Connecticut State Police Patch STATE OF CONNECTICUT
Department of Public Safety
1111 Country Club Road
Middletown, Connecticut 06457
November 13, 2007

Troopers from Troop H and Headquarters Receive Service Awards

State Police Troopers from Troop H in Hartford and from State Police Headquarters in Middletown received awards for service during a ceremony Tuesday, November 13, 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 and those serving as first responders.  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:

Sergeant Steven Hall  On September 25, 2006, at approximately 1 a.m., Troop H received numerous 911 calls reporting that a vehicle was traveling south in the northbound lanes of I-91 in Windsor. Sgt. Hall responded from Troop H and observed the vehicle in the high occupancy lane. As the vehicle approached, Sgt. Hall observed vehicles behind his cruiser in danger of being struck by the wrong way driver.

Sgt. Hall took immediate action by steering his cruiser into the path of the wrong way vehicle in an attempt to protect northbound vehicles and their occupants. The wrong way driver struck Sgt. Hall’s cruiser head on, then reversed direction, traveling north on I-91.

Despite having sustained neck, back and shoulder injuries, Sgt. Hall still attempted to pursue the wrong way driver. Trooper First Class Dale Smith observed the suspect vehicle on a Windsor street and, while attempting to confirm the marker number, his cruiser was struck by the vehicle and disabled. Trooper Smith maintained visual contact with the suspect vehicle, allowing Trooper Alexis Perez to stop the suspect vehicle at an intersection in Windsor. Trooper Perez took the suspect into custody without further incident.

Sgt. Hall was awarded a medal for Meritorious Service.

            Trooper First Class Ian Sacks, Sergeant Troy Anderson and Trooper First Class John Tollis   On May 5, 2007, at approximately 4:30 p.m., Troop H received a 911 call from a woman stating that her brother was operating a van on I-91 when he lost consciousness while driving. From the passenger seat, the woman was able to guide van onto the left shoulder, where it came to rest against a jersey barrier.

TFC Sacks located the van and noted that the operator of the van was unconscious and not breathing. TFC Sacks attempted to begin CPR. However, due to the vehicle against the barrier and the size of the victim, he had no other option but to begin CPR in the driver’s seat. Hearing this radio transmission, Sgt. Troy Anderson responded to assist. Together, they were able to remove the victim from the van. Sgt. Anderson and Trooper Sacks performed CPR in the left lane of Interstate 91 before being joined by TFC Tollis. After several minutes, EMTs arrived with advanced life support equipment and relieved the Troopers.

TFC Sacks, Sgt. Anderson and TFC Tollis each received a Lifesaving Award.

Trooper First Class Ian Sacks On June 24, 2007, TFC Sacks was on patrol on Interstate 91 in Cromwell when Troop H broadcast a report that a six-year-old child had drowned at a hotel located off the highway in Cromwell.  TFC Sacks immediately went to the scene.

TFC Sacks was the first emergency responder on the scene. He determined that the child had been underwater for 5-10 minutes and that he was not breathing.  TFC Sacks immediately initiated CPR and continued for approximately 3-4 minutes, when the child regained consciousness.  According to first responding paramedics, had it not been for the immediate intervention of TFC Sacks, the child would most certainly have perished.

            TFC Sacks was awarded a medal for Lifesaving.

Sergeant Arthur Goodale and Detective Daniel Sivori  On June 8, 2007, at 1:30 p.m., Sgt. Goodale and Det. Sivori of the Statewide Firearms Trafficking Task Force conducted a complex investigation involving the larceny of numerous firearms from a South Windsor gun shop.

This investigation led to the execution of a search and seizure warrant in Somers in which 629 firearms were seized from a private residence. This is the largest seizure of handguns and long arm guns in the history of the Statewide Firearms Trafficking Task Force.

After completing the specialized and comprehensive task of identifying and categorizing the 629 firearms, Sgt. Goodale and Det. Sivori were able to recover 45 stolen firearms valued at nearly $21,000. In addition, two firearms were recovered that had been stolen in a Tolland burglary two years earlier. The investigation led to a third case, revealing that the accused had illegally sold an FN Five Seven pistol. The round fired from the FN pistol will perforate through 48 layers of Kevlar from 50 meters away.

This one investigation led to the removal of 629 firearms valued at more than a half-million dollars from the hands of potential criminals. Three cases involving firearms felony charges were brought to a successful conclusion.

Sgt. Goodale and Det. Sivori earned medals for Outstanding Service.

Connecticut Regional Auto Theft Task Force (CRATTF).  CRATTF is responsible for auto theft criminal investigations that occur within the state of Connecticut. The task force also participates in joint investigations with federal, state and local law enforcement agencies, as well as with various insurance investigators. Currently, CRATTF is made up of State Troopers, municipal law enforcement officers, Department of Motor Vehicle Inspectors and agents from the National Insurance Crime Bureau.

In 2006, CRATTF showed a tremendous increase in arrests and stolen vehicle recoveries as a result of criminal investigations conducted. That year, CRATTF had an increase of 190% in stolen vehicle recoveries, recovering 458 stolen motor vehicles valued at nearly $3 million. The CRATTF also increased criminal arrests by 130%, making 117 arrests of persons in possession of stolen vehicles or parts.

The members of the Connecticut Regional Auto Theft Task Force are recognized for their commitment to excellence and their continued dedication to combating auto theft related crime in the state of Connecticut. Their actions are in the highest tradition of the Connecticut State Police. 

Members of CRATTF each receiving a Unit Citation award are:  Lt. Martin Lane, Sgt. Timothy Nolan, Sgt. James Lynch, Sgt. John S. Eckersley, TFC Christopher Bartolotta, TFC Paula Brunetto, TFC Peter Pinelli and TFC Mario Caruso of the Connecticut State Police; Sgt. Howard Koenig of the Department of Motor Vehicles; Det. John Pribesh of the Bridgeport Police Dept.; Sgt. Anthony Zona, Det. Joseph Dease, Det. Andres Diaz and Det. William Hurley of the New Haven Police Dept., Det. Richard Vetter of the Stamford Police Dept.; and Keith Carlough of the National Insurance Crime Bureau.

William Foran, David Gankofskie and Elizabeth Grossman   On March 22, 2007, at 2:15 p.m., three private citizens – William Foran, David Gankofskie and Elizabeth Grossman, a registered nurse – were all traveling on Interstate 91 in Hartford when they observed a vehicle strike the center jersey barrier.  Prior to the vehicle coming to a stop, Ms. Grossman observed the operator grabbing his chest and convulsing in a manner that appeared to be a heart attack.  

Without regard to their own personal safety, Mr. Foran, Mr. Gankofskie and Ms. Grossman pulled their cars to the side of the road to assist the operator.  They found the operator unresponsive behind the steering wheel with the doors locked.  Mr. Foran and Mr. Gankofskie immediately broke a window, entered the car and removed the operator to a safe location.  Once they determined that the operator did not have a pulse, all three immediately began lifesaving CPR.  Through their efforts and determination, they were able to sustain the operator’s life until advanced medical care arrived and transported him to a local hospital.

Mr. Foran, Mr. Gankofskie and Ms. Grossman each received a Commissioner’s Recognition award.