered were perpetrators fleeing from the scene of an unreported commercial burglary. The suspect vehicle, later determined to be stolen from Enfield, fled onto Route 2 where it crashed and became disabled. The male operator and a female passenger fled on foot and Officer Saucier gave chase. His intervention led to a violent struggle with the male, who wrestled the officer’s firearm from him.  The suspect fired one round, causing injuries to the officer’s right arm. The suspect fled with the firearm into the woods and stole a vehicle from a nearby residence. 

With little to no information about the shooter, investigators from the Central District Major Crime Squad and Glastonbury Police initiated an intense manhunt and identification of the suspect. Investigators were led to a Hartford apartment and, with the support and cooperation of Hartford Police, they apprehended the suspect without incident, charging him with attempted murder of a police officer. 

   Law enforcement personnel assigned to this investigation from the Connecticut State Police, the Glastonbury Police and the Hartford Police are to be commended for an overall outstanding job. Their collaborative effort and the sharp investigative skills of many were instrumental in the swift apprehension of this violent criminal.

   All of the above Troopers and Officers received a Unit Citation for their work.