CRANFORD, NJ - On April 5, the Cranford Policemen’s Benevolent Association Local #52, held their annual Silver Card and Awards Dinner.  Honorary Silver Card recipients were Kathleen Ditzel, retired Cranford Police Communications Officer, Ralph Gregson, Parking Enforcement Officer and voluntary Cranford Police Auxiliary Captain, Kevin Brennan, Owner of Rockin’ Joe, and Attilio Guarino, Owner of Emma’s Brick Ove.  Honorary silver card recipients are members of the public who have gone above and beyond in their efforts and support of Cranford PBA Local 52 over the years. 

PBA Local 52 members Steven Toy, Joseph VanBergen, and Derek Farbanec were honored with Silver Life Memberships. 

Merit Awards were presented to Cranford Police Officers who exhibited outstanding acts of courage and valor described in the following scenarios.  On August 30, 2014 Edward Davenport, Russell Luedecker, William Pietrucha, and Timothy O’Brien responded to an active fire at a local apartment and managed to evacuate all of the residents, one of which was overcome by smoke inhalation, and contained the fire from spreading to additional apartments.  On December 15, 2014 Ryan Greco, Frank Williams, Derek Farbanec, Matthew Nazzaro, Sean Holcomb, Matthew Siessel, and Michael O’Neil responded to an armed robbery to the Shell Gas Station.  The suspect vehicle was soon located and a felony stop of the vehicle was conducted without incident.  Two suspects were arrested on scene.  On January 22, 2015 Spencer Durkin, Michael Andrews, and Brian Trotter conducted a motor vehicle stop in the area of Centennial Avenue and the Garden State Parkway.  In the glove compartment a .45 caliber handgun and over 75 folds of packaged heroin were located.  Three suspects were arrested without incident.  On January 22, 2015 Nadia Jones, Michael Dubitsky, and Gregory Federici were dispatched to an unresponsive female.  Officers performed CPR and administering multiple defibrillator shocks, a pulse was restored.  On April 5, 2015 Timothy Handy and Daniel Donnerstag conducted a motor vehicle stop in the area of South and Lincoln Avenue East.  One of the suspects fled the scene.  After a foot pursuit the suspect was taken into custody.  A 9mm handgun was discarded from the fleeing suspect and was recovered by officers.  On May 28, 2015 Brian Wagner, Spencer Durkin, and Michael Dubitsky conducted a motor vehicle stop on Raritan Road near Winfield Park.  Officers discovered a fully loaded .40 caliber semi-automatic pistol and 50 additional hollow point bullets, marijuana, and MDMA in the vehicle.  Three suspects were taken into custody without incident.  On September 10, 2015 Edward Davenport, Frank Williams, William Pietrucha, Joseph Stulpin, Michael Andrews, Daniel Norton, and Jason D’Agostino responded to a call of a vehicle that drove into the Rahway River.  Officers entered the rain swollen river and were able to rescue one occupant who later made a full recovery.  As the overturned vehicle continued to sink into the river bed a second occupant was recovered from the vehicle that later succumbed to her injuries.  On December 13, 2015 Matthew Siessel, James Knight, and Russell Luedecker conducted a motor vehicle stop on Raritan Road.  In the vehicle was located a sum of marijuana, drug paraphernalia, and a .20 gauge shotgun and shells.  Four suspects were arrested without incident.  On January 16, 2016 Gregory Federici and Jason D’Agostino conducted a motor vehicle stop in the area of Centennial Avenue and the Garden State Parkway.  A search of the vehicle resulted in the recovery of narcotics, a stolen .44 magnum handgun and a MAC 10 style assault weapon loaded with a high capacity magazine.  All three suspects were arrested without incident. 

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“We are very proud of all the men and women of the Cranford Police Department and their tireless efforts to keep our community safe,” said Cranford State Delegate Steven D’Ambola.  “It is through the Officers’ and our Honorary Silver Card Recipients’ commitment and dedication to the township that make Cranford such a great place to live and work.”


Photograph:  (left to right) Joseph Stulpin, President Tom Bell, Vice President Kelly Rieder, Steven Toy, Ralph Gregson, State Delegate Steven D’Ambola, Derek Farbanec, Joseph VanBergen, Attilio Guarino.