State Police Troopers from
TroopS f, h, i and w
Receive Service Awards
State Police Troopers from Troop F in Southbury, Troop H in Hartford, Troop I in Bethany and Troop W in Windsor Locks received awards for service during a ceremony November 16 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, those serving as first responders and civilians. Award winners received medals and certificates from Commissioner James M. Thomas and State Police Colonel Thomas Davoren. Governor M. Jodi Rell addressed the award winners.
Awards were presented in four categories:
Ø The Meritorious Service Medal is awarded to those who render 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 those who save a human life or make a valiant attempt to save a life.
Ø The Outstanding Service Award is given to those who successfully perform an extreme, complex or difficult investigation. The person(s) also may demonstrate exceptional skill or ingenuity in the apprehension of a wanted person, provide outstanding service to the public and or continuously achieve 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 Chick Bistany, Trooper First Class Steven Orlowski On March 3, 2008, at approximately 11 a.m., a West Hartford bank was robbed and a suspect vehicle description was broadcast. It was relayed that the suspect in the bank robbery was the same suspect who committed a sexual assault the day prior and had additional warrants for his arrest.
Trooper Orlowski knew the suspect had ties to the Berlin Turnpike in Wethersfield and immediately proceeded to the area where he located the suspect. The suspect engaged Trooper Orlowski in a six-minute pursuit through the streets of Hartford while Sgt. Bistany intercepted the pursuit on Broad Street. The Troopers boxed the suspect in, forcing him to stop.
The suspect then engaged the Troopers in a short foot pursuit when he suddenly turned and advanced toward them with a knife. Sgt. Bistany and Trooper Orlowski discharged their service weapons, fatally striking the suspect. Sgt. Bistany and Trooper Orlowski faced life-threatening danger and protected members of the public from a dangerous suspect.
Sgt. Bistany and Trooper Orlowski each earned the Medal for Bravery.
Det. Raymond Insalaco, Major Warren Hyatt, Lt. William Baldwin, Sgt. Jeffrey Covello, Det. Arthur Walkley, Det. Karoline Keith, Det. Steven Rupsis, Det. Peter Valentin, Det. Joshua Pattberg, Major Brian Meraviglia, Sgt. James Thomas, Det. Ralph Soda. Det. Francis Budwitz, Det. Rafael Medina, Det. Christopher Sudock, Det. Eric Kelly, Det. Matthew Gunsalus; New Haven Police Lt. Lisa Dadio, New Haven Police Sgt. Alfonso Vazques, New Haven Police Det. Scott Branfuhr, New Haven Police Det.Christopher Perrone, New Haven Police Det. Manuella Vensel, FBI Special Agent Ian Kauffman; the State Police Western and Central District Major Crime Squads; the Yale University Police Department; the FBI New Haven Office; the State Police Bureau of Criminal Investigations; the Joint Terrorism Task Force; the Middletown Police Dept. On Friday, September 11, 2009, numerous law enforcement agencies were called to assist in the suspicious disappearance of a female Yale graduate student.
The investigation focused on a Yale University Research Center known as the Amistad Building where the student worked. The student was reported missing on September 8, 2009, and it was discovered that she was never seen leaving the Amistad building. An intensive investigation was conducted by the Yale and New Haven Police Departments, as well as the FBI New Haven Office, and detectives from the State Police Central and Western District Major Crime Squads.
Detectives immediately began a comprehensive, thorough and meticulous forensic room-to-room search of the Amistad building with their law enforcement peers. Through the efforts of multiple law enforcement officials, a crime scene was located resulting in the seizure of more than 300 pieces of critical evidence.
Processing this crime scene took several days, with detectives working nearly around the clock. Tragically, the victim’s body was discovered inside the facility. The perpetrator, a Yale employee, was quickly identified, arrested and charged with murder.
The above State Police Detectives and the New Haven Police earned Meritorious Service Awards for their role in this incident; all others earned Unit Citation Awards.
Trooper First Class David Tretter, Trooper Matthew Warren of Troop F On April 9, 2010, Troop F in Westbrook received a 911 call from an Old Lyme residence reporting a home invasion.
Trooper Tretter responded to the residence along with Trooper Warren. The Troopers learned that the two residents were sleeping when 3 suspects entered the home and demanded money. One of the suspects displayed a hand gun and proceeded to pistol whip one of the residents and physically assault the other.
Following several leads, the Troopers located one of the suspects at a home in Chester and obtained a confession from him following an in-depth interview. A second suspect was located within the same residence and a confession was obtained from that suspect. Troopers learned the location of the third suspect, who was still in possession of the handgun used in the assault. With coordination from Troop F personnel, Troopers surrounded the cottage where the third suspect was staying and he was taken into custody. As the investigation continued, several witnesses were interviewed and more evidence was gathered. The gun used in the assault was recovered in a local waterway.
The Troopers each earned a Meritorious Service Award.
Trooper First Class Edward Anduaga, Trooper Christine Jeltema On June 20, 2010, at 6:05 p.m., Trooper Anduaga and Trooper Jeltema responded to Route 20 westbound near the Route 75 exit in Windsor Locks for a report of an unconscious male involved in a one-car traffic accident.
Both Troopers began performing CPR on the man for several minutes and used an Automated External Defibrillator Unit. The Troopers used the device on the man until ambulance personnel arrived on the scene and utilized more advanced life support technology. The victim was successfully transported to a local hospital.
Each Trooper earned a Lifesaving Award.
Trooper Sean Mahar, Trooper First Class Alexis Perez, Trooper First Class Kenneth Freed of Troop H On August 9, 2010, at 1:43 a.m., Troop H received several 911 calls about a motor vehicle accident on Interstate 91 in Rocky Hill. Trooper Mahar, Trooper Perez and Trooper Freed responded to the scene and found the vehicle facing against traffic in the right shoulder and a passenger from the vehicle outside, trying to wave down help. The Troopers found the operator still in the driver’s seat in severe pain.
The Troopers discovered that a metal beam guide rail had penetrated the driver’s door and had nearly severed the leg of the operator. The operator was bleeding heavily and slowly losing consciousness.
As Troopers Perez and Mahar applied pressure to the injury, Trooper Freed retrieved medical supplies from his cruiser. Trooper Perez applied a tourniquet to the injured leg of the operator. Trooper Mahar continued providing pressure to the injury and informed Troop H of the immediate need for an expedited EMS response to the scene.
EMS personnel transported the operator to a local hospital. All hospital trauma room personnel agreed that the application of the tourniquet and the medical attention provided by the Troopers saved the life of the operator.
Troopers Mahar, Perez and Freed each earned a Lifesaving Award.
Sgt. Ralph Soda, Trooper Daniel Richman of Troop I On May 10, 2010, at approximately 4:28 a.m., Troop I dispatched Sgt. Soda and Trooper Richman to a residence in Bethany that requested an ambulance for a maternity call. The Troopers arrived at the residence at approximately 4:32 a.m.
The expectant mother and father were in the living room of the house. The mother was prepped for delivery and at approximately 4:36 a.m. – just four minutes after they arrived – Sgt. Soda and Trooper Richman delivered a baby boy.
As Sgt. Soda tended to the newborn, Trooper Richman cleared the baby’s airway. An ambulance arrived moments later and transported mother and son to a local hospital.
The Troopers earned Awards for Outstanding Service.
Trooper First Class Robert Lanouette, Trooper First Class Derek Allen, Trooper Jason Corey, Deep River Officer Ray Sypher, Trooper First Class Michael Brown, Essex Police Corporal Russell Gingras; Troop F; Dispatcher Julia Wilcoxson On February 25, 2010, at approximately 7:18 p.m., Troop F personnel responded to a residence in Chester after a woman called 911 stating that her husband was attempting to break into her house. Troopers arrived to find the woman bleeding from multiple stab wounds. Trooper Lanouette, Trooper Allen and Trooper Corey treated the victim and learned that her husband had stabbed her and then left in his vehicle.
Troop F Dispatcher Wilcoxson broadcast the registration plate to all units and Deep River Officer Sypher spotted the vehicle on Route 9 south at Exit 5. He followed the vehicle until additional units arrived and then engaged his emergency lights and siren. The suspect vehicle slowed but continued south.
Trooper Brown and Essex Police Corporal Gingras, along with Officer Sypher, boxed in the suspect vehicle. The suspect stopped his vehicle and was arrested without incident. He was subsequently charged with felony murder.
Troopers Lanouette, Allen, Corey and Brown and Officers Sypher and Gingras earned Outstanding Service Awards; Troopers from Troop F earned a Unit Citation Award and Dipatcher Wilcoxson earned a Commissioner’s Recognition Award.
Detective Marc Lamberty, Sgt. Christopher Guari, Life Safety Supervisor Joseph Kingston, Life Safety Specialist John Doucette, of the Office of the State Fire Marshal; Central District Major Crime Squad, Office of the State Fire Marshal, State Police Collision Accident Reconstruction Squad, Middletown Police Dept., South End Fire Dept., Office of Counter-Terrorism
On February 7, 2010, an explosion occurred at a power plant under construction in Middletown. The explosion killed six workers and injured or involved another 140 workers.
Det. Lamberty was assigned to coordinate the multi-agency response to the explosion – with assistance from Sgt. Guari, Life Safety Supervisor Kingston and Life Safety Specialist Doucette – and to ultimately determine the cause and origin of the explosion of this catastrophic event.
The investigation involved the application of 7 administrative warrants and one criminal warrant, plus 20 days of on-scene investigating working with federal, state and local agencies during inclement weather conditions. The scene reached a successful conclusion based upon more than 140 interviews, the collection of more than 200 pieces of evidence and the cooperative effort of all other units and agencies involved.
Det. Lamberty, Sgt. Guari, Supervisor Kingston and Specialist Doucette each earned Awards for Outstanding Service. All other group s earned the Unit Citation Award for this incident.
East Granby Police Officer Kevin Jones In January and February of 2010, a number of residential burglaries were reported in north-central Connecticut, including three in the town of East Granby. During one of the investigations, Officer Jones developed a description of a male suspect and suspect vehicle and sent notice to area departments.
A neighboring town located and identified the female owner of the suspect vehicle and relayed the information to Officer Jones. Officer Jones completed a background check of the owner and found that she and her brother each had extensive criminal records for burglaries and larcenies. The brother also matched the suspect description provided by a witness who later identified him in a photo line-up as the person who attempted to burglarize her residence.
To further bolster his case, Officer Jones was able to place the suspects in the area of the crimes by use of cell phone records. Based on this and additional circumstantial information, he secured arrest warrants that led to a full confession by one of the suspects, as well as the recovery of stolen items linked to ten area burglaries.
Officer Jones earned an Award for Outstanding Service.
Sgt. Patrick Torneo, Det. Keith Graham, Det. Sean Krauss, Det. Marc Grandpre, New Haven Officer Robert Lawlor, New Haven Officer Michael Styles, Orange Officer Chris Chiarelli, Woodbridge Officer Gerald Kubik, Cheshire Officer Frederick Jortner, Groton City Officer Jad Bickford, Willimantic Officer Jonathan John, New London Officer Sarah Starkey On July 30, 2010, the Statewide Narcotics Task Force East and South Central Field Offices conducted an investigation into a heroin trafficking organization. The Task Force is comprised of State Police Detectives and Officers from Groton City, Willimantic, New Haven, Orange, Woodbridge, and Cheshire Police Departments.
This investigation was the direct result of information cultivated by New London Police Officer Sarah Starkey and obtained through a confidential informant. Investigators discovered that a large shipment of heroin was being delivered to the Interstate 95 rest area in Fairfield. With covert surveillance and other investigative techniques employed, the targeted individuals entered the area in two separate vehicles.
The individuals became suspicious and subsequently abandoned a vehicle later determined to contain the shipment of heroin. Undercover detectives kept that vehicle under constant surveillance while the targeted individuals fled the area in the second vehicle. The second vehicle was apprehended as the individuals attempted to return to New York where the contraband originated.
The investigation led to the arrest of two individuals for numerous felonies, as well as the seizure of 4,000 bags of heroin with an approximate weight of 800 grams, two vehicles and $575 in cash. This seizure prevented a tremendous amount of heroin from being sold in the state.
All involved in this investigation earned an Award for Outstanding Service.
Sgt. Douglas Hall, Sgt. Patrick Torneo, Sgt. Michael Thomas, Det. Keith Graham, Det. Derek Halkett, Det. Mark Wiener, Bristol Off. Matthew Moskowitz, Woodbridge Off. Gerald Kubik, Cheshire Off. Frederick Jortner, Chief Warrant Officer Colleen Picard, MA Air Nat’l Guard, Staff Sgt. Adam Byrnes, MA Air Nat’l Guard On August 9, 2010, the Statewide Narcotics Task Force was conducting marijuana eradication flights over eastern Connecticut. These flights are supported by the Connecticut National Guard Counterdrug program and the Massachusetts Army National Guard RAID Unit.
From the helicopter, the air crew was able to spot several marijuana plants on a property in Canterbury. The property consisted of a residential home, a large two-story barn and a greenhouse.
Task Force members responded to this location and initiated an investigation into the cultivation of marijuana.
It was learned through this investigation that 4 individuals conspired in erecting the greenhouse on the property and converting the residential home and barn into a sophisticated marijuana cultivation operation with each area or room functioning for various stages of the cultivation process.
Members of the task force arrested four individuals on several felony charges and seized 1,102 marijuana plants with a street value of $1.1 million, numerous items utilized in the cultivation process and $1,600 in cash.
This investigation resulted in identification and eradication one of the largest residential marijuana cultivation operations ever in the State of Connecticut. All involved earned the Award for Outstanding Service.
Dispatcher Julia Wilcoxson Dispatcher Wilcoxson has been with the Connecticut State Police since 2004. She has worked at both Troop G in Bridgeport and at Troop F in Westbrook, where she is currently assigned.
According to her Commanding Officer at Troop F, Lt. James Kenefick, Dispatcher Wilcoxson has demonstrated consistency, quality and professionalism in her role as Dispatcher. She is described as having a “calming personality” that is comforting to whomever she speaks. Lt. Kenefick notes: “Her ability to handle a difficult, emotional caller on an emergency call is unmatched in my 23 years in law enforcement.”
Dispatcher Wilcoxson is dedicated, enthusiastic and very well versed in her duties and responsibilities. She is often tasked with extra assignments as she is extremely proficient with NCIC, COLLECT and the retrieval of data from CAD. She is well-liked by her peers, her supervisors and all other members of Troop F. She takes on assignments without being asked and handles matters as they come to her. In addition, Dispatcher Wilcoxson always keeps the Duty Sergeant apprised of issues at hand or difficult and/or problematic situations. Her judgment in this area is exceptional.
As Dispatcher Wilcoxson has mastered her job, she has been very helpful in the training of other dispatchers and has voluntarily taken on other responsibilities outside the scope of her position of Dispatcher. For example, she has taken the lead role in planning and organizing the Troop F Picnic. She also manages the Troop F web page on the intranet. This responsibility requires a commitment by her to take photographs at all Troop events and fundraisers. Dispatcher Wilcoxson takes on these duties on her own time and does so with enthusiasm. Everyone appreciate her positive attitude and influence on the Troop.
Dispatcher Julia Wilcoxson has been named “Dispatcher of the Year” by the Connecticut State Police.
Forensic Examiner Maria Warner On Monday, July 19, 2010, at 4:40 a.m., Troopers from Troop H were dispatched to an accident in which a pedestrian was struck and killed by a fleeing motorist on Route 9 northbound in New Britain. There were no eyewitnesses to the accident and Troopers subsequently called in members of the Central District Major Crime Squad and the Collision Accident Reconstruction Squad to assist in locating physical evidence.
Investigators found paint chips from the vehicle at the accident scene which were immediately transported to the State Forensic Laboratory for analysis by Forensic Examiner Maria Warner of the Trace Evidence Section. Ms. Warner, utilizing her training, examining skill and diligence was able to determine – within 24 hours – that the paint chips were from a Chrysler product manufactured in a Canada plant. On her own initiative, Ms. Warner contacted her counterpart in the Royal Canadian Mounted Police and officials with the Chrysler Corporation and concluded that the paint chips were from a Dodge Nitro.
Within 72 hours, detectives were able to locate a possible match based on the information provided by Ms. Warner. The vehicle was seized by warrant and Ms. Warner was able to positively match the paint chips to the vehicle seized. The operator of the vehicle confessed his involvement in the hit and run accident.
With painstaking attention to detail, Ms.Warner identified the evading vehicle, which led to an arrest and a solution to this case. She earned a Commissioner’s Recognition Award.
Forensic Examiner John Brunetti, Forensic Examiner Anita Vailonis, Forensic Examiner Jane Cordraro, Forensic Examiner Eric Carita On Tuesday, July 13, 2010, detectives from the Bridgeport Police Department contacted Forensic Examiner Brunetti in the State Forensic Laboratory, requesting assistance with a potential serial rapist committing sexual assaults at gunpoint in the Black Rock section of Bridgeport. Bridgeport detectives processed the scene of the most recent assault and lifted a potential fingerprint of the perpetrator. Mr. Brunetti immediately began processing the latent print and running it through the AFIS database. He linked the print to a juvenile record. He then helped in the coordination of the suspect’s identity with Bridgeport detectives and enlisted the assistance of Forensic Examiners Vailonis and Codraro from the Biology Section and Forensic Examiner Carita from the DNA unit.
These four forensic specialists developed a systematic approach to the examination of the physical evidence. The biologists processed the sexual assault kits for trace DNA samples and detectives from Bridgeport Police obtained a DNA sample from the suspect. The DNA unit worked to determine if the DNA evidence matched the suspect’s DNA sample.
Within a week, the DNA unit was able to link the suspect to two sex assaults and to an unrelated burglary in the city. The suspect was arrested for committing the sexual assaults. These Forensic Examiners each earned a Commissioner’s Recognition Award.