Law enforcement officials congratulate officers who have made a difference in the field during the 12th annual Salem County Law Enforcement Recognition ceremony at the Salem County Fraternal Order of Police, located on South Broadway, on Thursday, June 4, 2015 (Photo: Brittany M. Wehner | For NJ.com)
Putting their lives on the line daily, fighting crime, and rescuing those in need, Salem County law enforcement officers were commemorated for their dedication at the annual award ceremony Thursday afternoon.
For more than 12 years, family and members of county law enforcement departments have gathered to celebrate and spotlight officers for their work and dedication in the field at the Salem County Law Enforcement Recognition Awards, hosted by the county prosecutor’s office and fraternal order of police.
Officers, detectives, and 9-1-1 operators, among many others, gathered at the Salem County Fraternal Order of Police, located on South Broadway, to announce award recipients, including the honor of the Thomas L. Smith McManus officer of the Year.
“These are life-saving actions. This is outstanding work and needs to be recognized — it’s an increibly difficult job to be a chief of police or public safety director,” Salem County Prosecutor John T. Lenahan said, thanking all for their service.
The annual ceremony started when the prosecutor, in collaboration with a few others, decided it was time to implement the recognition for law enforcement officers who are outstanding in their field work.
Now more than a decade later, the celebration of men and women who dedicate their lives to protecting others is thriving.
“Don’t ever think that you are replaceable. You are routinely called upon to perform miracles and do the impossible,” Board of Chosen Freeholders Director Julie Acton said, thanking the families and officers in attendance.
From the Medal of Honor and Combat Award, to Life Saving Valor and Meritorious Service, law enforcement officers were presented with many different commendations.
Other award categories included Legion of Honor, Wound, Exceptional Duty, Life Saving and Civilian of the Year.
The luncheon and award ceremony is one of pride to those in Salem County, the prosecutor said.
Pennsville Police Chief Allen J. Cummings spoke and touched on several key components to successfully working in law enforcement.
“Think like a wolf — like the wolf, we spend time operating alone, and yet we have to work with others,” Cummings said, adding that working with a team, staying on top of the history in each case, and the importance of dedication are key.
“You can’t wish yourself into success, you have to work hard at it,” the Pennsville chief said.
For the first time this year, a new award was created in honor of the late Forrest Eichmann — Public Safety Telecommunicator Award, that went to Stephen Turner, with the county sheriff’s office.
Turner has been a full-time employee at the county communications center in Mannington Township since 2006.
Other standout officers received the Salem County Prosecutor’s Office Recognition Awards, as well as the sheriff’s office Specialized Unit Awards.
The McManus award is dedicated to the late , the first county chief of detectives in Salem. Each year, this award is presented to someone who carries enthusiasm, honor, and dedication to the law enforcement profession.
Haslett received the huge honor Thursday afternoon for his contributions, investigations, and supervisions in the county for the past 10 years with integrity, and work ethic.
Haslett began 2014 as a lieutenant in the prosecutor’s office until he was quickly promoted to deputy chief in February and leads the Tactical Entry Team while carrying a heavy case load.
The deputy chief has also overseen tactical, street and active shooter training, in addition to everyday contributions in the community and schools.
The following awards were presented during the annual ceremony Thursday afternoon:
• Det. Sgt. Dale VanNamee (Carneys Point Police)
• Det. Matthew Pertrutz (Carneys Point Police)
• Sgt. Douglas Bell (Salem County Sheriff’s Office)
• Det. Sgt. First Class Robert Gates (New Jersey State Police)
• Det. Sgt. Salvatore Guiliano (New Jersey State Police)
• Trooper II Christopher Godish (New Jersey State Police)
• Det. II Mark Beardsley (New Jersey State Police)
• Trooper Andrew Garnier (New Jersey State Police)
• Trooper Carl Kite (New Jersey State Police)
• Sgt. John Stranahan (Penns Grove Police)
Life Saving with Valor:
• Investigator Richard Ware (Salem County Prosecutor’s Office)g
• Det. Charles Tortella (New Jersey State Police)
• Det. II Arthur Barilotti (New Jersey State Police)
• Lt. Steve Felice (Elmer Police)
• Det. Michael Gibison (Pennsville Police)
• Patrolman Robert Brown (Salem City Police)
• Investigator Jessica Venello (Salem County Prosecutor’s Office)
• Patrolman Christopher Hemple (Penns Grove Police)
• Trooper I Michael Legatie (New Jersey State Police)
Civilian of the Year:
• Kevin Frank, of Woodstown
Forrest Eichmann Public Safety Telecommunicator:
• Stephen Turner (Salem County Sheriff’s Office)
Salem County Prosecutor’s Office Recognition Awards:
• Det. Siobhan McClintock (Rowan University Police Department)
• Senior Investigator Amanda Ray-DiGregorio (Salem County Prosecutor’s OFfice)
• Sgt. Darryl Saunders (Salem County Prosecutor’s Office)
• Det. Michael Pelura (Salem City Police)
• Sgt. Elliot Hernandez (Salem County Prosecutor’s Office)
• Senior Investigator James Gillespie (Salem County Prosecutor’s Office)
• Investigator Nicholas Efelis (Salem County Prosecutor’s Office)
• Sgt. Stephen Dick (Salem County Prosecutor’s Office)
• Senior Investigator Matthew Clarke (Salem County Prosecutor’s OFfice)
Salem County Sheriff’s Office Specialized Unit Awards:
• Sgt. Rob Hans (K-9 Unit)
• Special Officer Ian Todd (K-9 Unit)
• Special Officer Micah Warren (K-9 Unit)
• Corrections Officer Andrew Hecksher (Sheriff’s Office/Corrections K-9 Unit)