Whitehead is East Hartford PD's 'Officer of the Year'

By Frances Taylor - Staff Writer
East Hartford - posted Fri., May. 13, 2011
Officer Willima C. Whitehead was named East Hartford Pollice Department's 'Officer of the Year.' Photos by Frances Taylor.
Officer Willima C. Whitehead was named East Hartford Pollice Department's 'Officer of the Year.' Photos by Frances Taylor.

Drug busts, fleeing suspects, armed robbers and even homicides are part of a day's work for East Hartford police. Members of the department were recognized for their service during an award ceremony May 11 at East Hartford Police Department headquarters.

Officer William C. Whitehead was named “Officer of the Year,” and was the recipient of several other awards. Whitehead, who is currently assigned to the traffic unit, was recognized for the arrests of wanted burglary suspects during routine patrols on more than one occasion. Whitehead’s attention to detail has led him to the discovery of stolen vehicles, weapons and narcotics in the course of his patrols, said Deputy Chief Beau Thurnauer.

“Recently, while on patrol, Officer Whitehead observed two males acting suspiciously, and [they] fled on foot when he attempted to stop them. They were caught, and it was discovered they had just committed a burglary,'' said Thurnauer. “While in custody, they admitted to numerous other residential burglaries in the same neighborhood.”

“I'm thrilled to get this award, and I appreciate the recognition,'' said Whitehead, who was nominated by his lieutenant and several of his colleagues. “Many people here have... done excellent work, so I sincerely appreciate this.''

Citations for bravery, meritorious service, distinguished service and letters of commendation were also awarded during the ceremony held in the second floor atrium of EHPD headquarters and attended by family members and town officials.

Officers Mark Caruso and Robert Vanacore were awarded meritorious service for their work during an armed robbery of a BP gas station on Burnside Avenue in October. Officers Donald Loehr, Michael DeMaine and Todd Letocha received awards for their actions when a suspect rammed their cruiser during an incident at Goodwin College.

Officer Todd Mona received several citations, including one for his apprehension of a gunman during a July 4 fireworks celebration at the riverfront. Mona patrols the Roberts Street and Silver Lane area with his dog Primo, of the K-9 unit. Mona and Primo also received the Daniel Wasson Award, which recognizes K-9 unit achievements.

“It’s great,” Mona said of his award. “You go to work every day and do the best you can, and it’s great when someone notices what you are doing.”

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