Digging up the past is always tricky business, but when it comes to highlighting heroic deeds by police officers, there’s nothing all that complicated about it.
After years without much public accolade, the Revere Police Department (RPD) held its First Annual Awards and Recognition Ceremony on Monday night – highlighting the brave acts of nine current officers and one officer posthumously.
The awards came for actions as far back as 1997 and as recent as 2011.
Police Chief Joe Cafarelli said officers act with such bravery because it is their job, but it’s a job that is built into their hearts.
“They put somebody else before their own lives,” said the chief. “If you ask why they did what they did, they’ll say they just did their jobs. However, rescuing drowning victims or pulling people out of a burning car; that goes beyond just the job. This isn’t a vocation. It’s a calling. When they report for a shift, they know that could be their last day or the day they have to defend their public with deadly force…Ladies and gentlemen, when you need to look for heroes, you’ve got them right here. These are our heroes.”
Added Mayor Dan Rizzo, “I know, as mayor, these things will not go without notice from me.”
The highest award of the night was the Medal of Valor presented of Officer James Rose, who was also awarded for the same act of bravery at the state level in 2009.
Officer Rose was presented with the award for entering a residence on Fernwood Avenue in February 2008 and subduing a knife-wielding young man who had killed his mother and was threatening his siblings.
Going into a dark basement, Rose risked his life and safety to confront the young man. As the young man emerged out of the darkness to attack Rose and a colleague with a knife, they were able to subdue him and take him into custody peacefully.
Rose is the first officer in the department to receive the Medal of Valor from the City.
Others recognized were:
•Officer David Caramanica received the Exceptional Meritorious Service medal (along with a posthumous award for the late Officer Dan Talbot) for disarming a suspect with a knife in 2005. Caramanica also received the Commendation Medal for Bravery for a 2008 incident on Neponset Ave. where an armed man was threatening a child and was taken into custody.
•Officer Paul Crevoiserat received the Commendation Medal for Bravery for an incident in 1997 where he rushed into a burning home on Pleasant Street and brought out an unconscious elderly woman.
•Officer Patrick Hartigan was awarded the Exceptional Meritorious Service Medal for his exceptionally brave actions during an armed hostage situation at the Sons of Italy Club in 2009. A gunman had robbed the club and had a handgun to the head of an elderly man, using the man as a shield in order to exit the club. Hartigan seized an opportunity, and charged the gunman when he wasn’t looking – disarming him and quelling the situation. Officer David Wilson got the Commendation Medal for Bravery due to his actions in the same incident. After Hartigan charged, Wilson jumped in and helped to disarm the gunman.
•Officers Louis LaRosa and Angel Lopez (now with the Lawrence Police) were awarded the Commendation Medal for Bravery. In 2011, both men were instrumental in pulling a man out of a burning car on Brown Circle – literally saving his life.
•Officer Doug Zingali received the Exceptional Meritorious Service Medal for his actions in a 2004 incident where he chased, apprehended and helped disarm a knife-wielding and gun-wielding drug suspect.