NAUGATUCK — On May 20, 2017, Naugatuck police responded to a report of a suicidal woman.
The woman cut her wrists, took a large amount of prescription medications, and left a suicide note before leaving her house on foot, according to police. Responding officers searched neighboring yards to no avail. That’s when Officer Ian Kosky and his K-9 partner Vane responded and tracked the woman into a wooded area where she was found lying in a pile of brush, with cuts to both her forearms, and officers were able to get her treatment.
Eight months later, Sgt. Michael Wawrzyniak, who was a detective at the time, and Officer David Graham were working an extra duty assignment when a structure fire was reported. The officers arrived on the scene as heavy smoke poured out of the home. They entered the home and carried a woman, who was on the second floor and refusing to leave, out of the building as the situation worsened. Wawrzyniak then went back into the home to save a hamster.
These incidents are just two examples of the actions of local officers, dispatchers and civilians dating back to 2016 that were recognized April 25 during the Naugatuck Police Department’s Award Ceremony.
The ceremony comes at a time when police officers face more expectations and scrutiny than ever before, local officials said.
While police officers today are held to a higher standard than perhaps any other profession, Police Chief Steven Hunt said the officers honored at the ceremony serve honorable and choose to be police officers to help people and make a difference.
“Day in and day out our officers report to duty knowing they may be asked to risk their lives for someone that they don’t know, yet they perform their duties vehemently, with courage, integrity and often under difficult circumstances,” Hunt said.
The following people were recognized during the ceremony:
Medal for Meritorious Service: Sgt. Michael Wawrzyniak (2), Det. Paul Bertola, Patrolman Hannah Turci, Patrolman David Graham, dispatcher Andrew Evancho.
Life Saving Medal: Chief Steven Hunt, Lt. Daniel Norck, Det. Jonathan Slavin, Det. Alexia Castro (2), Det. Thomas McGarvey (2), Patrolman Ian Kosky, Patrolman Matthew Savoy, Patrolman Colin Paternoster, Ret. Training Officer Marcus Jacoboski.
Medal for Outstanding Service: Sgt. Michael Wawrzyniak, Det. Kevin Zainc (2).
Civilian Recognition Letter: Brian Mariano, James Leary, Greg Quadrato, Anthony Mariano, Charlie Santos.
Unit Citation: Chief Steven Hunt, Lt. Derek Vostinak, Lt. Colin McAllister (2), Sgt. Derek Poundstone, Sgt. Ronald Jay Pugliese, Sgt. Ryan Burns, Sgt. Michael Wawrzyniak, Training Officer Matthew DaSilva, Det. Thomas McGarvey (3), Evidence Officer Luis Martinez (2), Patrolman Carl Schaaf, Patrolman Jasen Markette, Patrolman Marc Robinson, Patrolman Otis Baskins, Patrolman Hannah Turci (2), Patrolman Stephen Fortin (2), Patrolman James Tortora (2), Patrolman James McMasters, Patrolman Nick Lavoie (3), Patrolman Stephen Vitka, Patrolman David Graham, Patrolman John Williams, Patrolman Danielle Burette, Patrolman Brandon Hudson, Patrolman Connor Faticoni, Patrolman Colin Paterrnoster, dispatcher Danielle Pernell, Ret. Lt. Ronald Hunt, Ret. Lt. Peter Bosco, Ret. Detective Paul Markette, Ret. Evidence Officer Jack DeOliveira, Ret. Patrolman Americo Tavares, Ret. Patrolman Alan Crosswait, Ret. dispatcher Kelly Orsini.