For the seventh year, the South Burlington Rotary Club hosted the South Burlington Police Department Annual Awards and Recognition Ceremony as a tribute to some of South Burlington’s bravest and most dedicated individuals.
Police Chief Whipple thanked the Rotary Club for their long standing support, and noted his appreciation for the support of city officials, community leaders, family and friends. He proudly referred to the awards as snapshots of one of the finest police departments in the nation, whose members serve with distinction.
The following awards were presented to SBPD officers and citizens whose valiant efforts helped protect the greater community.
Citizen Service Award
Awarded for: “Personal assistance by a civilian in apprehending a criminal, or in extending oneself beyond one’s own safety to aid people who are in danger. Or, to any citizen who assists the Department in furthering their mission of protecting the community whether it is through community policing efforts or other means.”
Caitlyn Kenney, Gabrielle Kenney, and Raul Quiroga were awarded for demonstrating courage in successfully calming a suicidal individual, removing the knife, and then calling emergency personnel and providing them with detailed information upon arrival.
Steven Zeno and Linda Zeno earned the Citizen Service Award for bravely assisting in the apprehension and arrest of a burglar who entered their home on Nov. 30, 2013. Steven was able to restrain the intruder while Linda promptly called the South Burlington Police Department for help.
Adam Cate, who works in the Public Works Department, is recognized for correctly identifying a suspect of robbery at People’s United Bank on Nov. 7, 2013, alerting the Department and assisting with the suspect’s apprehension.
Awarded for: “Participation of an Officer or Officers of an operating unit, and/or the entire Departmental Staff in a cited action.”
Dispatcher Daniel Greaves, Dispatcher Jessica Sanborn, and Dispatcher Rebecca Forsell worked cohesively displaying the epitome of teamwork during the Nov. 7, 2013 People’s United Bank robbery; they multi-tasked, prioritized and transmitted information efficiency, resulting in the eventual apprehension of the bank robber.
Corporal Kevin Grealis, Corporal Andrew Traynor, Officer Nicholas Holden, Dispatcher Nicole Belida, Detective Corporal Ronald Bliss, and Sergeant Gregg Jager are recognized for identifying criminal activity and arresting a suspect of domestic violence on July 6, 2013.
Awarded for: “An act of distinguished bravery in the arrest of a person who is a major threat to the welfare of the community and/or the officer.”
Officer Sean Pope and Officer Kyle Brouillette approached the People’s United Bank robber suspect, seconds before he boarded a CCTA bus. Without hesitation, the officers apprehended the individual, having no knowledge of the whether the individual was armed and dangerous.
Officer First Class Karen Chevalier, Detective Jonathan Namdar, Sergeant David Solomon, and Officer Christopher Bataille bravely took matters into their own hands on April 13, 2013. The three successfully apprehended an intoxicated male who was in his vehicle, repeatedly hitting a building as well as other parked cars at his place of employment on Williston Road.
Certificate of Commendation
Awarded for:“A credible accomplishment that needs to be acknowledged by the Department, or the police profession, but, doesn’t rise to the level of an award.”
Officer Christopher Bataille is recognized for his thorough investigation of a missing person; Berkley received a call from a family in California whose daughter had been missing and was last seen in South Burlington. His investigation successfully located the individual and alerted the Berkeley family that she was safe.
Detective Jonathan Namdar receives a Certificate of Commendation for improving police records and dispatch systems. Since 2011, Namdar has been committed to refining the Valcour Records management system, and more law enforcement agencies have implemented it since his work.
Officer Nicholas Holden is thanked for transforming a routine traffic stop into a major break in a substantial multi-state case. He identified a vehicle that had been reported in association with an assault and robbery incident, and eventually unveiled that the two individuals were part of a multi-state counterfeit check fraud case.
Detective Corporal Ronald Bliss is recognized for decreasing electronic theft by closely monitoring the ecoATM (an automatic teller machine that provides instant cash for used and new cell phones), conferring with agencies and with state and Burlington police, arresting seven individuals for theft and returning stolen properties to the proper owners.
Distinguished Achievement Award
Awarded for: “A highly credible accomplishment, bringing public acclaim to the officer, the Department of the police profession, as a result of training, devotion to duty, education or service to the public.”
Sergeant Daniel Brunelle is responsible for a highly successful targeted enforcement campaign which increased traffic safety after identifying high accident and traffic violation areas and finding subsequent solutions. He is also responsible for implementing several campaigns and an educational program open to officers and the public.
Corporal Lindsay Wilson is honored for her work as part of the South Burlington Police Youth Services Division. Wilson was the sole School Resource Officer from 2012-2013 and was responsible for the safety and programming support for the city’s six schools. She attended events, investigated juvenile crimes, and taught D.A.R.E. classes to every fifth grader in the district schools.
In 2013, Officer Michael DeFiore, Officer Sean Pope, and Officer Kyle Brouillette worked extensively as a team in identification, education and interdiction in crimes occurring in South Burlington motels. The training of motel staff resulted in a detailed intelligence base which has resulted in numerous drug seizures and arrests.
Corporal Darren Beers is recognized for pursuing a lead and obtaining a search warrant which resulted in one of Vermont’s largest drug suppliers being apprehended at a Williston Road hotel. The search warrant resulted in the arrest of four individuals and seizure of large amounts of drugs and cash.
Detective Corporal Matthew Plunkett is awarded for his three major drug force initiatives since being assigned the Vermont State Drug Task Force. He is responsible for helping to seize thousands of dollars worth of drug money, weapons, and drugs.
Detective Corporal Sarah Superneau receives the award for creating a strong rapport with a victim of domestic violence over a period of time. Superneau’s support helped the victim provide information that ultimately led the abuser to justice.
Sergeant David Solomon is awarded for helping a victim who had endured five-years of domestic violence. He formed a report about the violent history between the couple, and after responding to a Feb. 14, 2014 incident, Superneau was asked to report to the scene to support the victim.
Congratulations to all those awarded, and give thanks to the SBPD 24/7 service to keep South Burlington a safe, fun and warm place to live, work, and visit.
SOURCE: Miranda Jonswold, Correspondent