Photos: Hanna awards recognize bravery of officers, state troopers

One of them dove into the frigid waters of Fort Point Channel to save a woman and another was fatally shot while responding to a domestic violence call. 

Those two officers were among the nearly two dozen who were honored on Monday during the Trooper George L. Hanna Memorial Awards for Bravery. A State House ceremony recognized 22 law enforcement officers for their acts of heroism during last year.

Boston police Sgt. Edward Norton received the Medal of Valor and Meritorious Recognition for diving into Fort Point Channel after a woman jumped or fell into the water last December as well as helping to disarm a mentally unstable woman.

Springfield Police Officer Kevin Ambrose was posthumously awarded the Medal of Honor. He was fatally shot last June when he responded to a call for a domestic dispute.

Massachusetts State Police Trooper John Vasquez was awarded the Medal of Honor after he was shot multiple times during a confrontation with an armed man in Chicopee in April 2012. The suspect shot at police and civilians with an automatic rifle. Troopers Matthew W. Gladu, David Z. Podworski Sr., and Keller W. Williams and officers David W. Benoit, Joseph H. Brunelle and Johnny A. Jusino of the Chicopee Police Department were awarded the Medal of Valor for their response to the same incident.

“Every day, in countless ways, we are reminded of the crucial role police officers play in keeping our neighborhoods safe,” Gov. Deval Patrick said in a statement. “And we never can forget the dangers they face, the sacrifices they and their families make, and the debt we owe to them.”

Hanna was a 10-year state police veteran when he was fatally shot during a traffic stop in Auburn in 1983.

The other award recipients were Boston police Sgt. Thomas C. Brooks and officers Elizabeth Philbin, Mark S. Bordley, Earl G. Jacob, Pele A. James, and Jeol J. Resil who received Meritorious Recognition.

Boston police Officer Matthew R. Pieroway received the Medal of Valor along with Sgt. Richard J. Correale, Officer John A. Dalaney and Officer Robert B. Selfridge of the Malden Police Department.

Receiving the Medal of Honor were Saugus Police Lt. Detective David T. Gecoya and Malden Police Detective Michael D. Casaletto.

Follow Michael Naughton on Twitter @metrobosmike.


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