Middle police honor their own

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Police Chief Chris Leusner and Township Committeewoman Susan DeLanzo, center, present Cpl. Fran Fiore, left, and Ptl. James D’Alonzo with a lifesaving award on Tuesday evening, in recognition of their saving a 10-month-old.  Police Chief Chris Leusner and Township Committeewoman Susan DeLanzo, center, present Cpl. Fran Fiore, left, and Ptl. James D’Alonzo with a lifesaving award on Tuesday evening, in recognition of their saving a 10-month-old.

CAPE MAY COURT HOUSE – Children played, adults chatted and officers joked as about 100 people piled their plates at the Middle Township Police awards ceremony at the Samuel DeVico Senior Center Tuesday evening.

According to Chief Chris Leusner, the ceremony had at one time been a regular event, but then was not held for eight years. The department reinstated the event two years ago, and he plans to hold it every other year to recognize the officers and staff in the department.

On Tuesday, four officers received lifesaving awards, and other officers and staff were honored both for specific actions and for everyday service.

Cpl. Fran Fiore and Ptl. James D’Alonzo were the first granted lifesaving awards, for their work in August, 2008. There was a 911 call from Rio Grande. A 10-month old child was left alone in a bath for a short period, and when the officers arrived she was turning blue and was having difficulty breathing.

The officers gave first aid and monitored her until rescue personnel arrived.

Patrolmen David Hagan and Martin Lindholm also received lifesaving awards for a water rescue last March. The responded to Layton’s Marina after a 67-year-old man fell into the cold water from his boat and his friend could not pull him out. The two officers were able to pull him from the water, and according to Leusner they most likely saved his life.

In another dramatic rescue recognized on Tuesday, Det. 1st Class Allan McClure and Ptl. James D’Alonzo assisted a 21-year-old driver whose car was dangling over the water after she drove off the Shell Bay Avenue bulkhead on June 21, 2010. Polices ay she was intoxicated. The officers received Distinguished Service certificates and pins.

D’Alonzo was recognized yet again, receiving a Police Commendation for an incident on June 10 last year. While off duty, he heard three men arguing, and heard one mention that another had a knife, according to Leusner. D’Alonzo approached, and heard another mention of a knife.

He notified dispatch, and told the group to separate, telling them he was a Middle Township officer. One of the men put a large survival knife in his pants as he walked toward a pickup. Leusner said the man would not drop the knife and got in the truck, but D’Alonzo ordered him to stay put and drop the knife out the window. After several orders, the man dropped the knife, and D’Alonzo kept things stable until the on-duty officers arrived.

Leusner said D’Alonzo very likely prevented something more serious.

Among the other awards, Ptl. Jennifer Delanzo was recognized for bringing the program “Rachel’s Challenge” to students at Middle Township High School, Capt. John Edwards received a pin for his June graduation from the FBI National Academy, and Ptl. Jason Sill and his wife, dispatcher Madonna Sill were both honored for their work catching two shoplifters at the Rio Grande Kmart while off duty April 29.

Madonna Sill also received a 20-year pin, as did senior dispatcher Jennifer Graham, and senior dispatcher Robert Eagan received a 15-year pin, and dispatchers Dustin Gaskill and William Mulligan each got a 5-year pin.

Dispatcher Theodore Farina was honored with a certificate of recognition for saving the life of a man who tried to kill himself in his cell Feb. 19, 2010. The man had been arrested, and allegedly tried to strangle himself with his shoelace. Farina, an EMT, gave emergency aid and he resumed normal breathing.

Lt. William Adams, Ptl. David Hagan and Ptl. Leonard Larkin were recognized for completing the drug recognition expert program, while Cpl. Jeffrey Devico and Cpl. Sharon Price were honored as school resource officers, for Middle Township High School and the Cape May County Technical High School, respectively.

Ptl. Joshua Bryan received a pin as the most recent member to pass the rigorous qualifications for the county SWAT team, as well as earning a Drug Abuse Resistance Education pin, and Ptl. Martin Lindholm took a New Jersey Highway Safety certificate.

Bicycle unit pins for the township’s unit, formed in 2011, went to Ptl. 1st Class Marcus Phillips, and patrolmen Ronald Miller,David Hagan, Armondo Jones, Jeffery DeVico, Sason Sweitzer and Leonard Larkin, while good conduct awards went to patrolmen Daniel Geiger, Armondo Jones, Matthew Martino, Kurt Saettler, Julio Ruiz, Giacomo Trombetta and Steven Novsak.

Records personnel Barbara Montgomery received a pin and certificate for 10 years of service, and Virginia Sweitzer and Kendra Karstens each received a 5-year pin.

Thomas Eisiminger, 5-and-a-half, takes a picture of his mom, Barbara Montgomery, as she accepts a 10-year certificate from Police Chief Chris Leusner and Township Committeewoman Susan DeLanzo at an awards ceremony Tuesday. Montgomery works in the records department for Middle Township Police.  Thomas Eisiminger, 5-and-a-half, takes a picture of his mom, Barbara Montgomery, as she accepts a 10-year certificate from Police Chief Chris Leusner and Township Committeewoman Susan DeLanzo at an awards ceremony Tuesday. Montgomery works in the records department for Middle Township Police.

Middle Township Patrolman Joshua Bryan is the most recent member to pass the rigorous qualifications to join the Cape May County SWAT Team. He was honored on Tuesday, as well as for becoming a member of the DARE team.  Middle Township Patrolman Joshua Bryan is the most recent member to pass the rigorous qualifications to join the Cape May County SWAT Team. He was honored on Tuesday, as well as for becoming a member of the DARE team.

Senior Dispatcher Robert Eagan was recognized for 15 years of service.  Senior Dispatcher Robert Eagan was recognized for 15 years of service.

Patrolmen David Hagan and Martin Lindholm were given lifesaving awards on Tuesday for saving a man who fell off his boat last year. Police Chief Chris Leusner said without their help, he may have drowned.  Patrolmen David Hagan and Martin Lindholm were given lifesaving awards on Tuesday for saving a man who fell off his boat last year. Police Chief Chris Leusner said without their help, he may have drowned.

Ptl. Jason Sill and dispatcher Madonna Sill were off duty when they happened across two shoplifters fleeing a store on April 29, 2011. He chased them down while she called 911. They were among several people honored on Tuesday night.  Ptl. Jason Sill and dispatcher Madonna Sill were off duty when they happened across two shoplifters fleeing a store on April 29, 2011. He chased them down while she called 911. They were among several people honored on Tuesday night.

Photos by Bill Barlow


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