Goncalves receives top cop award for second time

By Steve Smith - Staff Writer
Glastonbury - posted Fri., Feb. 8, 2013
Glastonbury Police Chief David Caron (left) receives a plaque from Exchange Club President Bill Webb at the banquet honoring Glastonbury's Police Officer of the Year on Feb. 7. Photos by Steve Smith.
Glastonbury Police Chief David Caron (left) receives a plaque from Exchange Club President Bill Webb at the banquet honoring Glastonbury's Police Officer of the Year on Feb. 7. Photos by Steve Smith.

A large number of drug arrests, as well as his work with the East Central Narcotics Task Force, were key reasons why Officer David Goncavles was named the Glastonbury Police Officer of the Year for the second time, at a banquet in his honor hosted by the Glastonbury Exchange Club at the Gallery on Feb. 7. It was the second time Goncalves had received the award since joining the force in 2005.

Goncalves, who works undercover (and hence photos of him are not publicized) was quick to say that the award was earned as part of a team effort. “I know they spoke about a lot of these accomplishments over the past year, but none of them would have been possible without the help, long hours and dedication of the guys I work with at ECN,” Goncalves said, upon accepting his award. “I appreciate their hard work in improving the quality of life in town, as I’m sure the citizens and police officers do as well. Just as I’m being recognized here tonight, I believe that the guys who work alongside me should be applauded as well, for the hard work they continue to do.”

As a member of the task force, Goncalves made more than 150 drug-related arrests in Glastonbury – more than twice as many as any other member of the department, and that does not include routine arrests, infractions or his many hours of work on other investigations.

Exchange Club President Bill Webb said that in working with the task force, Goncalves has become an expert in the intricate laws of Drug Asset Forfeiture, and that during his three and a half years with the task force he has helped generate a substantial amount of funds through forfeited drug assets, which are split between the four member towns and used to purchase needed equipment, training or supplies in order to further the war on drugs.

Town Councilman Kurt Cavanaugh presented Goncalves with a Town Council Proclamation and said the Officer of the Year banquet is his favorite community event to attend. “It’s an opportunity to be with some of the finest police officers the state of Connecticut has produced,” he said, “as well as to be with one of the finest civic organizations Glastonbury has.”

State Rep. Prasad Srinivasan (R-31) also presented Goncalves with a proclamation from the state legislature. “We all know that every single day, the police officers – the first-responders – put their lives at risk,” Srinivasan said. “For all that you do for our town, the cities in Connecticut, and for the entire state, we are always thankful and indebted to each and every one of you on a daily basis.”

Guest speaker Bill Reilly, a former assistant chief of police in Hartford and founder of Finest’s Professional Development, said Goncalves’s service relates to the changing face of law enforcement, and added that all members of the community have a role in police work as they support police programs and aid in police procedures and activities.

“We want to work with the community to come together in support of the officers,” he said. “If you’re a member of the community who is here to support officer Goncalves and the Glastonbury Police Department, you have a piece of his success. It takes many people coming together to make sure that he’s supported in making that effort happen.”

Representing the Glastonbury Police Officers’ Association, Officer Nate Saucier told his friend Goncalves that his work deserves to be rewarded. “You’ve become a phenomenal officer,” Saucier told the honoree. “I have  a lot of respect for you, and the work that you do. I’m very proud of you.”

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