WINTHROP — Chief Terence M. Delehanty is pleased to announce that Sgt. Nicholas Bettano received Massachusetts law enforcement’s highest honor at the annual George L. Hanna Memorial Awards for Bravery.
Sgt. Nicholas Bettano was awarded the Medal of Honor by Gov. Charlie Baker and Hanna’s daughters on Tuesday, Nov. 1 at Mechanics Hall in Worcester.
On June 26, 2021, Winthrop Police responded to an incident in which a suspect crashed a stolen box truck into a vehicle and building, then fatally shooting two bystanders.
Sgt. Bettano was the first to arrive on scene, learning en route that he was responding to an active shooter incident. Upon arrival, a bystander directed Sgt. Bettano toward the suspect, whom he observed to be in possession of a handgun.
Sgt. Bettano assisted multiple bystanders to safety before making several attempts at commanding the suspect to drop his weapon. The suspect aimed his firearm at Sgt. Bettano, forcing him to discharge his weapon. Sgt. Bettano wounded and ultimately killed the suspect, protecting the safety and security of himself and others.
The subsequent investigation revealed the suspect may have intended to crash the truck into a synagogue.
“Sgt. Bettano exhibited an immense amount of courage and bravery during this tragic incident, and I am proud of his dedication to keeping Winthrop safe,” said Chief Delehanty. “When faced with a dangerous threat he acted both professionally and heroically to neutralize a threat to our community. I am proud of Sgt. Bettano for his quick thinking, bravery, and ability to remain calm under immense pressure. His actions unquestionably saved lives.”
The Medal of Honor is awarded to officers who demonstrate actions above and beyond the call of duty, exhibiting extraordinary bravery and courage, while disregarding the potential for danger or great risk to themselves during the course of an individual incident.
Retired state Trooper David Green, one of the bystanders killed during the incident, was also recognized posthumously for his bravery in leaving the safety of his home and attempting to provide aid following the crash.
About the George L. Hanna Award
The Hanna Memorial Awards for Bravery is an annual event named after George L. Hanna, a 10-year State Trooper who lost his life serving the Commonwealth on Feb. 26, 1983.
The Hanna Awards, which have been held annually since 1983, have become a symbol of prestige within both the law enforcement community and the Commonwealth as a whole. It is an opportunity to publicly recognize the bravery of members of the law enforcement community who put their lives on the line by dedicating themselves to safety throughout Massachusetts.