SCOTCH PLAINS/FANWOOD, NJ -- Fanwood Police Chief Richard Trigo and Sgt. Marc Gottlick and Scotch Plains Police Lieutenant Joseph Zito, Officer Chris Aversa and Officer James Richie were among police officers and fire fighters honored for valor today by the 200 Club of Union County at a luncheon in Mountainside.
The honors, "actions going above and beyond the call of duty," stem from an 8-hour overnight standoff in November with a Fanwood man that involved the identified police officers coming under gunfire. The man was apprehended, and no one was injured in the standoff. Police later found a dozen weapons in the home.
“The officers did an outstanding job under adverse and dangerous conditions and they performed admirably, as they are trained to do,” said Scotch Plains Police Captain Brian Donnelly. “We were glad to assist Fanwood and it is a well-deserved honor for all the officers.”
Valor Award Honorees 2014
- Captain Martin Mogensen, Union County SWAT Commander, Union County Police Department
- Officer Kenneth Matz, Union County Police Department
- Lieutenant Joseph Zito, Scotch Plains Police Department
- Officer James Richie, Scotch Plains Police Department
- Officer Chris Aversa, Scotch Plains Police Department, Union County SWAT Team
- Chief Richard Trigo, Fanwood Police Department
- Sergeant Marc Gottlick, Fanwood Police Department
- Detective Raymond Smith, Elizabeth Police Department
- Firefighter Sean Horton, Elizabeth Fire Department
- Firefighter Patrick Wirkus, Elizabeth Fire Department
The 200 Club is a civic group of Union County businessmen. This year marks the organization’s 45th Valor Awards Luncheon to honor and reflect on the lives of the uniformed protectors. Each year, recipients are chosen in part on the recommendations of the chiefs of police and firefighters in the 21 municipalities in Union County.
Stay tuned to The Alternative Press for additional photos and information on the awardees.