Connecticut State Police Patch STATE OF CONNECTICUT
Department of Public Safety
1111 Country Club Road
Middletown, Connecticut 06457
May 12, 2008

Troopers from TROOPS A, B, G & l

Receive Service Awards

State Police Troopers from the Western District (Troops A, B, G & L) received awards for service during a ceremony May 12, 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 civilian men and women, as well as those serving in local and federal law enforcement agencies or 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 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 A in Southbury, Troop B in North Canaan, Troop G in Bridgeport and Troop L in Litchfield, all located in Western Connecticut, each had representatives at the awards.

Trooper Giancarlo Ardolino  On August 17, 2007, Troop A received a report of a suicidal man at a Southbury residence.  The concerned caller said that the man was depressed and made statements about ending his life.  Trooper Ardolino and Southbury Police Officers checked the residence but did not locate the individual. While interviewing the family, it was learned that he might be at a nearby park. 

A State Police dispatcher made efforts to contact the suicidal party via cell phone. After several attempts, he talked with the suicidal man’s girlfriend and learned that the subject had taken a quantity of prescription narcotics and alcohol.  The girlfriend related that she was in an unknown park and she didn’t know what to do. 

Judging by the description of the park and relative location of the man’s residence, Trooper Ardolino proceeded to the preserve in Roxbury.  He located the suicidal man who by that time was disoriented.  Trooper Ardolino rushed the man to a waiting ambulance, which brought him to a local hospital for treatment.

Trooper Ardolino earned a Lifesaving Award for efforts.

Lieutenant Shawn Boyne, Trooper First Class John Sipper, Thomaston Police Officer Keith Koval, Thomaston Police Officer Richard Galpin, Thomas Reynolds, Patricia Reynolds   On August 30, 2007, at 8:46 p.m., Thomas Reynolds of Winchester was operating his motorcycle on Route 8, near exit 40, in the town of Litchfield, with his wife, Patricia as a passenger.  As they traveled north, they discovered a burning motor vehicle with an operator trapped inside in the woods off the highway.

Patricia Reynolds, a volunteer EMT, used her portable radio to call for help, while Thomas Reynolds attempted to help the trapped driver. Unable to free the driver, he draped his leather jacket over the driver to protect him from the intense flames and he attempted to keep the driver calm until help arrived.

Lt. Boyne arrived on the scene, quickly retrieved the fire extinguisher in his vehicle and exhausted its contents. When Trooper Sipper arrived, he used his vehicle’s extinguisher to help suppress the fire. Tractor trailer operators also stopped at the scene so that their extinguishers could be used to put out the fire.  In addition, Thomaston Officers Koval and Galpin arrived to assist in stopping the fire. Tireless efforts by all involved finally proved successful, as the operator survived the fiery crash.
         Lt. Boyne, Trooper Sipper and Officers Koval and Galpin earned awards for Lifesaving; civilians Thomas and Patricia Reynolds earned Commissioner’s Recognition Awards.

            Trooper First Class Michael Downs, Trooper Matthew Bell  On Nov. 5, 2007, at approximately 7:21 p.m., Trooper Downs and Trooper Bell of Troop A were investigating a motor vehicle accident at Exit 11 on Route 7 in Danbury.  At that time, a motorist approached the two Troopers indicating that her elderly father was in her vehicle and was unresponsive, possibly from cardiac arrest.   

            Trooper Downs and Trooper Bell found that the elderly man had no vital signs. They immediately began CPR on him until they were relieved by Brookfield EMS personnel.  Due to the fast action and heroic efforts of Trooper Downs and Trooper Bell, the male victim was resuscitated and survived the incident.

            Trooper Downs and Trooper Bell each earned a Lifesaving Award.

Southbury Officer George Slaiby, Southbury Officer Carl Rosa  On Oct. 10, 2007, Officers Slaiby and Rosa of the Southbury Resident Trooper’s Office responded to the Southbury Town Hall for a report of an unresponsive male.

Upon their arrival, they found that the man had no pulse and inadequate breathing.  Both officers performed CPR on the individual for several minutes and ultimately connected the victim to a portable defibrillator.  The victim was given several shocks and the officers continued to provide first aid until EMS personnel arrived.  The victim was transported to the hospital where he survived due to the immediate medical care he received from these Officers. 

            Officers Slaiby and Rosa received Lifesaving Awards.

Trooper First Class Darren Pavlik   On June 2, 2007, Trooper Pavlik responded to a 911 call of a bleeding pedestrian at Exit 1 on Route 25 in Bridgeport.  Trooper Pavlik found a man bleeding profusely from several stab wounds.  He immediately administered first aid to the victim by applying direct pressure to the wounds to control the bleeding before the victim was transported to the hospital.

The treating emergency room physician noted that the victim was critically low of blood and that Trooper Pavlik saved the victim’s life by administering first aid and controlling the loss of blood. Trooper Pavlik earned a Lifesaving Award.

Trooper First Class Patrick Carozza, Trooper First Class David Bland, Trooper First Class Christopher Fongemie  On Dec. 23, 2007, Trooper Carozza was on general patrol when he exited Route 8 North in Thomaston. There he observed an unresponsive male lying in the snow next to a vehicle.  Trooper Carozza stopped and discovered that the man was purple in color, had stopped breathing and was without a pulse.  The passenger from the vehicle explained that the victim had overdosed on illegal narcotics and stopped breathing just prior to his arrival. 

Trooper Carozza contacted Troop L, requested an ambulance and began CPR.  A short time later, Trooper Bland and Trooper Fongemie arrived on scene to assist.  Troopers Bland and Fongemie rotated positions providing chest compressions as Trooper Carozza continued to provide rescue breathing. 

After several minutes, the Troopers were able to reestablish the victim’s pulse and breathing and conversed with him as EMTs arrived on scene.  As a direct result of these Troopers’ efforts, the victim was expected to make a complete recovery.

Troopers Carozza, Bland and Fongemie – all of Troop L – each earned a Lifesaving Award.

Trooper Shawn Prusinowski, Dispatcher John Gebauer  On Feb. 13, 2008, at 7:34 p.m., Trooper Prusinowski and Dispatcher Gebauer were manning Troop B desk operations, which included maintaining the observation and care of a teenage male prisoner incarcerated at the Troop. 

As the prisoner was consuming a meal in his cell, Dispatcher Gebauer noticed that the male was in distress.  Dispatcher Gebauer notified Trooper Prusinowski, who responded immediately and found the prisoner choking on a piece of food lodged in his throat. 

The Trooper quickly performed abdominal thrusts on the prisoner, forcefully dislodging the obstruction and saving him from serious medical consequences.  Assisted by other Troopers, Trooper Prusinowski treated the prisoner further with an oxygen mask until medical personnel arrived. The prisoner was treated at the hospital and suffered no injuries from the event.

Trooper Prusinowski earned a Lifesaving Award; Dispatcher Gebauer earned a Commissioner’s Recognition Award.

Sgt. James Kline, Sgt. Robert Kenney, Det. Daniel Crowley, Det. Richard Van Tine, Det. Carmine Verno, Det. Roberto Diaz (Ret.), Connecticut State Police, Chief State’s Attorney Office, Dept. of Motor Vehicles, Bridgeport Police Dept., Social Security Administration, Immigration and Customs Enforcement Agency   The Motor Vehicle Fraud Task Force was created in November 2004 to investigate criminal complaints regarding the fraudulent issuance of drivers’ licenses by employees of the Connecticut Department of Motor Vehicles (DMV). Investigations revealed that DMV employees issued licenses to “customers” without proper identification documents and/or examinations in return for bribes. These customers had been referred by “middlemen” to certain DMV employees who would then issue the documents. The customers paid bribes to the DMV employees and middlemen.

The investigation found 1,767 suspected fraudulent licenses issued from the Bridgeport Branch of the DMV from 2001 through 2004. Many of these licenses were issued to subjects not eligible to obtain them. The Task Force physically seized or revoked more than 1,200 of these fraudulent licenses from illegal aliens or criminals, and cleared the remainder of licenses as having been validly issued. Thousands of field interviews were conducted and hundreds of photo boards were developed and used by investigators to identify suspects.

            Since the inception of the Task Force, there have been more than 100 criminal arrests made in the investigation, including six DMV employees, more than 20 middlemen and more than 80 additional subjects arrested for forgery-related crimes, wanted on immigration warrants or other crimes related to identity theft.  As a result of this investigation, the DMV employees were convicted and sentenced to incarceration.

Sgt. Kline, Sgt. Kenney, Det. Crowley, Det. Van Tine, Det. Verno and Det. Diaz earned Outstanding Service Awards for their work; all others received the Unit Citation Award.

Trooper First Class Mark Defeo  On Oct. 3, 2007, a broadcast was made by Troop A in an attempt to locate a vehicle whose operator had committed a serious assault in Danbury that resulted in the death of the victim. The suspect vehicle entered I-84 traveling toward Waterbury.

Trooper Defeo responded to the area and located the vehicle after a brief search.  The suspect was initially uncooperative, but then taken into custody by Trooper Defeo.  The Trooper also rendered first aid to the suspect for an injury sustained during the assault in Danbury.

Upon arrival at the hospital, Trooper Defeo secured and preserved physical evidence while the suspect received medical treatment. The suspect and the evidence were both turned over to Danbury Police detectives.

Trooper Defeo received an Outstanding Service Award in this incident.

            Troop B, North Canaan   On Nov. 14, 2007, at approximately 12:21 a.m., Troop B in North Canaan received a call of a stolen motor vehicle taken from an inn in Salisbury. 

            Sgt. Jeffrey Norkus, Trooper First Class Marc Puzzo, Trooper Robert McNerney, Trooper Dominic Goguen and K-9 Zeb and Trooper Jason St. John responded.  Trooper Puzzo located the stolen motor vehicle disabled on a local road, as the operator fled on foot into a wooded residential area.  A perimeter was established and a canine track was initiated, leading to a residence whose front door was ajar with an audible alarm sounding.  The residence was found to be vacant. 

            A recast of the K-9 tracked the suspect to the area of the stolen motor vehicle. Meanwhile, Troop B dispatch reported an attempted home invasion at a local residence. Trooper McNerney observed the suspect in the same area as the home invasion and he and Sgt. Norkus pursued the suspect into the woods.  Trooper Goguen and K-9 Zeb were utilized to safely arrest the intoxicated suspect.

            All Troop B involved in this incident were presented with a Unit Citation Award.

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