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

Troopers from TROOPS C, D, E & k
Receive Service Awards

State Police Troopers from the Eastern District (Troops C, D, E & K) 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 C in Tolland, Troop D in Danielson, Troop E in Montville and Troop K in Colchester, all located in Eastern Connecticut, each had representatives at the awards, as did the East Division of the Statewide Narcotics Task force and the Eastern District Major Crime Squad.

Sergeant Jose Claudio  On Jan. 23, 2008, two males entered a Stafford credit union wearing masks and hoods, displaying handguns and demanding cash. They fled the credit union in a motor vehicle listed as stolen out of Hartford and located by Troopers near the credit union.

The suspects abandoned their vehicle and were in another vehicle. Sgt. Claudio was traveling east on Route 190 and spotted a pickup carrying two men traveling west on the same road.  He noted that the two men matched the description and began acting suspiciously upon seeing a state police vehicle. 

Sgt Claudio reversed direction and noted that the driver of the pickup truck immediately began driving erratically even before emergency lights and siren were activated.  As he initiated pursuit, Sgt. Claudio was assisted by Trooper One. The pursuit continued to Hartford, where ground units were terminated and Trooper One continued to follow the pickup. 

The pickup was involved in an accident in Hartford and both suspects fled on foot. One of the suspects was apprehended. During the pursuit, the suspects were throwing the bank drawers from the credit union out of the pickup.  Troop C personnel were able to retrieve three of the drawers plus a large sum of cash, and a sizeable amount of cash was recovered on the apprehended suspect.  The apprehended suspect was also later identified as a suspect in a homicide.

Sergeant Jose Claudio’s alertness and vigilance in this incident earned him a medal for Meritorious Service.

Trooper First Class Eric Basak On Nov. 19, 2006, Trooper Basak of Troop D responded to a report of a fire at a four-family home in Danielson. Upon arrival, he observed portions of the residence to be engulfed in flames.  One apartment on the main floor was occupied by a resident who was unaware the building was on fire and he was safely removed. Despite the heavy smoke that impeded visibility, other Troopers on scene collaborated in an attempt to determine if there were any other occupants still in the building.

Before fire personnel arrived on scene, Trooper Basak made entry deep into a section of the building to ensure it was unoccupied. As a result, Trooper Basak was overcome with smoke and was treated and released at the scene.

Trooper First Class Eric Basak is commended for his quick and decisive response to a potentially deadly fire. He earned a medal for Meritorious Service.

Trooper First Class James Collins, Trooper Jonathan Baker, Trooper Craig Fox,  On Jan. 28, 2007, Trooper Collins, Trooper Baker and Trooper Fox of Troop E responded to an apartment in Jewett City for a report of a suicidal female. 

The Troopers gained access to the apartment and observed the woman with a large laceration on her forearm, still holding a sharp object in her hand.  Trooper Collins took immediate action and grabbed the woman’s hand while Trooper Baker assisted in subduing her.

After a brief struggle, Troopers were able to take the sharp object from her and begin emergency medical treatment until the arrival of EMS personnel.  The woman was subsequently transported to a local hospital and recovered from her injuries. 

Troopers Collins, Baker and Fox each earned a Lifesaving Medal.

Trooper James Nolting  On Dec. 15, 2007, at approximately 6:46 p.m., Trooper Nolting was on patrol in Hebron when he was flagged over by a distraught man. The man reported that his elderly mother was in his vehicle and was in respiratory distress.  The woman had an oxygen tank on her lap with hoses connected to her nose.  Trooper Nolting observed the woman gasping for air and a check of the oxygen tank revealed that it was empty. 

The woman then stopped breathing and went into cardiac arrest. Trooper Nolting immediately began CPR, stopping only when relieved by members of the Hebron Fire Department.  The woman was subsequently transported via ambulance to a local hospital, where she was expected to make a full recovery.

Trooper Nolting earned a Lifesaving Medal.

Trooper First Class Kevin Mulry, Sergeant Clanford Pierce, Trooper Eric Hurley  On Dec. 31, 2007, at 5:22 p.m., Troopers Hurley and Mulry investigated a disturbing message received from a despondent, suicidal man.  The Troopers knocked on the man’s door for several minutes but no one answered. Sgt. Pierce arrived and made the decision to enter the residence and ascertain if the despondent man was home.

Once Troopers entered the home, they found the bedroom door locked. After making forced entry, they found the subject inside of his bedroom unresponsive but breathing. Vital signs were assessed and a carbon monoxide source was removed from the room. The subject was then transported to the hospital for treatment.

A search of the residence found all vents within the subject’s bedroom covered with cardboard and taped.  Dozens of pills used for sedation were unaccounted for and it was believed that the man consumed these pills. Emergency personnel on the scene determined that carbon monoxide levels within the residence were elevated 140 times that of normal levels, enough to cause death. The quick actions by Troopers at the scene were instrumental in saving this man’s life.

Trooper Mulry, Sgt. Pierce and Trooper Hurley of Troop C each earned a Lifesaving Medal.

Trooper First Class Michael Browning, Trooper First Class Timothy Paige  On Dec. 4, 2007, at approximately 12:43 p.m., Troopers Browning and Paige of Troop E responded to a report of a suicidal female at a residence in the town of Preston.  Upon arrival, they made unsuccessful attempts to contact the woman by knocking on doors and windows.  They then forced entry into the residence. 

The Troopers located the female victim on the cement basement floor.  The victim, who was unresponsive, had wrapped and tied a cord around her neck.  Trooper Browning quickly cut the cord from the victim’s neck with the assistance of Trooper Paige.  The Troopers removed the cord and positioned the victim’s head to open her airway. The victim then gasped for air and regained consciousness.  The victim was transported to a local hospital, where she survived.  

Troopers Browning and Paige received medals for Lifesaving.

Trooper First Class Stephen Pickett, Trooper First Class Michael Zmayefski On November 21, 2007, the Plainfield Police Department requested assistance from Troop D to locate a robbery suspect who held up a Plainfield convenience store at gunpoint.  The lone male suspect fled the immediate area on foot.

Trooper Pickett and Trooper Zmayefski and his K-9 partner, Vigor, responded and searched the surrounding neighborhood for potential witnesses and suspects. Trooper Zmayefski and Vigor collaborated their search efforts with a Plainfield police officer and tracked a potential escape route from the scene of the crime.

Trooper Pickett aggressively patrolled neighborhoods adjacent to the crime scene. He located two males, one of whom fit the general description of the robbery suspect.  Trooper Pickett approached the man who best fit the description provided, but the man appeared nervous and refused to remove his hands from his pockets in an apparent attempt to conceal something.

The man then turned and ran. Trooper Picket chased him and Trooper Zmayefski released his K-9.  The suspect was subdued and arrested and was positively identified as the robbery suspect. Investigation further revealed he was in possession of the handgun used in the robbery and had discarded it when approached by State Troopers. The weapon was later recovered in a local neighborhood.

Troopers Pickett and Zmayefski each earned a medal for Lifesaving.

Sergeant Eric Stevens, Detective Gustavo Salas, New London Officer Brian Laurie On Oct. 16, 2007, Sgt. Stevens, Det. Salas and Officer Laurie, all of the Statewide Narcotics Task Force Eastern Division, were conducting an undercover operation in New London. 

At approximately 7:48 p.m., the three heard a radio broadcast from New London Police sending officers to a serious assault scene where a male victim was found unresponsive. The broadcast also provided a basic description of the suspect. 

The Task Force members took the initiative to assist New London Police in the search.  Through their canvass of the area and knowledge gained from the radio broadcasts, they determined that the suspect could be at a nearby convenience store, attempting to hire a taxi to flee the area.  They located the suspect at a taxi office located a short distance from the convenience store.  The suspect matched the physical description and was observed with bloodstains on his jeans, shirt and hands. The task force members took the suspect into custody without incident. 

Sgt. Stevens, Det. Salas and Officer Laurie each received awards for Outstanding Service.

Detective Roger Baxter, Detective Keith Hoyt, Detective David Lamoureux On February 3, 2008, at 3:06 a.m., Troopers from Troop D were assigned to assist the fire department at the scene of a structure fire in Hampton.  A canine track was initiated that went from the fire scene to the home of an arson suspect.

Evidence was located and processed by the Eastern District Major Crime Squad.  This evidence further strengthened the belief that the suspect was responsible for the Hampton fire.  He was also a suspect in fires that had occurred since October 2006 in the towns of Mansfield, Chaplin and Ashford. 

Members of the Office of the State Fire Marshal, local fire marshals, Troopers from Troops C and D, in conjunction with Detectives from Eastern District Major Crime, had been compiling evidence and conducting a joint investigation, suspecting this individual since the first fire.

On February 4, 2008, Det. Baxter, Det. Hoyt and Det. Lamoureux interviewed the suspect, noting the mountains of evidence against him. This led to a written confession for the Hampton fire, as well as for three fires in Mansfield and one each in Chaplin and Ashford. 

Det. Baxter, Det. Hoyt and Det. Lamoureux each earned an award for Outstanding Service; all others involved were presented a Unit Citation Award.

Troop K, Colchester  On May 18, 2007, at 12:26 p.m., a Colchester bank was robbed by a lone male who threatened the use of a firearm and demanded money. The man fled the bank with a duffle bag full of money and entered a vehicle being driven by a woman accomplice.

Sgt. William Kewer and Colchester Police Officers Robert Suchecki, Cyril Green and Shannon Brosnan arrived on the scene while various posts were set up in the Troop K area. Shortly after the initial report, Trooper Mark Packer and Trooper First Class James Hall located the suspect vehicle traveling on Route 66 in Marlborough. A felony stop was initiated and both suspects were taken into custody without incident.

Seized from the suspects’ vehicle were three handguns, clothing worn during the robbery and the stolen money. Trooper First Class Manuel Acosta gained suspect information at the felony stop and Sgt. Thomas Wakely and Det. Gilbert O’Brien processed all evidence from the crime scene at the bank. Det. Jay Delgrosso processed all evidence from the suspect’s vehicle.

All involved in this investigation earned a Unit Citation Award.

Auxiliary Trooper of the Year Herbert K. McGee  Herbert J. McKee has faithfully served the Connecticut State Police as an Auxiliary State Trooper for nearly 30 years.

            According to his immediate supervisor, Auxiliary Trooper McKee is one of the most dedicated and hard working auxiliary troopers in the state. He works an unprecedented 20-25 days per month not just out of Troop E in Montville, but in the entire Eastern District.

            The work ethic of Auxiliary Trooper McKee is second to none. He genuinely cares about helping any member or unit of the State Police and take true pride in his work. He has helped to maintain all spare cruisers, has served as mail courier for the Eastern District and has never hesitated to assist a disabled motorist.

            In addition, he has directed traffic, assisted at motor vehicle accident scenes and at major incidents. A Marine Corps veteran, Auxiliary Trooper McKee has a demeanor and attention to detail that make him an exemplary State Police Auxiliary Trooper.

            The Connecticut State Police is grateful for the commitment Auxiliary Trooper McKee made so many years ago to provide exceptional public safety to the people of Connecticut. 

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