The thirteenth Annual South Brunswick Police Department Awards Dinner was held Saturday night at the Doubletree Hotel. Twenty-two officers were awarded for commendable acts of bravery and outstanding actions.
"These officers displayed the best our agency has to offer," said Chief Raymond Hayducka. "In these difficult times, the dedication and commitment of our officers is evident in their actions."
Below is a list of the Exceptional Service Medal recipients:
Captain Harry J. Delgado
In 2010, Capt. Delgado successfully partnered with Fairleigh Dickinson University to bring their higher education program to this agency, creating South Brunswick as a satellite campus for the school. In addition, Capt. Delgado assisted a number of officers in returning to, or entering, college. Much of his efforts were done on his own time, directly benefiting the Agency.
Patrol Sergeant James Ryan
On Sept. 6, 2010 Sgt. James Ryan was called in as a hostage negotiator to assist in the apprehension of an armed suspect. The incident began when patrol officers responded to the report of a woman being assaulted and threatened by an individual armed with a handgun. The suspect retreated to his home. Sgt. Ryan successfully negotiated with the actor, and as a result of his professionalism and expertise, the suspect surrendered without incident or injury to anyone.
Patrol Sergeant Michael Rogers
In Dec. 2007, while assigned as a Traffic Officer, Sgt. Rogers investigated a fatal motor vehicle accident that claimed the life of a young township woman. Sgt. Rogers investigation and testimony ultimately lead to the conviction of the driver for vehicular homicide. His tireless hours and dedication resulted in the conviction.
Detective Ronald Seaman
On May 2, 2009 officers responded to two reported armed robberies. At the time there were no witnesses, physical evidence, or suspects developed. Det. Seaman quickly associated the suspect’s description and method of operation to similar crimes in Howell, Jackson, Manalapan, and Edison. He worked with those agencies over the next two months to develop the case. Det. Seaman was able to identify, arrest, and subsequently obtain confessions from the three individuals responsible.
Detective Ronald Seaman and Detective Richard Schwarz
During the 2009 holiday season the township experienced ten residential burglaries. In Jan. 2010, utilizing their expertise in electronic device tracking, the detectives were able to track some of the stolen property to a residence in Burlington Township. Utilizing leads developed as a result of a search warrant, the detectives were able to clear all ten burglaries, arresting five individuals.
Detective Jeffrey Russo
On June 17, 2010 Det. Russo responded to South Brunswick High School to assist in the investigation of an extensive amount of graffiti. The amount of damage was later determined to be in excess of $12,000. Faced with with few leads and little physical evidence, Det. Russo’s investigation resulted in the identification and arrest of five individuals.
Patrol Officer Roger Tuohy
On June 12, 2010 Patrol Officer Roger Tuohy was dispatched to a residential burglary. During his initial investigation, Officer Tuohy was able to develop suspect information. He subsequently identified additional suspects, recovered much of the victim’s property, and affect the arrest of five individuals. Officer Tuohy’s efforts successfully recovered the victim’s property and brought comfort to a concerned family.
Patrol Officer William Merkler
On May 27, 2010 Patrol Officer William Merkler investigated a suspicious vehicle in the Royal Oaks apartment complex. Ptl. Merkler encountered several individuals, one of whom was wanted. Upon realization that Ptl. Merkler recognized him, the actor fled and after a brief foot chase was arrested. Upon return to the scene, Ptl. Merkler continued his investigation, during which he identified stolen property in the vehicle. He determined the proceeds were from a previous burglary. Through his actions, Ptl. Merkler prevented additional burglaries, removed a wanted individual from the streets, and closed a previously cold burglary case.
Patrol Officer Michael Urstadt
On January 16, 2010 Patrol Officer Michael Urstadt was dispatched to the Kendall Park Roller Rink on the report of an aggravated assault with a weapon. Upon his arrival, he was met by the victim, who suffered a laceration to his head after being attacked by his ex-girlfriend armed with a knife. Ptl. Urstadt observed the individual fleeing through the parking lot at which time he gave chase. Without regard to his own safety, Officer Urstadt confronted and subdued the armed individual. Urstadt's meritorious act in the line of duty brings public acclaim to this department and the police profession, as well as ensuring the safety of the public.
Patrol Officer Kenneth Herman
On March 6, 2010 Patrol Officer Kenneth Herman investigated a suspicious vehicle in the lot of the Red Roof Inn. Herman encountered several individuals, and during his investigation developed probable cause to believe drug dealing was going on. He obtained a search warrant for the vehicle. The individuals were found to be in possession of a significant amount of marijuana and were charged with possession with intent to distribute.
Officer Herman led the agency in 2010 in drug arrests. This case exemplifies his work.
In May of 2010, Kenneth Herman investigated a theft complaint. During his investigation, he developed a suspect and realized the description was similar to that provided by a victim of a strong armed robbery occurring 6 months earlier. Herman located the suspect and was able to connect him to both cases. The strong armed robbery had unnerved the community and was a cold case at the time of Herman’s investigation. His efforts serve to reassure a concerned community and bring relief to the victim and her family.
Life Saving Medal
Patrol Officer George Vit
On January 31, 2010 Officer George Vit responded to a call for help for an unconscious 12-year-old. On arrival, Vit met with the mother, a nurse who advised that her child had suffered an asthma attack, vomited, and became unresponsive. Vit found the child, who was blue and not breathing, and began rescue efforts. As a result, the child began breathing on his own. Paramedics at the scene credited Vit's actions with saving the child's life, as did the child's mother.
Additional awards were given out for acts of commendation, physical fitness, education achievement, and firearms qulification. The ceremony was attended by over 175 people.