Annual George Hanna Awards Ceremony held at State House. At a State House Ceremony today, more than 20 Boston Police Officers were among 53 police officers from across the Commonwealth who were recognized for acts of bravery and exemplary service during the past year. (View the full press release from the Commonwealth of Massachusetts) Among the recipients were 4 Boston Police Officers who received the George L. Hanna Medal of Honor, the state’s highest award for bravery. An additional twenty officers were recognized with either Valor or Merit Awards. The Boston Police Department proudly congratulates the following recipients:
Medal of Honor: The highest award that the Commonwealth can bestow upon a police officer. The Medal of Honor is awarded to sworn department personnel who have performed specific acts of bravery, or who have performed acts of extraordinary courage above and beyond the call of duty, with disregard for their own personal safety
- Officer Al S. Young and Officer Ebenezer S. Sealy On October 3, 2005, Officer Young and Officer Sealy were assigned to monitor patrons at closing time in the Theater district. Just after closing, the officers heard the sound of gunshots coming from a nearby parking lot. Upon approaching the parking lot, the officers were confronted by a suspect who began firing a weapon at them. After seeking cover, and after the hundreds of pedestrians had dispersed, the officers returned fire. The suspect fell to the ground suffering fatal gunshot wounds. At this time the officers were physically attacked by 10-15 males, until assistance arrived. The suspect had shot and killed a man just prior to Officer Young and Sealy’s arrival.
- Officer Luke Taxter and Officer Matthew Morris On December 2, 2005, Officer Luke Taxter and Officer Matthew Morris, working in plain clothes observed a masked gunman shooting in the direction of a group of people huddled at a bus stop on Blue Hill Avenue. The officers took positions blocking his escape path while the gunman continued to fire shots at the bus shelter. After several verbal commands from the officers to stop, the suspect finally ended the standoff, dropped his weapon and surrendered. The suspect was placed under arrest for assault with intent to commit murder.
MEDAL OF VALOR Established to honor sworn department personnel who have performed acts of extraordinary heroism above and beyond the call of duty.
- Officer Kevin P. McGoldrick On the evening of July 27, 2005, Police Officer Kevin P. McGoldrick was off duty and traveling in his motor vehicle when he observed an armed robbery in progress. The officer stopped and announced his presence causing the suspect to flee on foot into the Carney Hospital’s parking lot. During the pursuit the suspect turned and aimed what appeared to be a handgun at Officer McGoldrick. In response, the Officer took aim with his service weapon resulting in the suspect being placed under arrest and the recovery of a handgun, ammunition clip and a ski mask.
- Officer Neil F. Murphy (retired) At 1:05 am, on July 15, 2005, Police Officer Neil F. Murphy was assigned to Bowdoin Street in Dorchester when he heard the sound of gunfire. As other units announced a gunshot victim, Officer Murphy observed two young males fleeing the area. Officer Murphy attempted to stop the two suspects when they took off on foot in different directions. After observing an object in one of the suspect’s hands, Officer Murphy pursued him. A brief struggle ensued and Officer Murphy placed the suspect under arrest and recovered a loaded semi-automatic firearm.
MERIT AWARD Recognizing sworn department personnel who have performed meritorious acts of bravery, courage and performance beyond the call of duty.
- Officer John D. Conway and Officer Dean C. Bickerton On May 20, 2005, Officer John Conway and Officer Dean Bickerton were in plainclothes patrolling a known drug area. While conducting a motor vehicle stop in a high drug traffic area, one of the passengers jumped from the vehicle and reached to his waist. Officer Bickerton attempted to frisk him, finding a weapon. The suspect grabbed the revolver and pointed it at the officers, yelling he was going to shoot them so he would not go back to jail. Officer Bickerton lunged at the suspect grabbing both hands, while Officer Conway radioed for help before joining the struggle. The officers were able to gain control of the weapon and place the suspect under arrest.
- Officer Joseph Singletary On January 22, 2005, Officer Singletary responded to a repeat call for an estranged husband shooting at his wife’s house. Due to deep snow blocking the roadway, the officer approached the victim’s house on foot. Officer Singletary observed the suspect driving a vehicle in the direction of responding officers. After attempting to stop the suspect, the officer was struck by the vehicle. The vehicle slid into a snow bank with Officer Singletary holding onto the driver’s door. As the officer observed the suspect with a firearm he reached though the window and struggled for possession of the weapon. After a violent struggle, the suspect was subdued and the fully loaded firearm secured.
- Sergeant Wayne Lanchester On February 18, 2005, Sergeant Wayne Lanchester responded to shooting on Townsend Street in Roxbury. Sergeant Lanchester observed the vehicle that was described over the radio and pursued it. The pursuit ended when the four suspects jumped from the vehicle and fled. Sergeant Lanchester began a foot pursuit of one suspect and chased him through several streets, through backyards and over fences. Finally, the sergeant was able to overtake the suspect and after a violent struggle, secured the fully loaded handgun and place the suspect under arrest.
- Lieutenant Steven M. Ciccolo On September 3, 2005, Lieutenant Steven Ciccolo, a morning watch patrol supervisor, responded to a call regarding a man with a knife sitting on a porch. While Lieutenant Ciccolo attempted to disarm the unresponsive male, the man suddenly awoke and attacked him. After a violent struggle, Lieutenant Ciccolo was able to free himself by rolling away and kicking the suspect. The suspect was then placed under arrest by assisting units.
- Officer Kenneally On the Expressway, Officer Kenneally made a motor vehicle stop for numerous violations. One occupant, wanted on warrants, jumped out of the vehicle and began to violently strike the officer. The suspect was then able to suspend himself over a barrier to an approximate 40 foot drop to the expressway below. Officer Kenneally was holding on to the suspect’s belt as the suspect yelled he was going to commit suicide and take the officer with him. Officer Kenneally was able to pull the suspect back over the wall where he was placed in custody.
- Lieutenant Matthew J. Spillane On Tuesday, November 9, 2005, Lieutenant Matthew Spillane was off duty when he observed a male brandishing a gun and firing it randomly into the Jackson Square MBTA station. Lieutenant Spillane was unable to corner the suspect in the busy MBTA station so he continued to follow the suspect to a less populated areas. After a foot chase, with the assistance of other units, the suspect was placed under arrest and the gun was also recovered.
Meritorious (Group Award)
- Sergeant Kevin O’Brien, Police Officer Patrick J. Donovan, Police Officer Shannon McLaughlin At approximately 9:30 p.m. in the East Boston section of the city, Sergeant Kevin O’Brien and paid detail officers Patrick J. Donovan and Shannon McLaughlin responded to a call for which a man had been shot. Arriving at the residence in question, the officers opened a door at which time a violent struggle ensued between Sergeant O’Brien and Officer Donovan and the suspect who was armed with a firearm. As the suspect was being placed under arrest, Officer McLaughlin observed and placed another suspect in the rear of the apartment under arrest. A loaded .45 caliber semi-automatic handgun was recovered and both suspects were booked for murder.
- Police Officer Anthony Williams, Police Officer Daran S. Edwards, Police Officer David J. Miller On August 23, 2005, Police Officer Anthony Williams and Police Officer Daran S. Edwards were on patrol near Blue Hill Avenue when they observed a suspicious male riding a bicycle. As they stopped and attempted to talk to the male, he fell off his bike, and upon rising was pointing a gun at the officers. The suspect fled toward Franklin Park, where a perimeter around the dark, unlit park was set up and a canine unit was requested to assist. Police Officer David J. Miller and his canine partner, Maximus, arrived and tracked the suspect through the dark shrubs, finally locating the suspect in the center of the golf course. Also recovered was a 9mm semi automatic pistol with 8 live rounds and 1 in the chamber.
- Sergeant Thomas J. Teahan, Sergeant Richard J. Houston, and Police Officer Jean Pierre Ricard On December 26, 2005, Sergeant Thomas J. Teahan, Sergeant Richard J. Houston and Police Officer Jean Pierre Ricard responded to a report of an armed robbery of a merchant in Egelston Square. After securing the perimeter the officers began to canvas a nearby neighborhood. The officers approached a house known for gang activity and observed movement from inside the locked first floor porch. After conducting a forced entry of the porch, a violent struggle ensued between the officers and four suspects. The officers were able to place the suspects under arrest and recover a semi-automatic firearm and the stolen merchandise.
- Operation “Cloak and Dagger” DISTRICT B-3 (Represented at the ceremony by Captain Timothy Murray) During the year 2005, District B-3 which patrols the neighborhoods of Mattapan and parts of North Dorchester, implemented a new deployment plan, Operation Cloak and Dagger. The basic premise of this deployment plan was to stress warrant arrests, drug arrests and gun arrests. It was a district-wide initiative to target the most wanted individuals and fugitives, who presented the greatest threat to the community. As a result of this plan, District B-3 made more than 100 firearm related charges, over one thousand warrant arrests and more than 500 drug arrests. District B-3 led all of the Boston police districts in drug arrests and warrant arrests, as well as removing over 100 firearms from the streets of Mattapan and Dorchester.
The Boston Police Department also extends our congratulations to all the officers who were recognized at today’s ceremony. (Award summary text excerpted from the Commonwealth of MA press release.)