RANDOLPH, NJ - Each year, the Randolph Township Police Department recognizes officers who go beyond their duties within the department, whether by saving lives, receiving further education or dedicating many years of service to the force.
Police Chief David Stokoe opened the meeting by explaining that an awards committee reviews each award submission and makes recommendations for each category. Officer Edward Shivas received the Ready Commendation for completing 15 years with the department. The Educational Achievement Award goes to officers who have received an Associate's Degree or Higher, and Stokoe presented the award to officers Jamie Andersen, Stephen Szilagyi and Nick Francica.
The Life Saving Award “is awarded for an act performed in the line of duty, which through disregard for personal safety, or prompt and alert action results in the saving of a life,” Stokoe said. He recognized five officers with this award for three separate incidents over the past year.
On August 1, 2016 Officers Robert Coyle and Michael Puskas administered CPR and operated a defibrillator on a victim who was not breathing. Through their efforts, “the patient regained a pulse and was transported to the hospital.” Stokoe described. This award is the second lifesaving award for Coyle and third for Puskas.
The next incident took place on November 6, 2016 when Officers Christopher Carbonaro and Jeremiah Crowley revived a suicidal female who had been reported unconscious and not breathing. They found the victim in the bathtub, and Crowley began CPR when he could not feel a pulse.
Carbonaro prepared the victim for the AED, “specifically by drying her off as she had been in the bathtub,” Stokoe said. After a minute of chest compressions, the victim began breathing on her own, was transported to the hospital, and discharged after several days of care.
This is the first Life Saving Award for Carbonaro, but the second for Crowley.
The last incident recognized for the award occurred on March 7, 2017 when Officer Sean Verbist responded to a report of a man possibly having a heart attack.
While EMS prepared to transport the victim, he became unresponsive. Verbist performed CPR on the victim while EMS prepared and administered the AED. The victim regained consciousness and spent two days in the hospital before being released.
Stokoe also recognized the efforts of Crossing Guard Corina Wolfson for her 25 years of service to Randolph. Wolfson will be retiring at the end of the year.
“It’s good to be reminded that there are heroes living in our community,” said Mayor Christine Carey. “It seems almost trite to say ‘thank you’... but we all sleep better at night knowing that you’re here.”