BEDFORD — Chief John J. Bryfonski and the Bedford Police Department are pleased to announce that several officers, detectives, and communications specialists were recently recognized for exceptional work in 2020 and 2021.
In a ceremony held last month, Chief Bryfonski presented awards to those whose extraordinary actions stood out during the last two years.
“I’m extremely proud of the entire Bedford Police Department and the way we work as a team to engage with and protect our community,” said Chief Bryfonski. “But we must also recognize the excellent and dedicated efforts of individual officers whose courage, compassion, and attention to detail stand out throughout the year.”
Detective Amy Champagne — Meritorious Service Award
In April 2020, Detective Champagne spearheaded an investigation into allegations of invasion of privacy, and conducted numerous interviews with victims and witnesses, prepared and executed several search warrants, and uncovered evidence of additional offenses allegedly committed by a suspect. As a result of Detective Champagne’s hard work and dedication to duty, a serial predator who preyed upon juveniles close to him was arrested and convicted in federal court, and also faces additional charges in Hillsborough County Superior Court. Detective Champagne’s dedication helped provide some closure to victims and families involved.
Officer Adrien Dupuis — Meritorious Service Award
Officer Dupuis’ attention to detail, persistence and proactive policing while assigned to the Patrol Operations Division led to numerous felony-level drug arrests in 2021. Officer Dupuis is a consistent leader in felony drug arrests and efforts to stop drug dealing in Bedford.
Officer Norman Frink – Meritorious Service Award
During 2021, Officer Frink was highly effective in “looking beyond the stop” when he developed evidence that led to several arrests and the seizure of controlled substances and evidence of other crimes. Officer Frink’s ability to develop key information and evidence from motor vehicle investigations that led to significant arrests and seizures significantly contributed to the overall success of the Department during 2021.
Officer Stephen Kennedy and Officer Joseph Wilhelmy — Lifesaving Award
In June 2021, Officer Kennedy and Officer Wilhelmy responded to a report of a juvenile male who jumped into a local pond and did not return to the surface. Both officers responded quickly, discarded their duty gear and equipment and jumped into the pond’s murky waters, disregarding their own safety, in an effort to find the boy. Both officers remained in the water searching for the boy for about 30 minutes, and only came out at the direction of fire personnel.
Detective James McMillen — Distinguished Unit Action Award
In December 2020, Detective McMillen began a nearly year-long investigation into a fentanyl-related overdose death. Detective McMillen conducted numerous interviews with the suspect and witnesses, executed search warrants, gathered open source intelligence, and painstakingly analyzed cell phone data for suspects and the victim. As a result of the investigation, two suspects believed to have provided the victim with narcotics a short time before the fatal overdose were identified and charged.
Lead Communications Specialist Nina Malley, Communications Specialist Ed Higgins, Communications Specialist Erin Depew — Distinguished Unit Action Award
In August 2021, Communication Specialists Higgins and Depew received a call reporting an assault in progress. Communications Specialists Higgins and Depew worked together to gather details and dispatch patrol officers, who arrived at the scene and determined the incident was a double homicide. Communications Specialists Higgins and Depew faced a stressful situation as they dispatched medical personnel, mutual aid agencies, and Bedford Police Department administration, all while also putting out BOLOs, handling other calls for assistance, and helping officers at the scene with requests. Lead Communications Specialist Malley also responded to the dispatch center to assist even though she was off-duty. As the incident unfolded, the suspect fled the scene and came to the Bedford Police Department’s lobby, where Communications Specialists Higgins and Depew kept the suspect occupied until officers took him into custody.
Lt. Kevin Bowen, Lt. Michael Monahan, Sgt. Scott Norris, Officer John Corridan, Officer Jeffrey Drew, Officer Timothy Hayden, Officer Michael Heikkila, Officer Tony Ssonko and Officer Ryan Wobrock — Distinguished Unit Action Award
In August 2021, Sgt. Norris, Officer Wobrock and Officer Heikkila responded to an assault in progress at a hotel. Upon arrival, officers discovered a chaotic scene and soon determined a homicide occurred. Sgt. Norris took initial command by securing the crime scene, and obtained and relayed information regarding a suspect who was eventually taken into custody. Lt. Bowen assumed tactical command of the scene, organizing mutual aid response, while Lt. Monahan organized the initial phases of the investigation and worked with Lt. Bowen and others to systematically search and secure the hotel. Additional officers — Officer Corridan, Officer Hayden and Officer Ssonko — also came in to assist the investigation. The teamwork, dedication and professionalism in handling a very complex, dangerous and multifaceted crime scene involving an active hotel earned all involved this award.