Mark D. Segalla, Chief of Police
15 Union St.
Reading, MA 01867
For Immediate Release
Wednesday, Sept. 21, 2016
Contact: John Guilfoil
Email: [email protected]
Reading Police Department’s RAD Instructors Receive Samantha’s Buddy Award
READING — Chief Mark D. Segalla is pleased to announce that several of the Reading Police Department’s Rape Aggression Defense (RAD) instructors received Samantha’s Buddy Award for going above and beyond with assisting people with special needs.
Samantha Gibbs is a 15-year-old girl with Down syndrome. Her mother and father, Lisa and Rob Gibbs, created the award 15 years ago for their nonprofit, Samantha’s Harvest, as a way to recognize those who took the extra step in helping someone with special needs.
On Sept. 16, following the Samantha’s Harvest Charity Golf Tournament in North Reading, Samantha and Lisa presented RAD instructors Deputy Chief David J. Clark, Officer Kaylyn Gooley, Lt. Detective Richard Abate, Community Service Officer Kristen Stasiak, Officer Ian Nelson, Officer Michael Scouten and Officer Michelle Halloran with the award. Sgt. Christine Amendola and Officer Sal Lavita, who were unable to attend the tournament, were also recognized for their work.
Samantha and Lisa, who are Reading residents, had taken the police department’s RAD course in May and felt welcomed throughout the series of classes, where they learned a lot and refined their self defense skills.
“These men and women in blue are amazing protectors and deserve nothing but our respect and awe,” Lisa Gibbs said during the awards ceremony following the golf tournament. “You had high expectations for Sam and you taught her in a way she could understand and then execute. She knows all of you now, and knows when she needs you, you’ll be there.”
This is the first time officers from the Reading Police Department have been honored with Samantha’s Buddy Award.
“I am extremely proud of our RAD instructors for earning this award,” Chief Segalla said. “One of our core values is to treat all people with kindness and respect and we’re so happy that the Gibbs’ took our RAD course.”