Nantucket Police Department Announces Awards

Nantucket Current •

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Nantucket Police Department chief Bill Pittman announced the recipients of the department's annual appreciation awards during Wednesday night's Select Board meeting.

The annual awards presentation had been on hold since 2020 due to the pandemic, so there were some that date back to incidents that occurred in 2021. Below are the names of the awards, the recipients, and Pittman's remarks: 

EXCEPTIONAL DUTY AWARD - Officer Derek Witherell

This commendation is in recognition of Officer Witherell’s work as it relates to NPD Case Number 21-7786. This was a forcible rape case where both suspect and victim were juveniles. The case was resolved in Nantucket Juvenile Court with a guilty plea on all counts, Assault and Battery, Indecent Assault and Battery and Rape. A review of the case indicated that Officer Witherell devoted a substantial amount of time to put this case together, bringing it to a successful conclusion.

Officer Witherell earned the Exceptional Duty Award for a highly creditable accomplishment, bringing public acclaim to himself, the department and the police profession, as a result of his training, devotion to duty, and service to the public.

He is authorized to wear the Exceptional Duty Award Ribbon on his uniform.

LETTER of COMMENDATION - Detective Amanda Schwenk

This commendation is in recognition of Det. Schwenk’s work as it relates to NPD Case Numbers 22-1848 and 22-1904. In February 2022, Det. Schwenk received information from DEA Special Agent Kelly Munger that the DEA had information regarding trafficking of suspected Fentanyl through the US Mail to a suspect at a Nantucket address. A coordinated investigation involving the Nantucket Police patrol and detective divisions, the DEA Cape and Islands Drug Task Force, US Postal Inspection Service, Barnstable Police Department K-9 Unit, and Massachusetts State Police Detective Unit, resulted in the securing of a search warrant, which resulted in the arrest of a suspect for multiple drug trafficking charges.

Items seized during this investigation include 8.6 ounces of marijuana, a quantity of MDMA (Ecstacy), 690 Methamphetamine pills weighing 247 grams, and most importantly, 874 Fentanyl pills weighing 94 grams.

Det. Schwenk has earned this Letter of Commendation for her outstanding investigative work, working with multiple agencies and no doubt potentially saving many lives by preventing these drugs from making it to the streets of Nantucket.

PUBLIC SAFETY SERVICE AWARD - Dispatchers, Megan Smith, Jessica Norris, Theresa Eger- Andersen, Caio Gomes, Camille Noble

This Citation is in recognition of the dispatchers work as it relates to NPD Case Number 22-5862 (Veranda House Fire). On July 9, 2022 at 6:49 AM, Dispatcher Camille Noble answered the first 911 call reporting the Veranda House fire, as she was advising them to evacuate the building Dispatcher Caio Gomes was dispatching the Fire Department to the reported location. At 7:00 AM Dispatchers Theresa Eger-Andersen, Megan Smith and shortly afterward, Dispatcher Jessica Norris arrived for their day shift.

The Dispatchers were responsible for many aspects of the public safety response including, locating fire hydrants in the immediate area, coordinating with the Wannacomet Water Company, National Grid (to shut down power in the area), Patrol Officers (to evacuate homes in the area, shut down streets for public safety reasons). They also assisted in locating guests from the Veranda House who fled the building as well as assisting callers with information regarding donations of clothing, food, etc.

Due to their training, calm demeanor, quick actions and professionalism the Fire Fighters and Police Officers were on-scene within minutes. In total the Dispatchers fielded 278 phone calls as well as assisted several walk in customers, handling requests for service from the Harbor Master’s Office, Airport, Sewer Department, Police Department, Fire Department and EMS incidents between 6:49 AM and 11:00 PM that day.

They have earned the Public Safety Service Award for their creditable accomplishments that brought public acclaim to the department and the public safety profession as a result of their training, devotion to duty and service to the public.

LETTER of COMMENDATION - Sergeant Jacquelyn Hollis

This commendation is in recognition of Sgt. Hollis’s work as it relates to NPD Case Number 22-8318. Throughout 2022, the mid-island area experienced a series of motor vehicles Break-ins resulting in thefts from motor vehicles and thefts of motor vehicles. In this particular incident, a vehicle was broken into and stolen. Sgt. Hollis responded and processed the interior of the vehicle for fingerprints. Sgt. Hollis successfully lifted a single fingerprint from the center console of the vehicle and submitted it to the Massachusetts State Police Crime Laboratory. Crime Lab technicians were able to determine the fingerprint was from the right middle finger of a known suspect. This resulted in a suspect charged with Use of a Motor Vehicle without Authority, Breaking and Entering with Intent to Commit a Felony, and Unlicensed Operation of a Motor Vehicle.

Sgt. Hollis’ efforts in this case show that taking the time and going back to the basics can have its rewards. Utilizing basic crime scene investigative techniques and careful attention to detail resulted in the successful closure of this case.

Sgt. Hollis earned this Letter of Commendation for her outstanding investigative work and demonstrating to our many young officers that paying attention to the basics will solve crime.

LETTER of COMMENDATION - Detective Amanda Schwenk, Officers Joseph Tirone, James Olson, Nicholes Terino and Farrell Duce.

This commendation is in recognition of their work as it relates to NPD Case Numbers 22-10845 and 22-10877. Throughout 2022, the mid-island area experienced multiple random motor vehicle Break in complaints resulting in multiple items stolen from the vehicles. Day shift Officers James Olson, Joseph Tirone, Farrell Duce and Nicholas Terino began an investigation. They had suspects in mind and while interviewing one of them, they observed suspected stolen items in plain view. The suspect was further questioned at the police station, admitted to several of the crimes and identified an accomplice. Detective Schwenk obtained a search warrant resulting in the recovery of several of the stolen items.

Two suspects were Arrested and charged with Breaking and Entering into a Motor Vehicle in the Nighttime, Larceny and Receiving Stolen Property.

These officers have earned this Letter of Commendation for their outstanding patrol and investigative casework by engaging basic police patrol tactics and investigative skills to solve crime in our community.

LIFE SAVING AWARD - Officer Joseph Tirone

This Award is in recognition of the actions taken by Officer Tirone that resulted in the saving of a life. At 10:00 am on June 30, 2022 Officer Tirone along with Trooper Clouse from the MSP were made aware that a person had passed out while riding his bike on a bike path on the Milestone Road. CPR was initiated by Jenn Decker, a citizen who witnessed the incident. Upon their arrival the police officers took over care of the victim to include continuing CPR and activating the AED Device that Officer Tirone had in his police cruiser. After shocking the victim once the victim regained a heartbeat and began breathing. Care was then turned over to the NFD who transported the victim the NCH for treatment. Both Officer Tirone and Trp. Clause along with Ms. Decker were honored by the Egan Maritime Foundation at the Annual Lifesavers Recognition Ceremony last August. The victim, Mr. Steven Arst was present to express his appreciation for their quick response and professional training.

He is authorized to wear the Life Saving Ribbon on his uniform.

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