BRIDGEWATER, NJ - The Bridgewater Township Police Department celebrated a number of officers and civilians during its swearing in and awards ceremony March 1.
The department also promoted Lt. Richard Shimp to the rank of captain.
“I thank him for saying yes, and thank him for his service,” Mayor Dan Hayes said. “I look forward to his contributions.”
Shimp is a 1987 graduate of Bridgewater-Raritan High School West, and started working as a dispatcher with the Bridgewater Township Police Department in 1992. He was hired as a police officer in January 1993.
While in the patrol division, Shimp was assigned to the Somerset County Police Academy as a full time instructor, and spent 13 years as an adjunct instructor for in-service and recruit training. He was also a member of the Somerset County Prosecutor’s Office Collision Analysis Reconstruction Team.
In 2008, Shimp was promoted to sergeant, and, in 2014, he was promoted to lieutenant.
With a Bachelor of Science degree from Salisbury University, Shimp is also a recent graduate of the NJSA of Chiefs of Police Command and Leadership school.
In addition to the promotion, a number of awards were given out during the ceremony.
“We recognize the accomplishments of the members of the police department,” Hayes said. “I believe the entire police force is ready to present heroism, and I take great pride in that.”
Bridgewater Township Police Chief Al Nicaretta praised all the officers.
“It is a great time in the history of our police department when we can honor officers and civilians who rose to the occasion,” he said.
The first award presented was the Medal of Valor to Officer Adam Augliera, Officer John Cooper and Bedminster Township Police Officer Paul Piano. They were recognized for responding to Washington Valley Road in March 2016 to investigate a masked male walking in the roadway carrying a machete and bat, and then apprehending him without injury.
A Civilian 2nd Degree award was presented to former dispatcher Allison Cavallo, who received a 911 call on May 28, 2014, for a 26-year-old male who was experiencing a seizure. The victim turned out to be her brother, but she remained calm, and was able to provide instructions to her father and dispatch appropriate medical personnel, all while maintaining focus on other radio traffic.
The Exceptional Service award was given to officers Jonathon Conroy, Phillip Forgione and Adam Augliera, who responded to the Bridgewater Commons Mall for a credit card investigation where the subjects were walking out of Macy’s. One suspect fled, and the officers were able to make the arrest.
Exceptional Service awards were given to Det. Sgt. Michael Packwood, Det. Stephen Zeichner, Det. Cliff Delaney and Officer Scott Woodruff, with a letter of commendation for Officer Patrick Knapp, with regard to a call of a man being shot in the leg in June 2015 following a failed drug transaction. With basic information obtained, they were able to arrest the suspect within 12 hours of the shooting.
A Defib Save award was given to Officer Randy Pelley, and CPR Save awards were given to Officer Joseph Greco and Sgt. Robert Stasiulaitis, for an incident in March 2016 with a male having a seizure at the Big Apple Circus. The patient stopped breathing during the evaluation, and Greco and Stasiulaitis began CPR and Pelley initiated defibrillator protocols.
The patient regained a pulse after two shocks.
Another Defib Save award was given to Lt. Paul Payne, with CPR Save awards going to Officer Jack Kennedy and Officer Brian Eitner and a Civilian Award to Ralph Debaro following a report of an unconscious male in a vehicle July 2015. Debaro called 911 to report the patient, and Kennedy and Either began CPR until Payne arrived with the defibrillator.
The patient regained a pulse.
A Car Fire Lifesaving Award was given to Officer Brian Schubert, Officer Michael Leight and Officer Thomas Marshall for responding to a head-on motor vehicle collision on Route 22 East April 24, 2016. The officers responded to the vehicle where the occupant was trapped and unconscious, and they were able to put out the fire despite the vehicle reigniting several times.
CPR Save awards were given to Officer John Doesburgh, Officer Jason Albanese, Officer Kevin Florczak and Leight regarding an April 2015 incident when they were called to a home for a 30-year-old female not breathing. The officers rotated through CPR cycles and defibrillator protocols, and the patient eventually regained a pulse and was transported to the hospital.
A Lifesaving Award was given to Woodruff, who found a patient who had vomited and was slumped over a steering wheel in a parked motor vehicle at the Somerset Shopping Center. The woman had been reported missing and suicidal from a neighboring jurisdiction.
A CPR Save award was given to Officer Jonathan Conroy, who was dispatched to a home Dec. 14, 2016, for a report of a woman experiencing difficulty breathing. He continued CPR until paramedics arrived, and a pulse was ultimately detected.
A CPR Save award was given to Officer Robert Reilly, who was dispatched to the Top Spin Table Tennis Club for a CPR call Feb. 15, 2015. He applied his portable defibrillator unit to the victim and began CPR until the paramedics arrived.
With regard to a burglary investigation on Adamsville Road, Officer Brian Blath was given an Exceptional Service award, Officer John Bezak was given a Letter of Commendation, Delaney was given a Letter of Commendation, Augliera was given a Letter of Commendation and John Stier was given a Civilian Award.
On Oct. 8, 2015, Stier saw a male walking across his front yard carrying a safe, and then saw that his neighbor’s house had a broken window. The officers responded and quickly brought closure to the incident.
With regard to a Pearl Street Burglary Investigation, Packwood, Stadiulaitis and Det. Jamie Edwards received Letters of Commendation. They observed a suspect in the burglary and a foot pursuit ensued into a creek.
The officers took quick action to capture the criminal.
Finally, Greco received a Letter of Commendation for being dispatched to a home Feb. 15, 2015, because of a furnace not working with temperatures outside in the single digits. Greco was able to correct the problem with the wiring.