The Secaucus Police Department hosted an awards ceremony at Town Hall on March 31, honoring more than two dozen officers for their exceptional bravery and professionalism in 2016.
“In the nature of police work, we go on calls, we deal with things, and we go on to the next thing,” Chief Kevin Flaherty said to the honorees. “And sometimes we forget when we’re moving forward to look at the past. This way, we can look at what happened in 2016.”
One group of officers who received the “Excellent Police Service Award” – based upon dedication, perseverance, skill, motivation, capability, or a highly credible accomplishment – saved a woman from a drug overdose last year.
On June 1, 2016, Sergeant Daniel Dobosz and Detective Joshua Sigmund were off-duty around Fourth Street and Flanagan Way when they came across a woman slumped over and unresponsive in her car. The two requested assistance from Officer Mark Valentino, Detective Sergeant Austin Hawxhurst, and Officer Roy Sanchez-Ortega, all of whom were on duty.
With EMS assistance, the officers administered the opioid overdose antidote Narcan to the woman, saving her life.
“My hat’s off to each and every one of you. Keep it up.” – Mayor Michael Gonnelli
Pein also received an Excellent Police Service Award for his efforts.
Burning buildings and foiled burglars
Other Excellent Police Service Award recipients included Officer Nicholas Spangenberg and EMS Director Glenn Berchtold. On Dec. 9, Spangenberg responded to a County Avenue building’s smoke condition on the second floor. Spangenberg forcibly entered the apartment that the smoke originated from without any breathing apparatus, located an unconscious 88-year-old woman, and carried her to safety, where medical officials treated her for smoke inhalation.
Berchtold also assisted with that rescue.
For the “Unit Citation” award, which goes to members or employees of a division, bureau, shift, unit, or detail whose performance during an assignment is outstanding, one group of officers received the distinction for stopping a burglary in progress at a Koelle Boulevard residence on March 28.
They included Officer Salvatore Manente, Officer William Kosky, Officer Joseph Fuardo, Officer Robert Napolean, Detective Joshua Sigmund, Sergeant Daniel Dobosz, Officer William Eccles, Detective Sergeant Michael Torres, and Sergeant Reinaldo Cruzado.
Many other officers at the ceremony received the Excellent Police Service and Unit Citation awards as well.
“This is something the police department started last year, and I’m real happy that it’s back,” said Mayor Michael Gonnelli. “It’s something we really should be doing. My hat’s off to each and every one of you. Keep it up.”
Hannington Dia can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org