Clarkstown Police will honor officers for their efforts – including life-saving and heroics – to serve the public during the past years. The annual ceremony will be held at 9:30 a.m. Sunday at Police Headquarters on Maple Avenue in New City. The ceremony comes a few hours before the 11 a.m. commemoration for police officers killed in the line of duty at the police memorial at the Rockland County Courthouse on Main Street in New City.
Clarkstown police will honor the following officers (with the descriptions provided by Administrative Sgt. Harry Baumann):
â€¢ The Excellent Police Service award shall be awarded to any member of the department who, in the line of duty, performs an act, which brings acclaim to themselves and/or the department. Recipients: Sgt. Steven Chernick and Officers Dawn Fantini, Andrew Grosso and Phillip Galligan. On May 7, 2007 while on patrol PO Fantini was detailed to a Congers address on a report of a emotionally disturbed person. The complainant reported that the EDP was in possession of a taser and razor blades and felt he was a danger to himself and other individuals. Sgt Chernick, PO Galligan and Grosso responded as backup in attempting to locate and restrain the 52 year old male. After a search of the house and the surrounding area they were able to restrain the individual before he hurt himself or other persons in the area.
â€¢ The Meritorious Police Service Second shall be awarded to any member of the department who, in the line of duty, performs an outstanding act, which demonstrates exceptional initiative or unusual dedication and brings public or professional acclaim to themselves and/or the department. Recipients: Detectives Robert Hoeneveld and Frank Romano, Meritorious Second; Detective Lorraine McGrath, Sgt. Alan Armstrong, Excellent and Officer William Killian, all Excellent Police Service. On July 31, 2007 Officer Killian handled a missing person report where it was determined that the individual was possibly suicidal. Officer Killian attempted to track the individual through the vehicle GPS unit. He then notified the detective bureau and Detective McGrath contacted verizon and was able to track the individuals cell phone through verizonâ€™s cell towers. Through Sergeant Amstrongâ€™s coordination Detective Hoeneveld and Romano were dispatched to the 5-mile radius of the cell towers and they were able to locate the individual in Woodcliff Lake. He was in the process of attempting to commit suicide by cutting his wrists and having a hose taped to the tail pipe of the vehicle put through the vehicle window. They immediately rendered first aide and had him transported to the nearest Hospital. Through excellent police work and swift action, all the officers and detectives involved were successful in savings the manâ€™s life. All the officers also have been awarded the departmentâ€™s life saving medal
â€¢ Life Saving Award to Dispatcher Richard Cummings. On March 28, 2007 Dispatcher Cummings received a 911 call reporting a person choking. Dispatcher Cummings had recently received Emergency Medical dispatch training and this was the first time he would put it to good use. After receiving the call he immediately began Emergency Medical dispatch and was able to talk the caller through the proper procedure to successfully perform the Heimlich maneuver, which cleared the victimâ€™s airway. Dispatcherâ€™s calm and professional handling of the call and his instructions in performing the Heimlich maneuver most likely saved the victims life.
â€¢ Excellent Police Service to Sgt. Steven Chernick and Officers Andrew Grosso, Peter Aiston , Scott Rios, Joseph Dwyer and Rodney Picott. On January 2, 2008 dispatch received a call from Shelton CT Police Department of a possible despondent suicidal emotionally disturbed person who was staying at the West Nyack Motor lodge. The individual also might be in possession of a handgun. Sgt Chernick, PO Grosso, Aiston Rios J. Dwyer and Picott were detailed. Sgt Chernick set up a command post and determined the individual was registered at the motel. The officers set up a perimeter and Sgt Chernick made contact with the individual and was able to convince him to come out of the room without incident. The loaded handgun was recovered in the room. Sgt Chernick and the officers handled the incident in a calm and professional manner and prevented the situation from escalating into an armed confrontation. Sergeant Chernick was awarded with a Meritorious Second citation for his role in this incident.
â€¢ The Unit Citation shall be awarded to a unit within the department that best exemplifies devotion to duty, and brings acclaim to the unit and the department. Recipient: Juvenile Aid Bureau, comprising Detective Sergeant Christopher Goodyear, and Detectives Robert McDonald, Cristopher L. Maloney, Eileen Malloy, Fredrick Parent, and John Fredricks.
The Juvenile Aid Bureau is an intricate part of the Clarkstown Police Department, which is sometimes unknown to the rank and file of the department. The Detectives and staff are specially trained to deal with those victims and crimes that are particularly sensitive because of the victimâ€™s age. The results of the investigations the bureau conducts may not make the local news headlines nor may not end in a criminal conviction. However the victim is given the attention and best protection that the police department can provide. Throughout 2007 the Juvenile Aid Bureau have saved numerous victims who were victimized through the bureauâ€™s thorough investigations. Another very important task of the bureau is to investigate all missing person reports and though their untiring efforts have solved over 120 missing person cases. The Clarkstown Police Juvenile Aid Bureau was the first in Rockland County law enforcement and has continued to be the mainstay of juvenile justice in the county. This is due to the patience, professionalism and dedication of those detectives who serve.
â€¢ Civilian Award goes to Joseph Demoa. On April 17, 2007 a Clarkstown Building Inspector was taking pictures of a vehicle that was located at 12 Jerryâ€™s Avenue Nanuet, which, was part of an abandoned vehicle investigation. Upon seeing the inspector taking pictures, the homeowner came running out of the house and repeatedly stabbed the inspector with a knife. A neighbor Joseph Demoa heard the commotion and observed the stabbing. Without regard for his own safety he immediately rushed to the scene and took the knife away from the suspect and held him for the police. Mr. Demoaâ€™s heroic action was instrumental in saving the building inspectorâ€™s life.
â€¢ The Life Saving Medal shall be awarded to any member of this department who, in the line of duty, performs an act, which directly results in the daving of a life. Recipient: Police Officer Andrew Grosso. On December 26, 2007 Officer Grosso who was on routine patrol was dispatched to a call of an unresponsive 83-year-old female. Upon arrival Officer Grosso found her lying on the bathroom floor without a pulse and not breathing. He immediately began to perform CPR while at the same time with the assistance of the arriving ambulance crew, set up the AED unit. Officer Grossoâ€™s quick actions and performance of lifesaving CPR directly resulted in the saving of the patientâ€™s life.
â€¢ Excellent Police Service to Police Officer Brian Quinn. On September 10, 2007 Officer Quinn was on routine patrol checking parking lots and hotel lots for suspicious activity. In the Days Inn lot in Nanuet he observed a individual operating a 2002 Lexus with Florida plates, which appeared to be suspicious. Officer Quinn stopped the vehicle and conducted an investigation that revealed that the vehicle was reported stolen in Florida. Officer Quinnâ€™s keen observation and investigation uncovered a possible Asian prostitution ring and the recovery of a stolen vehicle.
â€¢ 2007 â€“ 2008 CLARKATOWN POLICE OFFICER OF THE YEAR goes to Police Officer Thomas Flanagan. Officer Flanagan has been a member of the Clarkstown Police Department since October 25, 1999 and during this time he has distinguished himself as an active and reliable patrol officer. As a patrol officer, Officer Flanagan has been highly productive in his activity and conducts thorough and complete investigations that have resulted in numerous arrests and convictions. During his tenure in the police department, he has been a member of the Critical Incident Response Team Sniper Unit as well as a Field Training Officer. For the past 5 years, he has also been a member of the Clarkstown Police Department Honor Guard. Officer Flanagan brings great credit upon himself, the police department and the Town of Clarkstown.
â€¢ Meritorious Police Service Second Award goes to Officers Thomas Holstine, Christopher G. Maloney and Scott Silver. On June 25, 2007 Officers Holstine, Maloney, & Silver while on routine patrol responded to a North Fremont Ave Nanuet address where they observed the residents through a window on the floor in what appeared to be unconscious. They immediately force entry into the residence and found it to be filled with fumes from a vehicle left running in the garage. They took immediate action on removing the residents and applying first aid. If not for their selfless and heroic actions, the residents would likely have suffered serious injury or death from their exposure to the carbon monoxide fumes. Also all the officerâ€™s have been awarded the departmentâ€™s Life Saving Award.
â€¢ Excellent Police Service to Police Officer Joseph Dwyer. On May 20, 2007 a Teletype was read out at turnout from Ramapo PD to be on the lookout of for an individual who was wanted in their jurisdiction. Dispatch received a call from a motorist who stated he had picked up a hitchhiker in Ramapo who was acting suspiciously. The individual ran from his vehicle in the area of COSTCO. Officer Dwyer with the information from the Teletype determined that the hitchhiker and the Ramapo suspect were most likely the one in the same. After a search of the area, he was able to apprehend the suspect who was the individual wanted by Ramapo.
â€¢ Excellent Police Service to Police Officer Joseph Knarich. On September 23, 2007 Officer Knarich and his K9 partner Oz were dispatched to Stony Point to assist in searching for a burglary suspect. Shortly after arriving on the scene Officer Knarich with K9 Oz picked up the track of the suspect, which led them to a nearby residence. Officer Knarich, awoke the residents of the premise and received permission to search the house. They conducted a room-to-room search and discovered the suspect. Because of K9 Ozâ€™s unique qualifications he was able to lead Officer Knarich to a stash of drugs in the residence.
â€¢ Excellent Police Service to Police Officer Kara Lynn. On August 8, 2007 Officer Lynn while on routine patrol was dispatched to Village Green for a female in labor. Upon arrival Officer Lynn observed the mother to be experiencing contractions with the baby crowning. Officer Lynn was able to deliver a healthy baby boy a short time later.
â€¢ Meritorious Police Service Second to Officers Joseph Knarich and Scott Rios. On November 16, 2007 Officer Knarich on routine patrol observed a vehicle turn into the Palisades Center mall parking lot without signaling. Officer Rios responded as backup and assisted in stopping the vehicle. Both officers could smell the odor of marijuana coming from the vehicle. When questioned the driver denied smoking marijuana. K9 Oz was deployed, making a sweep of the vehicle which indicated a positive presence of drugs in the center console area. A search of the area revealed negative results. But the officers persisted and their keen observation revealed a hydraulic piston that electronically raised the console to reveal a hiding place. In the hiding place the officers recovered 4 oz of cocaine and currency. The driver was also in possession of approximately $3,000 in currency and subsequently arrested for felony drug possession.
â€¢ Excellent Police Service & Civilian Award to Officers Joseph Knarich, Richard Von Ronn and Stanley Young, and civilian Robertina Dashi. On March 10, 2007 dispatch received a call from Robertina Dashi about a suspicious vehicle parked in the far corner of the Hub Shopping Center. Officer Knarich and Von Ronn were dispatched with Officer Young arriving on the scene to assist. After an investigation it was determined the individuals from the vehicle were involved with the armed robbery of a business in the area. With the keen observation of Ms. Dashi and the thorough investigation of the responding officers 2 arrests were made and the proceeds of the robbery and a handgun were recovered.
â€¢ Excellent Police Service to Officer Raymond Laschet (two awards). On June 6, 2007 Officer Laschet was dispatched on a report of a suspicious male opening car doors on the fourth level of the parking garage at the Palisades Center mall. After a thorough search of the area officer Laschet was able to locate the individual and after an investigation he was able to recover several thousand dollars of merchandise that was taken from numerous parked vehicles. The individual was also in possession of hypodermic needles and heroin.
On December 21, 2007 Officer Laschet was on routine patrol and initiated a car stop of a vehicle driving without headlights. After an investigation it was determined the driver was wanted on a warrant from Los Angeles for kidnapping and false imprisonment. Officer Lascetâ€™s continuing diligence and thoroughness resulted in the apprehension of a wanted felon.
â€¢ Excellent Police Service to Officers William Sherwood and Edward Stoker. On January 26, 2007 dispatch received a call of a structure fire at the Monterey Gardens Senior Citizen Housing. Officers Sherwood and Stoker were detailed and upon arrival found several of the units engulfed in flames. Without regard for their safety they were able to make entry into numerous apartments and evacuated the elderly residents to safety. As a result of the officers actions, all of the residents of the affected portion of the complex were evacuated without injury.
â€¢ Meritorious Police Service Second Award to Officer Robert Shine Jr. and Joseph Dwyer. On November 18, 2007 Officerâ€™s Shine & Dwyer were dispatched to a Nanuet residence on a report of an uncontrollable emotional disturbed person. Upon their arrival they found the male body builder who was in a completely darkened room which inhibited the officers in detecting his location. The responding officers calmly conversed with the male for several minutes at which point he threatened to jump threw a closed window. The officers then deployed the taser before he could injure himself and after a short struggle the EDP was subdued and transported to Good Samaritan Hospital for evaluation. Through the officerâ€™s calm demeanor and quick action they were able to control the situation before anyone was injured.
â€¢ Meritorious Police Service First to Sgt. Raymond McCullagh and Officers Thomas Ronan, Robert Reilly, Christian Cortelli and Thomas Flanagan, and Civilian Award to dispatcher Richard Cummings.
â€¢ Meritorious Police Recognition for Outside Agencies goes to Sgt. Bernard Lynch of the South Nyack-Grand View Polic e Department and Orangetown Police Officer Tyrone McNeill.
On July 27, 2007 the Clarkstown Police dispatch advised police personnel that there was a motor vehicle pursuit coming toward them. The pursuit originated in Passaic County, New Jersey and the vehicle in question was being pursued by numerous police agencies from New Jersey and New York. Two individuals, who had attempted to kidnap a female in the Passaic County New Jersey, occupied the vehicle and they may have also been in possession of handguns. The vehicle entered Clarkstown jurisdiction on North Broadway Upper Nyack where Clarkstown police officers picked up the pursuit. Officer Cortelli joined in the pursuit and provided dispatch with accurate and timely information over the radio and Dispatcher Cummings made sure that all patrols in Clarkstown and nearby jurisdictions were provided with the same details. Sergeant McCullagh coordinated a roadblock in the Rockland Lake area with Sergeant Lynch, Officer Ronan, Reilly, Flanagan and McNeill assisting. The suspectâ€™s vehicle approached the roadblock at a dangerously high rate of speed. The officerâ€™s had already been advised that the suspects may have fired a weapon at the pursuing officers and fearing for their own safety fired their weapons causing the vehicle to veer off the road into a ditch ending the pursuit. The passenger was immediately arrested and the driver after a short foot chase was also arrested. These officers are being commended for their courageous actions for ending a potential deadly pursuit, which lasted 20 miles through two states.
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