CLARK, NJ – The Clark Police Department recognized outstanding service during its annual police awards held Monday night during the township council meeting.

Family members and CPD officers were in the audience to the support the recognized officers.  Mayor Sal Bonaccorso thanked the CPD for another great job this year.

Sgt. Chris Tuccio and Sgt. Ricardo Oliveira received a Life Saving Award for their actions on March 26, 2017. They responded to a report of an unresponsive person who had collapsed in a parking garage.  The officers were able to revive the individual with CPR and AED.

Sign Up for E-News

Ptl. Alex Yanes and Ptl. Michael DeAngelo received Distinguished Service Awards for their involvement in a vehicular pursuit after a robbery at ShopRite on November 4, 2017.  The suspects eventually were caught after they fled on foot.  The officers were able to take them into custody without incident. 

Ptl. Pedro Oliveira and Sgt. Kevin Shackleton received Distinguished Service Awards for aiding state police in the pursuit of a kidnapping and carjacking suspect who had fled down the Garden State Parkway into Clark last December.  The officers, along with a unit from Cranford, were able to take the suspect into custody without incident. 

Ptl. Tom Gucwa received two Distinguished Service Awards.  Gucwa responded to a report of a suspicious male wandering through properties in the middle of the night on February 2, 2017.  After receiving false information from the suspect, Gucwa took the man into custody where he was found to have stolen possessions from six vehicles. 

On August 17, 2017, Gucwa responded to a report of a suspicious vehicle. He found a door ajar with an individual inside.  The suspects was found in possession of several burglarized items. 

Sgt Ricardo Oliveira, Det. Brian Soos, Ptl. Mark Detore, and Ptl. Paul Soshowski were recognized for their swift action that saved the life of Mountainside Ptl Jim Debbie’s 3-month-old daughter last June.  When they arrived at the house, the baby was choking and unresponsive.  The officers cleared the baby’s airways and nasal passages and the baby regained consciousness. 

Debbie insisted that he and his family be in attendance Monday evening as these officers were recognized.  “This is who you want to come to your house [in an emergency],” Debbie said of the four officers.

Ptl. Alex Ruiz received the Outside Agency Award for his participation in the Union County Emergency Response Team.  Ruiz was deployed with a unit to Puerto Rico after Hurricane Maria from October 21, 2017 through December 2, 2017.  He assisted with infrastructure security, traffic control and humanitarian aid distribution.  Ruiz also received the Award of Excellence by the Union County Prosecutor’s Office for his work during that time.

“Every day [our officers] are out there risking their own well-being and showing compassion to fellow citizens,” Police Chief Pedro Matos said after the officers were recognized.  “This is just a small example of what our officers do day to day.”