State police honor local officers

Many of the men and women who protect the local area on a daily basis were recognized for bravery, quick thinking and diligence in their work during an awards ceremony Nov. 10 in Meriden at the State Police Training Academy.

Trooper Benjamin Pagoni could have gone home after his evening shift ended on March 31, ignoring the radio call about a robbery in Naugatuck.

But he didn’t.

Pagoni gathered more information about the robbery of the Cumberland Farms on North Main Street, then aided police in the hunt for the suspect, who was later found to be a store employee. Pagoni kept searching for the car involved in the robbery and found it parked at a Waterbury gas station. Pagoni arrested Eric Peil in connection to the robbery and police suspect he may have been planning to rob a second business. Peil is now serving a four-year prison sentence for the hold up.

Pagoni received a medal for outstanding service.

Beacon Falls Officer Caroline O’Bar was faced with a life-and-death situation in May when firefighters forced open the door of the Beacon Falls apartment. Inside the room, O’Bar found a man lying on his bed with a knife pressed to his neck. She used a button on her radio to bring other officers into the home, which turned into more than an hour of negotiations with the man who they believed was trying to commit suicide.

The man eventually gave up the knife and was taken to a hospital. O’Bar, the Beacon Falls Department and state police from Troop I were awarded a unit citation for their actions.

Prospect Resident State Trooper Matthew Comeau was awarded a medal for lifesaving after aiding in the revival of an elderly Prospect man who had collapsed on the floor of a home. Comeau performed CPR on the man, while being helped by Prospect firefighters who gave the man oxygen. The man’s pulse returned and he was taken to a hospital.

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