Chief commends 10 department members for exceptional work

| 28 Sep 2011 | 02:46

    WARWICK-They are out there everyday, round the clock. Sometimes they are patrolling the town's beautiful, rolling hills or scenic country roads. Sometimes they are counseling our youth through the town's D.A.R.E. program, making a connection that may last a lifetime. Sometimes they are investigating the scourge of drugs that has affected so many families. Sometimes they console a burglary victim. They even deliver babies if the timing is right. They the 53 full- and part-time officers and dispatchers of the Warwick Police Department. And while the officers do their jobs everyday with little or no fanfare—the town does get letters of appreciation on occasion. Chief Thomas McGovern took the time last week to single out 10 members of his department for "excellent police service" awards. Detective Mary Maslanka received three awards from McGovern. Maslanka was commended for her detective work as well as the compassion she has shown the victims of crime. Last April, Maslanka, Sgt. James Thompson, Officer Michael Urso, and Officer Patrick Cunningham were investigating a burglary at a village apartment. The victim was an elderly woman who was traumatized by the early morning incident. Not only did the three police officers provide a quick apprehension of the suspect, but Maslanka was able to calm the victim and reassure her. Maslanka and Sergeant Chris Cockburn were cited for their work on solving the armed robbery at the Black Bear Campground. Maslanka, Officer Michelle Kozlowski, and Officer Alton Morley worked with the Federal Bureau of Investigation to solve a child abuse and kidnapping case that ended in New Jersey with the arrest of a Warwick couple. "Their professionalism and the inter-agency cooperation really made this case come together," said McGovern. Officers Brian Turner an d Alton Morley were commended on their work that helped bring to justice a long-time drug dealer in the Village of Warwick. One of the most publicized police events of 2004 involved Officer Patrick Cunningham. He stopped a driver for speeding through the Greenwood Lake area of town in December. He noticed that the vehicle matched the description of one suspected in a case in Monroe - the murder of a doctor. The suspect was apprehended for possession of pot, a suspended license, and speeding. He was later charged with murder. Police Officer Felix Oresto lead the department in traffic safety. He made more than 40 arrests, including 16 for driving under the influence of either drugs or alcohol, and gave out over 300 tickets. He only worked for the department for six months in 2004, McGovern noted. Dispatcher Michael Finn plays a vital role in the department, according to McGovern. He, too, received an excellence in police service award for his "dedication to duty" and his professionalism as a dispatcher. Finn maintains the department's computer network, making software upgrades when necessary and keeping the records management system up to date. Town Supervisor Michael Sweeton tipped his hat to the Warwick Police Department as well. "We probably don't say it enough," Sweeton said, "but w do appreciate what you all do.