Beyond duty

WARWICK. Resident’s emotional story highlights the professionalism, compassion of officers.

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  • Provided photo From left, EMTs Frank Cassanite and Bobby Lemin, New York State Police Investigator Russell Fragale, Warwick Police Detective Sgt. Alton Morley and retired Warwick Police Officer Brett Lukach are recognized for the work they did on the morning of Dec. 21, 2018, when called to help little Riley Mosher. Police Chief Thomas McGovern is at the podium at right.

Town of Warwick Police Department commendations

Excellent Police Duty
Detective Sgt. Alton Morley
Senior Sgt. Edward Mullins
Sergeant James Barnett
Detective Shawn Tetzlaff
Detective Frederick Hoffman
Police Officer Stephan Helmrich
Police Officer Nathan Petrosky
Police Officer Michael Moon
Police Officer Jason Brasier
Police Officer John Harter
Police Officer Jason Marsh
Police Officer Stephen Pascal (2)
Life Saving
Detective Sgt. Alton Morley
Police Officer Felix Oresto
Police Officer Stephen Pascal
Police Officer Brett Lukach
Police Officer David Serviss
Meritorious Duty
Police Officer Chase Class
Police Officer Joseph Kennedy

Lori Mosher stepped up to the microphone near the beginning of the Town of Warwick meeting on May 23, just after Police Chief Thomas McGovern announced that in honor of Police Week, the town would present department awards to its officers for exemplary work done in the past year.

Mosher, a long-time town resident, spoke softly, emotionally.

Acts of kindness, professionalism and collaboration'

“On behalf of the family of Riley Mosher, I would like to take this opportunity to thank Officer Brett Lukach, (Detective) Sergeant (Alton) Morley, New York State Trooper Russell Fragale, EMTs Bobby Lemin and Frank Cassanite, for their outstanding acts of kindness, professionalism and collaboration on Dec. 21, 2018,” said Mosher, her voice breaking as she mentioned the date.

“On the morning of Dec. 21, every parent/grandparent’s worse nightmare came true when we found our beloved Riley unresponsive,” she continued.

The family called 911 and administered CPR to Riley, who was seven months old.

Lukach, now retired, responded in less than two minutes, she said.

After arriving at St. Anthony Community Hospital, doctors and nurses worked feverishly to save Mosher’s granddaughter, all the while Mosher and her family waited.

“The officers from the Warwick Police Department gave us strength, held us while we cried and prayed with us as we begged for a miracle,” said Mosher.

When the decision was made to transport Riley to Westchester Medical Center, Morley coordinated with local authorities to make sure the trip would be smooth.

Fragale and Lukach made it possible for the family to arrive at Westchester safely during a heavy rainstorm, she said.

'It takes strength'

“Unfortunately, our sweet Riley did not survive,” Mosher said as those in the meeting room gasped. “Sergeant Morley, Officer Lukach, Trooper Fragale, Bobby Lemin and Frank Cassanite should be recognized for their outstanding acts performed in the line of duty. It is officers like these that will do anything to protect and serve their community. They give up holidays, birthdays and family gatherings, putting the community they serve first.

"Most importantly," she added, "they should be recognized and thanked for a job most of us couldn’t do. It takes strength … to deal with the things they deal with on a day-after-day basis and do them well every day.”

All five officers and EMTs who responded to the call for Riley were in attendance. Lukach and Morley later received awards for their actions.

“I’m sure this is something that has touched you all very deeply,” said McGovern to the men.

'I couldn't be prouder'

McGovern and others read out police officers’ names as they received their commendations. Some for excellence, others for meritorious duty or valor and still others for saving lives.

“Most people in the Town of Warwick never call the police department in their entire life,” noted McGovern at the conclusion of the presentation. “They have no idea what goes on day-to-day … Some of the things you heard about tonight are the tip of the iceberg. This is a huge town and not that huge a department. I appreciate everyone’s support, especially the support of this board. I couldn’t be prouder.”

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