The Irish American Police Officers Association Pipes and Drums Band. (Courtesy Photo)
The Irish American Police Officers Association (IAPOA) is pleased to announce that it hosted its 18th annual awards dinner, where it recognized over two dozen police officers for their bravery, humanitarianism and sacrifice on behalf of the communities they serve.
The sold-out ceremony on Saturday, May 6, served as a celebration of police officers who risk their lives every day to serve and protect communities throughout Massachusetts, as well as a chance to recognize officers with Massachusetts roots who made the ultimate sacrifice while serving communities elsewhere. More than 300 people attended.
“Our awards night is our signature event, and we are proud to honor these courageous and dedicated officers for their selfless commitment to service,,” said IAPOA President Robert Sweetland. “Irish American police officers are some of the proudest and most patriotic Americans in the nation, and we have left an indelible mark on the policing profession while honoring our heritage.”
Officers were recognized for a broad range of work that went above and beyond the call of duty; including their lifesaving efforts under harrowing circumstances, their efforts to find innovative approaches to the nationwide fight against opioid addiction and their sacrifice in the line of duty and their determination to bring dangerous criminals to justice.
At the end of the evening the IAPOA awarded its Medal of Honor posthumously to four officers who made the ultimate sacrifice in the line of duty in 2016:
Deputy Sheriff John Robert Kotfila Jr. — Hillsborough County, Florida Sheriff’s Department
Deputy Kotfila, 30, a Falmouth native and son of a Massachusetts State Trooper, was patrolling a Florida highway, driving behind a civilian last March when he noticed a driver going the wrong way. In order to protect the two people travelling in front of him, Deputy Kotfila cut in front of the vehicle and crashed head-on into the wrong-way driver in order to protect others on the road at the expense of his own life.
Officer Ashley Marie Guindon — Prince William County, Virginia, Police Department
Officer Guindon, a 28-year-old native of Western Massachusetts and a veteran of the Marine Corps Reserve, lost her life on her first day on the job with the Prince William County Police Department. She responded to a domestic disturbance call and was shot, along with two other officers, by a suspect wielding a rifle upon arriving at the home.
Trooper Thomas L. Clardy — Massachusetts State Police
Trooper Clardy, 44, had started his patrol shift early last March 16 and, while stopped behind a vehicle he had pulled over, was hit from behind by a driver who had been travelling at a high rate of speed on the Massachusetts Turnpike.
Ronald Tarentino Jr. — Auburn Police Department
Officer Tarentino, 42, achieved his lifelong dream of following his father into law enforcement and had served seven years as an officer in Leicester before moving to the Auburn Police. He had stopped a driver and, as he sat in his cruiser during the stop, was ambushed by the man he’d stopped and ultimately succumbed to injuries from the gunshot wound he suffered.
The IAPOA also awarded its Order of Erin Award to retired Woburn Police Detective Charles “Chuck” Carroll in recognition of his years of dedication to the IAPOA, his years of service in Woburn, his love of his Irish heritage and his family. Carroll was remembered as having an unmatched reputation in law enforcement, due in part to his commitment to his work. He also was instrumental in helping the IAPOA become the organization it is today, through his service as a Vice President and on its Executive Board.
The other officers honored for their service by the IAPOA include:
• Quincy Police Lt. Patrick Glynn — Humanitarian Award
• Massachusetts State Police Lt. David Wilson — Humanitarian Award
• Lincoln Police Sgt. Anthony Moran — Investigative Award
• Quincy Police Det. Arthur J. Carthas and Officer William Lanergan — Investigative Award
• Worcester County State Police Detective Unit Det. Lt. Alan Hunte and Auburn Police Det. Sgt. Richard Mills — Investigative Award
• Boston University Police Officers Robert McCarthy, Danielle Collins and Ciaran D’Arcy — Lifesaving Award
• Chelsea Police Officer David Delaney — Lifesaving Award
• Quincy Police Officer Steven Cleary — Lifesaving Award
• MIT Sgt. Robert Wilcox and Officers Anthony Rosanio, Kenneth Spooner, Belinda Barrett and Yessenia Gomez — Lifesaving Award
• Everett Police Officer Joseph Pepicelli — Meritorious Service Award
• Boston Police Youth Violence Strike Force Officers James O’Laughlin, Edward P. Dervan, Brendan Kelly and Antoine Ramos — Meritorious Service Award
• Quincy Police Officer Jeffrey Bossart — Meritorious Service Award
• Plymouth County Sheriff’s Lt. James Creed — Medal of Valor
• Lynn Police Officers Michael McEachern, John Bernard, Joshua Seaman — Medal of Valor
• Massachusetts State Police Sgt. Michael Baker and Troopers Albert J. Kardoos and Scott McDonald — Medal of Valor
• Boston Police Officers Matthew Morris, Richard Cintolo, Eric Schmidt, Lenin Ortiz, Clifton Singletary, Joseph McSorley, Joseph Greco and Sgt. Norberto Perez — Medal of Valor
The IAPOA also honored two civilians with its inaugural Sean A. Collier Civilian Support Award. One of the honors went to Dr. David R. King of Massachusetts General Hospital for his repeated efforts to provide life-saving aid to law enforcement officers. The other went to philanthropist and longtime police supporter David Mugar for his support of police through his work organizing the annual July 4 fireworks on the Boston Esplanade, including his help in organizing and supporting the Unified Command Center available for the event.
“The work of both of these extraordinary men helps us do our jobs better,,” Sweetland said. “We are truly grateful for their constant support of law enforcement, and their dedication truly embodies the spirit of Officer Sean Collier.”
The awards dinner, which was held at the Malden Irish American Club, was emceed by WBZ-TV’s Juli McDonald and also featured performances from the Deirdre Goulding School of Irish Dance and the IAPOA Pipes and Drums Band.
For more information on the Irish American Police Officers Association, visit http://www.irishamericanpolice.org or email firstname.lastname@example.org or President Bob Sweetland at Rsweetland@quincyma.gov.
The family of late Hillsborough County Florida Sheriff’s Deputy John Robert Kotfila, Jr. (Courtesy Photo)
The family of late Auburn Police Officer Ronald Tarentino Jr. accepted his Medal of Honor. (Courtesy Photo)
The parents of late Prince Georges County, Virginia, Police Officer Ashley Marie Guindon accepts her Medal of Honor. (Courtesy Photo)
The family of late Massachusetts State Police Trooper Thomas L. Clardy accepted his Medal of Honor (Courtesy Photo)