11 Beacon St., Suite 300
Boston, MA 02108
For Immediate Release
Friday, Oct. 26, 2018
Contact: John Guilfoil
Email: [email protected]
Massachusetts Police Association Honors Officers for Heroism, Selflessness
PLYMOUTH — Police officers from across the Commonwealth were honored Thursday for their bravery, selflessness and sacrifice at the Massachusetts Police Association’s (MPA) 118th Annual Convention awards ceremony in Plymouth.
Municipal police officers from Boston, Plymouth, Brockton, Everett, Lawrence, Springfield and Yarmouth, received awards for various acts of valor and honor. The event was held at the Hotel 1620 Plymouth Harbor.
“This is an event we look forward to every year as a way to pay tribute to the hardworking law enforcement officers in our state,” said MPA President Alan Andrews of the Lawrence Police Department. “It was great to see the award recipients with their families enjoying the luncheon. They have made us all proud.”
Those recognized during the ceremony included Yarmouth Police K-9 Officer Sean Gannon, who was killed in the line of duty on April 12 while serving an arrest warrant.
Several of his fellow officers from the Yarmouth Police Department were also honored for their efforts and response to the harrowing incident.
Retired Yarmouth Police K-9 Officer Peter McClelland was given a Distinguished Service Medal for helping save the life of Officer Gannon’s K-9 Nero after Nero was shot during the incident that took his handler’s life.
“What an honor it was to be able to pay tribute to Officer Gannon with his wife, mother and loved ones in attendance,” President Andrews said. “Officer Gannon gave the ultimate sacrifice and the many officers that make up our membership will work hard every day to make sure his sacrifice was not in vain.”
Members of each department that received awards were called up to accept their medals to uproarious applause from the hundreds that were in attendance.
The award recipients and reasons for receiving the awards are as follows:
- State Senator Julian Cyr was honored for his support of law enforcement in his district and throughout the state.
- State Representative Colleen Garry was honored for her decades of supporting law enforcement at the state and local level.
- Greg Hill, Founder of the Greg Hill Foundation and WAAF radio host, was awarded for the work his foundation does in responding to assist families touched by tragedy. The foundation has raised over $2 million since its inception in 2010.
- Yarmouth Police K-9 Officer Sean Gannon was posthumously awarded the Medal of Honor. His wife and mother accepted the award on behalf of his family and loved ones.
- Yarmouth Police Officer Christopher Van Ness, Officer Sean Geary, Officer Nicholas Ambrosini; Barnstable Police Lt. Mike Clarke, Officer Joe Cairnes, Officer Michael Lima; and Massachusetts State Police Sgt. Michael Turgeon were all award the Medal of Valor for their efforts in their response to the shooting of Officer Gannon.
- Retired Yarmouth Police K-9 Officer Peter McClelland was awarded the Distinguished Service Medal for helping save the life of Officer Gannon’s K-9 Nero after Nero was shot during the incident that took his handler’s life.
- Boston Police Officer Tyler Briffett and Officer Jeffrey Smith were honored with a Lifesaving Award for their efforts on April 21 where they tended to a victim of a stabbing. The officers were assigned to a detail at the Boston Garden and responded to a report of an altercation nearby. Upon arrival at the scene, the officers discovered a victim who had a life-threatening stab wound to his upper thigh. The officers sprang into action and applied a tourniquet to the victim’s leg. The victim was able to be stabilized and brought to the hospital where he ultimately survived and recovered.
- Boston Police Sgt. Doug McGrath, Officer James O’Laughlin and Officer Kyle Holmes were honored with Medals of Valor for their response to an incident on Feb. 18 in Dorchester. While following up on reports of gun violence in the area, the officers came upon a suspect who at one point brandished a gun and pointed it at the officers during an altercation. The officers were able to safely wrestle the gun away from the suspect and place him in custody.
- Plymouth Police Officer Thomas Delaura, Officer Robert Hackett, Officer Thomas Kelley, Officer David Lis, Officer David Ross, Officer Kevin Ciavarra, Officer Renee Jacobs, Officer Kyle Kriezter and Sgt. Timothy McMillan were each awarded the Medal of Valor, Medal of Merit and the MPA Lifesaving Medal. On Oct. 26, 2017, the Plymouth Police Department responded to a domestic violence call where a suspect almost immediately began firing at the officers upon their arrival with a handgun. After returning fire and stopping the threat, the officers immediately sprang into action to render first-aid to the suspect, who had been shot multiple times. The suspect lived due to the efforts of the responding officers.
- Brockton Police Officer Ryan Quirk and Officer Derek Scully were given the Medal of Valor for their response to an incident on April 8 where a suicidal man charged at them with a knife. The officers shot the suspect multiple times and then immediately rendered first-aid to the man until medical personnel arrived. The suspect survived the incident due to the efforts of Officers Quirk and Scully.
- Springfield Police Officer Runuel Bibby was given the Medal of Valor for his efforts in arresting a shooting suspect in April. Officer Bibby was off-duty in his personal vehicle while on his way to work when he witnessed a man run over to a vehicle and fire two shots into the passenger’s side window. With complete disregard for his own safety, Officer Bibby stopped and jumped out of his vehicle with his service weapon drawn and ordered the suspect to the ground. Officer Bibby had the man in custody and seized the suspect’s firearm by the time backup arrived.
- East Longmeadow Police Sgt. Joseph Dalessio was awarded the Medal of Valor for helping to save the life of one his fellow officers. On Nov. 3, 2016, Sgt. Dalessio and Detective Sgt. Steven Manning were serving an arrest warrant to a man who was well-known to police and had a violent criminal history. The man attempted to flee from the officers when he was approached and eventually he took out a knife and attacked Detective Sgt. Manning. The suspect slashed Detective Sgt. Manning and continued swinging the knife as he tried to defend himself. Fearing that his fellow officer’s life was in danger, Sgt. Dalessio fired two shots at the suspect, striking the man and stopping the attack.
- Lawrence Police Officer Leo Silvera, Officer Zachary Taylor, Officer Paul Aliano and Officer Jordany Vargas received the MPA Lifesaving Medal and Medal of Merit for their efforts in November last year. The officers responded to a motor vehicle crash where they pulled a seriously injured driver out of a burning vehicle as the flames grew larger and saved the driver’s life.
- Everett Police Sgt. Larry Jedrey, Officer Santiago Flores, Officer Cory Young and Officer Anthony Cruciotti were presented the MPA Lifesaving Medal and the Medal of Valor. On Oct. 15, 2017, Sgt. Jedrey was approached by several people who stated that a man was outside in the downtown threatening to kill police officers. Upon arrival, the suspect brandished a knife in each hand and refused all commands from Sgt. Jedrey. The suspect advanced toward the sergeant and said he was going to kill him. Sgt. Jedrey drew his service weapon and shot the man as backup officers arrived. The officers immediately began treatment on the wounded suspect and were able to help the man ultimately survive the incident.
- Chelsea Police Officer Robert Hammond and MBTA Transit Police Officer James Davie were awarded the Medal of Valor for their response to a barricaded subject incident in May, where the suspect fired upon officers. On May 22, officers responded to a home for a report of domestic violence involving a firearm. Upon arrival, the suspect was standing in the doorway of the home brandishing a gun. The suspect immediately fired at Officer Hammond, who returned fire back and struck the suspect. After hours of barricading himself, the suspect eventually exited the rear of the home while once again firing upon officers. Officer Davie returned fire, striking the suspect and ending the threat.
Before the ceremony, the MPA Executive Board officially endorsed the reelection campaigns of Gov. Charlie Baker and Lt. Gov. Karyn Polito, as well as Geoff Diehl, who is running for U.S. Senate.
Lt. Gov. Polito spoke to those in attendance about the importance of law enforcement and protecting the communities they serve.
“It’s amazing and extraordinary the work that you do every day,” Lt. Gov. Polito said. “A lot of people take you for granted because we just expect that we’re going to live in safe neighborhoods and safe places. But it just doesn’t happen without you and it’s the most important role that we in government have is to protect the people of this Commonwealth and in these communities and in this country. You’re the ones who have signed up for this awesome responsibility. Not everybody can do what you do or wants to do what you do, or has the desire and passion to do what you do. But you do it because you’re extraordinary people.”
Diehl said it was an incredible honor to receive the endorsement from the MPA and thanked the organization for its support.
“I was able join your fellow officers on a ride-along with a gang unit,” Rep. Diehl said. “I saw work that’s being done to keep criminals off our streets, to keep the drugs off our streets, to keep the illegal guns off our streets. The men and women who put the uniform on everyday are protecting our lives and in some cases sacrificing their own lives. We need to respect that as a state, as a country and as U.S. Senator. You will always have my respect for the work that you do everyday.”