FLORHAM PARK, NJ- The Florham Park Borough Council meeting was awash with blue as local police officers, family and friends gathered to honor the contribution of several members of the Florham Park Police Department family for their work throughout the year of 2016. Police Chief, Robert Treiber, took the podium and proceeded to commend these fine civil servants for their dedication to the law and to the citizens of Florham Park.
The first award presented was the Life Saving Award. As the name suggests, this award is presented to officers who performed lifesaving feats in the line of duty. Within a stretch of five days in November, two groups of officers earned this award. November 9th saw officers resuscitate a 40-year-old male from a suspected opioid overdose. The officers administered NARCAN and performed CPR until a pulse returned to the victim.
The second recipients of the Life Saving Award earned theirs on November 14th. A suspected heart attack was called in from a local business and officers jumped to the scene. The officers confirmed that the patient was not breathing and had no pulse. The officers applied both CPR and external defibrillation to eventually resuscitate the patient. In honor of these acts, Sergeant Phil D’Alessio, Officers Thomas Ciasullo, Robert Mercuro, Joe Rega, Kevin Langereis, Rob Wronski and Dispatchers Dan Pineiro and Stephen DeHaven were presented with Florham Park’s Life Saving Award.
The next awards presented were Unit Commendations. These awards reflected the outstanding performance of different units whose efforts were worthy of recognition. These worthy efforts included the successful capture of two armed assaulters, a serial thief who would use stolen credit cards to buy stockpiles of cigarettes, and the perpetrator of a rash of thefts from local landscaping vehicles. In honor of their efforts, the Unit Commendations were awarded to Detective Lieutenant Scott Bartell, Detective Sergeant Brian Ford, Detective Mike Neilan, Sergeants Phil D’Alessio, Mike Thomas and Brian Ahlert, Officers Brian Sampson, Dan Bundschuh, Kevin Langereis, Tom Ciasullo, Frank Pietropinto, Anthony Negri and Richard Wronski, and Dispatchers Dan Pineiro and Steve DeHaven.
In addition to this, Detective Lieutenant Scott Bartell will also be awarded the Francis Dailey Investigative Excellence Award for his work on these cases and many others throughout the year.
The individual awards were then presented starting with the Chief John R. Treiber-DUI/Narcotics Award. This awarded is presented every year to the officer with the most DUI and Narcotic arrests. In 2016, Patrolman Daniel Braico racked up 22 drug or alcohol related arrests and was presented with this award.
This was not Braico’s only award of the night. Immediately following the Chief John R. Treiber-DUI/Narcotics Award, Braico was called up to accept the Robert Hauptman-Patrol Excellence Award. This award is presented to the officer with the most overall arrests and Braico added to his tally of 22 drug and alcohol related arrests for a grand total of 33 overall arrests for 2016.
While the police department is at the forefront of public safety, community policing is considered to be the backbone of modern policing and has become a focus of the Florham Park Police Department. Sergeant Glen Johnstone coordinated several community programs throughout 2016 that worked to cement a strong bond between the police and the community they serve. These included the National Night Out, the Safe Night Out, the Self Defense Seminar for Women, both DARE and GREAT classes and the Neighborhood Watch. He also spent countless hours working with the private schools throughout the borough to ensure they were up to date with security and safety procedure. For his efforts, Sergeant Glen Johnstone was awarded the Kim D. Chapman-Community Policing Award.
Officer Joel Phillips was honored by Mothers Against Drunk Driving for making the most DUI arrests in 2016. Phillips recorded 10 DUI arrests over the course of 2016. Detective Michael Neilan was then presented with the Florham Park Police Department Top Gun Award. This award goes to the officer with the highest score on the department’s firearms qualification and Neilan took the award with a commanding 98.7%.
Chief Treiber also gave out two Chief’s Awards. The first was to Detective Lieutenant Scott Bartell for his work as the accreditation manager for the department. In order to achieve accreditation, the agency must undergo an exhaustive review of policy, procedures and operations by independent assessors from the New Jersey State Chiefs of Police Association. Florham Park were found with no issues in operations thanks largely to the hard work of Bartell.
The second Chiefs Award was appointed to Patrolman Dan Bundschuh. His dedication to the law led him to assist in the arrest of two individuals who were attempting credit card fraud while off duty himself. Whether as a police officer, firefighter or EMT, Bundschuh is always “on duty” and was awarded for his dedication as a civil servant.
Finally, Florham Park Police Department’s Eagle Award was presented to Administrative Assistant, Denise Underhill. The Eagle Award is voted on by the recipient’s peers and is meant to go to an employee who displays loyalty to duty and constant devotion to the mission of the Florham Park Police Department. This is the first time that the Eagle award has ever been presented to a civilian employee.
Florham Park is proud of its police department and the community showed their appreciation for these award recipients with ample applause. With 2017 already well underway it will be interesting to see what this new year will bring for the borough and the department.