By Ed Harris
The Southington Police Department celebrated the heroes within its ranks recently, with a special awards ceremony held at the high school.
This is the fourth year of the ceremony, which recognizes Southington Police Officers and the hard work and dedication to their job and the community.
The department originally had such a program-implemented by former Chief Phil D’Agostino in 1989, but it fell by the wayside when D’Agostino left shortly after instituting it. Chief John Daly reinstated the program four years ago.
The officers were awarded a small cloth ribbon. The awards are modeled after those worn by the military. An officer will wear his ribbon on the right side of their dress uniforms, right above the name tag.
There are 13 awards available to the officers. These include awards for a police Purple Heart, public safety, medal of valor, honor guard achievement, public appreciation, education achievement and excellent police work.
The awards are colored differently, in accordance with the honor that they represent. Many officers were awarded more than one award. Along with the achievement and command level awards, police officials also awarded other special citations and commendations.
This year also included a special distinguished service citation for Storm Alfred. This was broken down into four categories, based on how many hours an officer worked during the October snowstorm last year. Some officers worked more than 30 hours straight.
“This was a memorable year for Southington and the police force,” said Capt. Ed Pocock III.
Retired police officer George Trostel received the SPD Order of the Police Cross, a civilian award.
Trostel was hired as a supernumerary officer in 1970 and was appointed full time in 1972. He served 21 years until he once again became a supernumerary officer in 1993. He retired in 2011.
He has been active with the Southington Explorer Post #57 for eight years and is currently the post advisor. He has attended the Explorer Academy for the past seven years, guiding the group to several awards and accommodations.
Officers Nathan Boislard, John Mahon, Chris Lamarre, David Carbone, Thomas Gorr, K-9 Arno and Sgt. Jason Watson were awarded commendations for bravery.
On June 8, officer Boilsard responded to a call at a bar involving an intoxicated, combative man with a .45 caliber semi-automatic pistol. A struggle ensued after the man refused Boilsard’s commands to take his hand off of the grip of the weapon and the man was disarmed forcibly.
Officers Mahon, Lamarre, Gorr, Carbone, Sgt. Watson and K-9 Arno responded to a call of a depressed male threatening to kill his parents on June 17. The parents, trapped in the home, believed their son was in possession of a rifle. The officers evacuated the parents and the surrounding homes. The barricaded suspect was taken into custody later by the Emergency Response Team (ERT).
“I truly appreciate the work the officers do,” said Southington Police Chief John Daly. “I am convinced that the Southington Police Department is the best in the state.”
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