Orangetown Police Chief Kevin Nulty saw the vehicle run through the barriers protecting the crowd at Pearl River's Share Christmas and the Holidays event nearly a month ago.
That also allowed him to see the work of Captain Michael Conklin and Lt. Pablo Ramos of the Orangetown Auxiliary Police to stop the vehicle before anybody could be hurt.
"It was going right toward Santa's sleigh and there was a group of kids sitting there having hot chocolate and eating cookies," Nulty said. "With their smart thinking, the training we gave them and their courage, they were able to open the door on the car, somehow get it into park and hold the suspect, who was a drunk driver, for police to come. I don't know if we wouldn't have been on the front page of the paper Dec. 8 as a place that had a terrible tragedy. They stopped a terrible thing from happening."
Ramos and Conklin were just two of the emergency responders honored in a ceremony run by Nulty at the Orangetown Reorganizational Meeting Wednesday. The town also honored employees with five, 10, 15, 20 and 30 years of service at the meeting. Deputy Supervisor Allan Ryff made that presentation.
Nulty asked for a moment of silence in honor of victims of recent tragedies including Hurricane Sandy and the shootings in Newtown, CT. Orangetown employees and responders and employees were recognized for their work in dealing with Hurricane Sandy and its aftermath.
That included Orangetown Police Officer Richard Holihan for rescuing a choking victim in Sparkill during the storm. Nulty and Piermont Police Chief Michael O'Shea spoke of the work of Piermont Police Officers and emergency responders putting themselves in danger to help others in the village, which was hit hard by the storm.
"I went own there every couple of days and there was Chief Mike O'Shea and his officers and they were fielding complaints, taking care of people. They were in a disaster area. What a great job they did."
Those who work in the Orangetown Emergency Management Center were recognized for their efforts during the storm, as were Orangetown Police Detectives for their work on recent cases.
The list of those recognized Wednesday is below. Video clips from the meeting are also attached.
Editor's note: Check back with Patch for more from Wednesday's meeting, including Supervisor Andy Stewart's state of the town speech and remarks from the other four members of the town council.
Emergency Responder Recognition.
Unit Citation - Detective and Patrol
- Det. Lt. James Brown
- Det. Sgt. George Garrecht
- Det. Robert Goldrick
- Det. Matthew Ryder
- Det. Michal McPadden
- Det. Daniel Costello
- Det. Pat Frawley
- Det. Joseph Sullivan
- Det. Frank Buhler
- Det. Peter Maher
- Officer David Brockway
Orangetown Emergency Operations Center
- Captain Donald Butterworth
- Police Officer Harold G. Johnson, II
- Det. Joseph Sullivan
- Steve Harris, SOAC
- Bob Daley, Fire Coordinator
- Stephen Munno, Highway Dept.
- Karen Jaynes, Highway Dept.
- Paul Witte, Building Dept.
- Anthony Bevelacqua, Information Technology
- Rocco Capri, Orange & Rockland Utilities
- Neil Kuhn, Orange & Rockland Utilities
Rockland Regional Technical Rescue Team
Pearl River Fire Department
Pearl River Ambulance Corps
South Orangetown Ambulance Corps
Rockland Paramedic Service
Orangetown Police Department
- Officer James Kelly
- Officer James Acheson
- Sgt. Christopher Strattner
- Sgt. Sean Russo
- Officer Stephen Fitzgerald
- Officer John Fitzgibbons
- Officer Kerri Schiller
- Officer Terrence Drain
Orangetown Highway Department
- Superintendent James Dean
- Michael Giebelhouse
- Michael Aamodt
Police Officer Richard Holihan/Sparkill Incident
Village of Nyack Emergency Operations Center
Village of Piermont Police Emergency Operations Center
Orangetown Police Aux. Captain Michael Conklin
Orangetown Police Aux. Adm. Lt. Pablo Ramos
(Listed with department they work in)
- Liz Buck, Receiver of Taxes
- Mary Ferrara, Town Attorney
- George Gerracht, Highway
- David Goyette, Highway
- Joseph Grasso, Parks & Recreation
- Jennifer Grennan, Parks & Recreation
- Michael Manzare, Building
- Joseph Mendicino, Sewer
- Natalie Schutter, Finance
- James Doherty, Sewer
- Christine Kern, Police
- William Lennox, Highway
- Stephen Munno, Highway
- Kevin O'Connell, Sewer
- Fernando Seminelli, Sewer
- Beatrice Troy, Supervisor
- John Wintersteiger, Sewer
- Robert Gerard, Parks & Recreation
- Kevin McGarvey, Sewer
- Joanne Ogilvie, Parks & Recreation
- Gregory Tavarone, Highway
- Margaret Walter, Police
- Robert A. Morrison, Fire Inspector
- Cheryl Coopersmith, building
- James Wilson, Parks & Recreation
- Wilhelm Bodenstab, Highway
- Karl Bohn, Highway
- Veronica Cummings, Police
- Michael Daly, Parks & Recreation
- Joseph Italiano, Highway
- Allan Seebach, Parks & Recreation
- Michael Catania, Highway
- Michael Giebelhouse, Highway