WEST WINDSOR, NJ (MERCER)–On Monday January 27, 2020 the West Windsor Police Department Award Presentation was held at the West Windsor Township Council Meeting. The following have received awards and recognition:
1. Sgt. Michael McMahon
A Letter of Recognition is awarded to Sgt. Michael McMahon for his service on New Jersey Task Force One. Sgt. McMahon is a founding member and for over 20 years he has volunteered his time and dedicated his service as a Rescue Specialist for New Jersey Task Force One. During this time, Sgt. McMahon has been part of search and rescue teams that have been deployed to numerous states to conduct water rescues, water evacuations, wide area searches for lost or injured, preliminary damage assessment, and to provide humanitarian assistance.
2. Ptl. Frank Zicha
A Certificate of Commendation is awarded to Ptl. Frank Zicha for the performance of departmental duties with a high degree of competence and professionalism. During the early morning hours of July 29, 2018 Ptl. Zicha conducted a motor vehicle stop of a vehicle containing two occupants. During his investigation, Ptl. Zicha located a large amount of heroin, cocaine, MDMA and marijuana within the vehicle. In addition, the occupants of the vehicle were in possession of a stolen 9mm handgun. Both occupants were subsequently arrested and lodged in county jail. Ptl. Zicha is commended for his proactive police work.
3. Sgt. Lee Brodowski, Ptl. Kyle LaForge, Ptl. Christian Crawford, Ptl. Peter Buchanan and Dispatcher Austin Fountain
Certificate of Commendations are awarded to Sgt. Brodowski, Ptl. LaForge, Ptl. Crawford, Ptl. Buchanan and Disp. Fountain for the performance of departmental duties with a high degree of competence and professionalism. On August 13, 2019 patrol units were dispatched to a residence in response to a hang up 911 call. Upon arrival, it was determined that a domestic violence incident had taken place that involved the use of a knife by a mentally disturbed subject. The subject fled the area prior to patrol’s arrival. Through the combined efforts of Sgt. Brodowski, Ptl. LaForge, Ptl. Crawford, Ptl. Buchanan and Disp. Fountain, the officers were able to successfully locate and apprehend the dangerous individual.
4. Ptl. Melissa Nagy, Ptl. Douglas Montgomery and K9 Mackey
Certificate of Commendations are awarded to Ptl. Melissa Nagy, Ptl. Douglas Montgomery and K9 Mackey for the performance of departmental duties with a high degree of competence and professionalism. On June 16, 2019 Ptl. Melissa Nagy. Ptl. Douglas Montgomery and K9 Mackey responded to a residential burglary. Upon their arrival they met with the callers and observed that forced entry was made to the residence. As Ptl. Nagy, Ptl. Montgomery and K9 Mackey cleared the residence, K9 Mackey led officers to the two suspects who were hiding in the attic. Both suspects were arrested and charged with burglary, theft, criminal mischief and drug offenses.
5. Ptl. Frank Zicha
A Certificate of Commendation is awarded to Ptl. Frank Zicha for the performance of departmental duties with a high degree of competence and professionalism. On August 1, 2019 Ptl. Frank Zicha was patrolling the area of the Overlook Center when he located a suspicious person. After further investigation the subject was found to be a wanted person who had recently escaped from the Trenton Psychiatric Hospital. The subject was in need of his medication, had a history of attempted murder and was considered extremely dangerous. Ptl. Zicha should be commended for his aggressive police work, which led to the apprehension of a dangerous person.
6. Lt. Stephen Skwierawski, Sgt. David Jelinski, Det. Jason Jones, Det. William Jones, Det. Christopher Van Ness, Det. Nick Barber, Det. Eric Woodrow, and Ptl. Christian Crawford
Certificate of Commendations are awarded to Lt. Skwierawski, Sgt. Jelinski, Det. Jason Jones, Det. William Jones, Det. Christopher Van Ness, Det. Barber, Det. Woodrow, and Ptl. Crawford for the performance of departmental duties with a high degree of competence and professionalism. In 2018 and 2019 West Windsor Township was experiencing numerous residential burglaries throughout the township. Using various investigative methods, the West Windsor Police Detective Bureau tirelessly investigated these cases and developed a suspect. After the suspect information was disseminated to Patrol Officers, Ptl. Crawford took the initiative to locate the suspect’s vehicle, which ultimately led to his arrest. At the conclusion of the investigation, the suspect was charged and indicted on over 25 counts of burglary, over 10 counts of attempted burglary, and over 20 counts of theft.
7. Sgt. Frank Bal, Sgt. Lee Brodowski, and Ptl. Melissa Nagy
On August 6, 2019 Sgt. Bal, Sgt. Brodowski and Ptl. Nagy responded to a residence for a family disturbance involving a drug addicted family member who was trying to steal property from her parents’ residence. Officers facilitated a family meeting, assisted in locating a rehabilitation facility that would accept the family’s insurance, and spoke to the individual about her life choices. The Officers’ empathetic actions convinced her to go to rehab, which she successfully completed.
8. Ptl. Frank Zicha and K9 Hodge
Certificate of Commendations are awarded to Ptl. Frank Zicha and K9 Hodge for the performance of departmental duties with a high degree of competence and professionalism. During the early morning hours of May 29, 2019 Ptl. Frank Zicha conducted a motor vehicle stop. During his investigation, Ptl. Zicha deployed narcotics K9 Hodge to conduct an exterior sniff of the vehicle. K9 Hodge indicated for the presence of narcotics within the vehicle. A search of the vehicle and driver located 26 bundles of heroin packaged for distribution. Ptl. Zicha’s partnership with K9 Hodge has proven to be a valuable tool in removing drugs off the streets of West Windsor.
9. Ptl. Brian Mahon, Ptl. Kyle LaForge and Maureen Gallagher
Ptl. Brian Mahon and Ptl. Kyle LaForge are presented with Life Saving Awards and Maureen Gallaher is presented with a Citizen Commendation for their roles in conducting CPR to a motor vehicle accident victim. On November 6, 2018 Ptl. Brian Mahon and Ptl. Kyle LaForge responded to a motor vehicle collision. A 24 year old driver was reported to have no pulse and was not breathing. Maureen Gallagher, who was a nurse in a nearby senior living facility, initiated CPR on the victim until the arrival of patrol officers, who took over life-saving efforts. The victim regained a pulse and was able to breath on his own. The quick actions by Mrs. Gallagher, Ptl. Mahon and Ptl. LaForge were instrumental in saving the victim’s life.
10. Tricia and Kurt Baker
Tricia and Kurt Baker are presented Citizen Commendations for their cooperation, support and willingness to assist the West Windsor Police Department and the West Windsor Community with compassion, empathy and professionalism during severe times of crisis. The partnership we share assisting residents is invaluable. Their tireless efforts are immeasurable and worthy of commendation.
11. Ptl. Nicholas LaRocca , Ptl. Walter Silcox , Jackie Galdieri and Willie Neal
Ptl. Nicholas LaRocca and Ptl. Walter Silcox are presented with Medals of Distinction. Jackie Galdieri and Willie Neal are presented Citizen Commendations. On June 15, 2019 New Jersey Transit employee Jackie Galdieri noticed a subject at the Princeton Junction Train Station who was emotionally distressed and had wounds on her wrists. Galdieri spoke with the subject and offered her help. Realizing that something wasn’t right, Galdieri determined that the quickest resource for help was to call 9-1-1. As Galdieri contacted 9-1-1 the subject jumped off the platform and onto the train tracks. A bystander at Princeton Junction Train Station, Willie Neal, immediately sprang into action and jumped onto the train tracks to help the subject. Mr. Neal attempted to remove the subject off the tracks as he reassured her that people love her. Ptl. Nicholas LaRocca and Ptl. Walter Silcox arrived and immediately entered onto the train tracks without regard for their own safety. Working as a team, Ptl. LaRocca, Ptl. Silcox and Mr. Neal were able to remove the subject from the train tracks and get her the help she needed. All subjects should be commended for their quick actions and personal bravery.
12. Detective Jason Jones
A Certificate of Commendation is awarded to Detective Jason Jones for the performance of departmental duties with a high degree of competence and professionalism. On August 13, 2018 the Sally Beauty Supply store was robbed at gunpoint by masked individuals, placing its female employees in fear of death. Detective Jason Jones immediately began investigating the incident and within several hours he was able to develop workable leads that ultimately identified three suspects. Further investigation by Detective Jones helped identify one of the suspects as having committed several other robberies in the area. All three suspects were arrested and incarcerated.