WOODBRIDGE - New Jersey State Policemen's Benevolent Association President Patrick Colligan today announced the award winners from the PBA’s 125th Annual Valor Awards Banquet at the Hard Rock Hotel and Casino in Atlantic City.
Heroic members of law enforcement from across New Jersey were presented with awards for their tremendous work over the course of the November 19th event, including Executive Board Member of the Year, Michael Heller (Union County Sheriff’s), Member of the Year Kimiiko Woods (Irvington PBA), and the Local of the Year, Bergenfield Local #309.
Colligan and the PBA also honored NJSP NCO Dan Olivieri with the Friend in Labor award, Jerry Sheehan of Ciocca Ford with the Business Appreciation award and Assemblyman Brian Bergen (LD25) with the Legislator of the Year award.
“The Valor Awards is a special event to honor the bravery and selfless acts of law enforcement officers from across the state,” said Colligan. “Our members dedicate their lives to making sure streets and neighborhoods throughout New Jersey are safe and secure and this event allow us to recognize just some of the great work being done by our members. It is a tremendous privilege and source of pride to be able to spend the evening with so many of the fine men and women of the PBA and it is truly humbling to have the opportunity to acknowledge them with well-earned accolades.”
Colligan continued, “We also know the importance of our partnerships with government representatives and our friends in the labor and business communities in doing our work each day and the Valor Awards allow us the opportunity to say ‘thank you’ for those relationships.”
Gold Medals of Valor were awarded to West New York Local #361’s Detective Wendell Oms, Detective Samuel Molina, Detective Daniel Hernendez, and Police Officer Ruben Funes and West Orange Local #25’s Officer Christopher Hernandez.
Elizabeth Local #4’s Detective Michael Nicholas, Detective Alexander Gonzalez, Detective Luis Figueiredo, and Detective Rui Xavier received the Silver Medal of Valor. Hillsborough Local #205’s Patrolman George Kokinakos and Patrolman Robert Fariello received a Silver Medal of Valor. Officer Valeriay Bagnut (Warren County Local #280) received a Silver Medal of Valor.
Mainland Local #77’s Officer Jon Marshall Robinson received a Silver Medal of Valor and Det. Sgt. Brandon Stocks, Det. Astrid Aurelus, Officer John Marciante, Officer Xzavier Evans, and Officer Juan Morillo received a Unit Citation Award.
Bronze Medals of Valor were awarded to Officer Daniel Murphy (Howell Local #228), Officer Omar Akel (Middletown Local #124), Officer Eric Voorand (Manalapan Local #229), Sergeant Joseph Spallina (Asbury Park Local #6), Patrolman Timothy Rehmann (Millville Local #213), and Sergeant Louis Platania (Vineland Local #266).
Gold Civilian Awards were awarded to Gene Blemmings, Michael Natrin and Stratus Tiniakos along with Life Saving Awards for Gloucester City Local #40’s Sgt. Carlos Depoder, Officer Sean Garland, and Officer John Bryszewski.
Gold Civilian Awards were also awarded to Ivan Viana and William Dinnerstein along with Life Saving Awards for Nutley Local #33’s Sgt. Christopher D’Alessio, Patrolman Christopher Dassani, and Patrolman Steven Rogers.
Patrolman Jeffrey Bruder, Patrolman Michael Carlino, and Detective Nicolas Gurriero of New Providence Local #132 received a Life Saving Award. State Correctional Police Officer Corey Forbes (State Law Enforcement Officers Local #105) received a Life Saving Award. Officer Joseph Dudley (Dunellen Local #146) received a Life Saving Award.
Life Saving Awards were also earned by Essex County Sheriff’s Officers Local #183’s Sheriff Officer Christopher Smith, Sheriff Officer Lee Sutherlin, and Sheriff Officer Nicholas Mattia; Officer Justin Quinlan (Ewing Local #111); Detective Sammy Hernandez and Officer Joshua Jurik (Franklin Township Local #154); Hillsborough Local #205’s Patrolman Richard Tichenor; Montgomery Local #355’s Patrolman Joseph Samec; Hopewell Township Local #342’s Police Officer George M. Peterson; Ridgefield Park Local #86’s Sgt. Nicholas Triano, Patrolman Nicolas D’Akti, and Patrolman Anthony D’Eua; Officer Robert Popleka (Sussex County Local #138).
Meritorious Service Awards were earned by Ventnor City Local #97’s Lt. Bryan Gaviria, Officer James Arentz, Officer Pierre Mancuso, Officer Michael Arena, and Officer Robert Scarborough; Somerville Local #147’s Sergeant Timothy Pasquale, Officer Michael Sergi, Officer Alexander Lora, and Officer Kevin Gilbert; and Sheriff Officer Juan Rodriguez (Essex County Sheriff Officers Local #183).
Sussex County Local #138’s Captain Lawrence Beller, Sergeant John Gray, Sheriff Officer Robert Schelling, Sheriff Officer Robert Washer, Sheriff Officer Kenneth Farber, Sergeant Michael Wolanski, Detective Sergeant Thomas Muller, and Chief Robert Osborn received a Unit Citation Award.
East Hanover Local #227’s Lt. Kevin Croker, Lt. Francis Franco, Sgt. Jesse Novaliss, Sgt. Brian Stevens, and Patrolman Robert Jordan received a Unit Citation Award.