Saving a life by administering CPR; catching a purse-snatcher moments after the crime; identifying a man who collapsed while jogging and died; and detective work leading to the arrest of burglars are just a few of the reasons several Grosse Pointe Farms officers were recognized this week.
Farms Director of Public Safety Dan Jensen announced the recipients of the 2012 departmental awards before city council to recognize officers for going above and beyond and performing well in stressful situations.
Eleven officers and four residents were honored.
Public Safety Officer Roger Wierszewski received a commendation for the arrest of a convicted felon armed with two weapons, one of which was loaded, who was driving while intoxicated. The man led Wierszewski on a short pursuit because he refused to stop despite the attempt to initiate a traffic stop. Eventually the man led him onto Muskoka, a dead end street off Grosse Pointe Boulevard, and was arrested. . It was fully loaded and found in the street.
Public Safety Officer Vincent Finn also received a commendation for his quick response to a crash outside the Irish Coffee in which he administered CPR to the driver who had been shot multiple times. He also prevented the driver from choking on his own vomit. Finn witnessed the crash, drove to it and discovered both the driver and passenger had been shot. The passenger had already died in the car but the driver was still alive. Finn pulled him out of the car after making sure no weapons were inside the car and began CPR. The driver survived after being taken to an area hospital. Finn was recognized for his professionalism and competency.
A trio of officers--Timothy Harris, Roger Wierszewski and Veronica Cashion--received a commendation/citation for their work apprehending a purse-snatcher within minutes of the crime in November. The purse-snatcher was lying in wait in the bushes of a home on Webster Street about 6:30 a.m. and struck while the woman was putting her child into his seat. She had set her purse on the ground. The man ran away with her purse and she called 911. The man was found running on Mack Avenue near the U.S. Post Office. He was charged with robbery. The case highlights the need for quick response and coordination between officers, according to Jensen.
Detective Bryan Ford earned a citation for his work on the burglary of Irish Coffee from December 2011. Ford discovered that a man had been arrested in Harper Woods for a similar crime and upon looking into it, Ford was able to elicit a confession from the man and close the case. It was also discovered that the man was responsible for similar burglaries in other communities in the area. Ford was recognized for his "relentless pursuit," and his diligence.
Public Safety Officer Richard M. Rosati earned a citation for his work in helping identify the man who collapsed on Grosse Pointe Boulevard and died while jogging in August. Police were alerted to the man quickly but he did not have any identification on him. Police reached out to the community trying to gain leads and ultimately, the man was positively identified because Rosati observed all of the cars in the area for several hours and spotted one that had not been moved in for a lengthy stretch of time. Upon investigating the vehicle Rosati discovered the driver's license photo of the registered owner matched that of the man who collapsed and died. His work led to the department searching the man's home to confirm his identity, Jensen said.
Public Safety Officer Veronica Cashion earned a community service award for her efforts in organizing and coordinating the Shop With A Cop program for officers in the Pointes and Harper Woods in December. Cashion was still in field training after being hired on last year from Harper Woods while she coordinated the project, which included contact with corporate partners such as Target and Eastland Mall and the Fraternal Order of Police Lodge 102. The event held Dec. 14 was deemed a success and her work is an example of fostering good will within the community and improving public safety relations within the community, Jensen said.
The Detective Bureau--Lt. Richard Rosati, Detective John Walko and Detective Bryan Ford--earned a unit award for their work on a series of burglaries last May. Their investigation led to to the arrest of a man in Eastpointe who had several crack rocks with him and the recovery of stolen items from a burglary that hadn't even been reported yet. The man eventually confessed to committing five burglaries in the Farms and two in St. Clair Shores. The detectives original evidence-gathering at the homes that were burglarized aided in the case by revealing a possible person. "The diligence and perseverance of these detectives resulted in the arrest and conviction of a crack addict who admittedly was out of control," Jensen said.
The department also recognized Reserve Officer Anthony "Tony" Prohownik who worked as a volunteer officer for more than 35 years and retired from the position in 2012.
Additionally, Grosse Pointe Farms Public Safety Department recognized four women who are serving as crossing guards in the community. They serve along with the student safety patrol and "provide an invaluable service" to the community's youngest members by ensuring safety in crossing streets to and from school each day. Sara Sicklesteel has worked at Kerby Elementary since 2006; Cynthia Dowdall has worked at Richard Elementary since 2006; Sara Shea began in 2009 at Kerby Elementary; and Sarah Roberts started this year at Richard Elementary.