MADD's 28th Annual Mother's Against Drunk Driving Law Enforcement Recognition
On June 12, 2014, MADD will honor those in law enforcement who have assisted in their mission to stop drunk driving, support victims, and prevent underage drinking.
Windsor Police Department is proud to nominate Officer Beaudoin and Officer Devin for the MADD award. While these officers contributions were in the area of enforcement, MADD also recognizes officers in the areas of education, community involvement, training, volunteering with MADD or preventing underage drinking.
Officer of the Year-Presented by Exchange Club
Windsor Police Officer Tom Messina
Officer Messina applied to the Windsor Police Department in 2009 and was hired shortly after. Although Law Enforcement is a second career for Tom, it had been a long term goal, which we are fortunate he pursued. Tom was previously a very successful investment account manager in Massachusetts. Officer Messina is the oldest of 7 children; he is married with two children. Officer Messina was a part time police officer in Massachusetts before his full time employment in Windsor, CT.
Officer Messina takes great pride in his law enforcement career and treats members of the public and fellow police officers with the upmost respect. He has continuously displayed support and guidance to newer, less experienced officers. Officer Messina is easy going and quick to share a laugh with his co-workers.
During his short time with the Windsor Police Department, Officer Messina has been a recipient of 2 Life Saving awards.
In March 2012, Officer Messina responded to a fully involved house fire with two people trapped in the second floor of the home. Officer Messina recognized that a mother and child were trapped on the second floor. Thinking quickly, Officer Messina retrieved a ladder from the garage then successfully rescued the mother and daughter through the window. Officer Messina's quick decision making prevented a major tragedy for the family and Town of Windsor.
In August 2012, Officer Messina and other officers of the midnight shift responded to a life threatening medical emergency of a 38 year old female. Officers applied the AED and started CPR, which resulted in the saving of the life of a young Windsor resident and mother of young child.
Officer Messina continues to be successful in suspect apprehension. In December 2012, Officer Messina assisted with a threatening call, where a male threatened that he had a gun and was going to kill a family in Windsor. Officer Messina responded to the scene quickly and patrolled the area looking for the suspect. The suspect was thought to have been traveling to Windsor from Hartford. With the basic direction of travel and minimal physical description of the suspect and vehicle, Officer Messina quickly located the suspect traveling in the direction of the victim's home, where he was immediately apprehended. Officer Messina's dedication to "catching the bad guys" averted a serious, potentially dangerous crime. Officer Messina's attention to detail and rapport building skills led to a successful interview and felony arrest of the suspect. The investigation further revealed that the suspect was actively wanted by Immigration and Customs Enforcement.
Officer Messina's commitment to the residents of Windsor, and those traveling through town was acknowledged in a "Thank You" email. During his routine patrols, Officer Messina assisted a citizen with his disabled motor vehicle. This appreciative gentleman wrote an email to the police department to express his gratitude for Officer Messina's service: "It is not often where I pronounce my appreciation, but I feel this was an extraordinary case. We were truly touched by his selflessness and service. You have a real asset to your department and to the community in this young man."
Officer Messina's loyalty to public service and his selfless actions are above and beyond the call of duty. His sincere devotion is evident during every shift that he works.
Officer Messina represents the highest ideals and accomplishments in law enforcement and is an appreciated asset of the Windsor Police Department and the Town of Windsor
Connecticut Association of Women Police
Please join me in congratulating Officer Kari Tkacz and Officer Denise Bracero for their selection of recognition by the Connecticut Association of Women Police (CAWP). As you may know, each year CAWP selects women police officers and troopers from across the state to receive recognition in various award categories at their annual award ceremony. The Command Staff is pleased to announce that two of our officers have been selected for recognition by CAWP this year.
Officer Bracero is receiving recognition for the category of Community Service.
Despite having been reassigned back to patrol duties after serving as Middle School SRO from 2003-2009, Officer Bracero’s commitment to serving the youth and families ofWindsorhas been unfaltering. Officer Bracero has tenaciously hung on to the duties of serving as the Police Department’s Coordinator for the Town of Windsor Juvenile Review Board (JRB). Even when the JRB staffing dropped to two (2) serving members, one being Officer Bracero, she did not skip a beat in her commitment to providing a diversionary program to keep Windsor’s youth from entering the juvenile justice system whenever possible and appropriate.
During 2010, Officer Bracero coordinated her talent and knowledge in JRB operations with the administration of WPD to reenergize the Juvenile Review Board. As a direct result of her passion, commitment, and diligence, the Juvenile Review Board now consists of representatives from the State ofConnecticut Juvenile Probationoffice, Vice Principals from the Middle School andWindsorHigh School, and the Windsor Youth Services Bureau, as well as a support staff of school counselors and other police officers. Officer Bracero’s positive additions to JRB also included changing the paperwork utilized in JRB as well as incorporating a completely new system in which an intake worker screens the youth and family and the parent actually has to appear at JRB with their child which, prior to Officer Bracero’s sweeping reforms of the JRB, had not previously occurred.
Officer Kari Tkacz is receiving recognition in the category of Excellence in Performance.
In her first year asWindsorHigh School’s SRO, Officer Tkacz has demonstrated that she is not one to shy away from initiating cases and running them through to completion. Officer Tkacz self initiated eighty-three (83) cases in addition to handling sixty-five (65) cases referred to her by other members of the PD for a total of 148 investigations during the past year comprising of everything from larcenies to altercations to sex assaults. Some of the more noteworthy investigations conducted by Officer Tkacz include a sexual assault investigation as a result of a hazing locker room situation which resulted in three arrests and the further protection of the victim from continued harassment, assisting a student with reporting a sexual assault that occurred in the City of Hartford to the Hartford Police which resulted in the arrest of an adult suspect by HPD, intervening when a student brought a knife to school with the intention of assaulting another student resulting in the recovery of a knife as well as arrest and expulsion of this student who later threatened to assault a school official to the daily to numerous case investigations involving a home town school based street gang whose activities included assaults, risks of injury, and drug offenses.
Additionally, Officer Tkacz continues to display the initiative to tackle problems head on. In her second year as SRO, Officer Tkacz initiated a program to label and track student electronic devices through product registration and tracking so as to reduce the high number of larcenies of these items in the high school. More significantly, Officer Tkacz recognized Facebook as the primary social media venue in Windsor High School and thus through planning and organizational change, she developed and implemented the Windsor High School Resource Officer (WHS SRO) Facebook page to encourage student interaction with the SRO, both on an identified and anonymous level, as well as to promote safety topics among students and to positive police-youth interactions.
But where Officer Tkacz truly distinguished herself as were in the SRO roles and responsibilities of Counselor and Educator. During the past year, Officer Tkacz spent countless hours attempting to influenceWindsor’s youth not only at theWindsorHigh School, but in the Town ofWindsor Recreationand Youth Services programs, and in the Windsor Board of Education alternative education programs, towards positive decision making and a positive lifestyle. During the past year, Officer Tkacz could be found problem solving on a daily basis mediating disputes among agitated youth, presenting classes on drug awareness, discussing date rape drugs and related teen dating sexual assault topics with students, taking any possible step to reduce and prevent violence, and otherwise mentoring the youth of Windsor towards a healthy positive safe drug free lifestyle, free from violence and risky behaviors.
In addition to the valuable services and performance that both Officer Tkacz and Officer Bracero have displayed as noted above, both officers also serve as a positive influence on Windsor’s youth through their strong participation in the “Maroon-Blue Crew”, a program developed by the Windsor Police Department and Town of Windsor Youth Services Bureau (YSB) that is designed to improve communications and relationships between police officers and youth in the community of Windsor.
As a direct result of these two officers’ commitment to the youth and community of Windsor, many youth were either provided with a positive woman role model and/or provided with an opportunity for diversion so that they could learn, develop, and become a positive member of the Windsor community rather than become a statistic of the juvenile justice system.
CAWP will be honoring those women officers selected for recognition at their annual Awards Gala on March 22, 2012 beginning at 6:00 PM at the Farmington Club in Farmington, CT.Those interested in attending may purchase tickets for this event ($50) by contacting Officer Lois Wack, Retired at (860) 306-6842 or email email@example.com or register through the CAWP website at www.cawp.net and click on CAWP awards.
Please take a moment to congratulate Officer Tkacz and Officer Bracero on their accomplishments and well deserved selection for the CAWP recognition.
American Red Cross- Community Hero
Officer Bowman Please join me in congratulating Officer Sue Bowman for her selection as a Community Hero; one of the only ten persons selected state-wide, by the American Red Cross.
Many of us are aware of Officer Bowman's many voluntary efforts such as volunteering her time to serve in the Department’s Honor Guard, coordinating fundraisers at the Police Department to raise monies for fellow community members who are stricken with terminal illness or traumatic injuries, and facilitating Police Department teams to participate and promote awareness in such noble activities as walks against Breast Cancer, Special Olympics events, and walks sponsored by the National Alliance on Mental Illness (NAMI).
What many may not know about Sue Bowman is how she touches lives during her off duty time. Every week, for the past ten (10) years, Sue has spent at least one day a week dedicating her time to a local area soup kitchen. Described as "a Lifesaver for the community" by the Director of this soup kitchen, Sue spends one of her two scheduled days off to cook and provide aid at this soup kitchen. Sue is responsible for the annual Food Drive for the soup kitchen and recently spent two days to run the 2011 Food Drive which resulted in raising over $3,000 for the soup kitchen. In addition, Sue also spends countless other hours in other service to the community. Whether it be volunteering to read to children at Windsor’s elementary schools, actively serving as a founding member of CABLE; the non-profit agency that provides us with our CIT Training, to her volunteer work for the past year with the Shriner’s Hospital, refurbishing wheelchairs for those who are need of them, a significant portion of Sue Bowman’s life is dedicated to making a difference in the community.
The Red Cross will be honoring the Community Heroes of Connecticut at a breakfast recognition ceremony to be held on Thursday March 15th at 0700 at the Aqua Turf in Southington. Those interested in attending may purchase tickets for this event by contacting Laura Campbell at (203) 874-2532 or email firstname.lastname@example.org.