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Brunswick police officers honored

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    Officer Steve Karthan, center, is recognized Wednesday afternoon with two Officer of the Year Awards and one Lifesaving Award from the Brunswick Police Department. Also pictured are Brunswick Mayor Ron Falconi, left, and Police Chief Carl DeForest.

    HALEE HEIRONIMUS / GAZETTE

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21893718

Officer Steve Karthan, center, is recognized Wednesday afternoon with two Officer of the Year Awards and one Lifesaving Award from the Brunswick Police Department. Also pictured are Brunswick Mayor Ron Falconi, left, and Police Chief Carl DeForest.

HALEE HEIRONIMUS / GAZETTE Enlarge

It was 11:27 a.m. Feb. 8 when Brunswick police Officer Steve Karthan was dispatched concerning an erratic driver on Pearl Road near Magnolia Drive.

“We received six complaints” about the driver, Karthan remembered.

He followed the car, not traveling more than 10 mph, with his sirens activated for about 15 minutes, he said. The driver was not obeying his order to pull over.

“I was getting angry,” he said. “(The driver) crossed over the yellow line multiple times and I was driving parallel (in the other lane) to them trying to keep them in their lane. She didn’t know where she was going.”

Karthan said he finally was able to cut the vehicle off and get the driver to stop. He discovered the woman was suffering a diabetic emergency and needed immediate medical attention.

Karthan broke the window with his baton to get the woman out because the doors were locked and the car was still in gear.

He called for an ambulance and the woman was taken to a hospital.

“(Karthan’s) actions resulted in saving that woman’s life,” police Lt. Brian Ohlin said, who presented Karthan with a Lifesaving Award on Wednesday afternoon at city hall.

Karthan was one of dozens of Brunswick police officers and communications specialists who were recognized for their accomplishments in the field.

Wednesday’s awards ceremony was the first of its kind for the department.

An awards committee was formed in 2014 and is chaired by Ohlin.

“We wanted to recognize the officers and communications specialists of the year, past and present, that are still employed in the department,” Ohlin said, noting the committee also added the Lifesaving Award to the list.

The recognized individuals were nominated by their peers. Nominations, dating back to 1984, were brought to the committee for review and then approved by Police Chief Carl DeForest.

“The nominees are selected based on their work ethic, work product and involvement (in the department),” Ohlin said.

Along with a certificate, each recipient was given a pin and/or commendation bars with stars, indicating their achievement, to display on their uniform.

Karthan, who has been with the department for 30 years, complimented the awards committee on its efforts to create the ceremony.

“This brings light to the good that we do,” he said.

Officers also were recognized for safe driving, as well as not being involved in a crash for three consecutive years while patrolling streets.

Ohlin said the committee will continue to have awards ceremonies in the future.

“We look forward to recognizing the fine work of the men and women in uniform within the division of police,” Ohlin said.

DeForest, who will be retiring as chief to become Brunswick city manager in June, said he will miss putting on his uniform daily and commended his colleagues who served with him the last 26 years.

“It’s imperative the sacrifices the men and women in uniform take to protect the community — whether it’s light, dark, hot or cold outside. They’re always looking out for our families and the community,” DeForest said.

“I appreciate the effort from all the officers … and appreciate everything they do to protect and keep the community safe.”

A full list of officers that were honored:

Lifesaving Award 

  • Officer Jeff Jones
  • Officer Chris Scafidi
  • Officer Lynda Reeves
  • Officer James Keaveney
  • Officer Jonathan Osborne (3)
  • Lt. Robert Safran
  • Officer Jeff Lee (2)
  • Officer Brian Mummert
  • Officer Joe Ceccacci (4)
  • Officer Jeff Garcia (3)
  • Officer Steve Szuter
  • Officer Joe Rizk (2)
  • Officer Zachary Callahan
  • Officer Stefan Karthan
  • Officer Charles Weber 

Save Driver Award — three years crash-free 

  • Chief Carl DeForest
  • Lt. Brian Ohlin
  • Lt. Robert Safran
  • Sgt. Scott Kowell
  • Sgt. Steve Hoover
  • Sgt. Jon Page
  • Sgt. Doug Laino
  • Sgt. Daren Lubinsky
  • Sgt. Michael Matheis
  • Sgt. Kevin Scullin
  • Sgt. Chris Spencer
  • Officer Charles Weber
  • Officer Brian Schmitt
  • Officer George Keleman
  • Officer Greg Hayest
  • Detective Chris Scafidi
  • Officer Robert Casenhiser
  • Officer Duane Kuehn
  • Officer Steven Szuter
  • Officer Jeremy Puhac
  • Officer Jeff Lee
  • Officer Joe Rizk
  • Officer Derek Zelenka
  • Officer Lynda Reeves
  • Officer James Keaveney
  • Officer Jeff Jones
  • Officer John Witthuhn
  • Officer Joe Ceccacci 

Officer of the Year 

  • 1984, Dave Szuter
  • 1991, Steve Karthan
  • 1992, Carl DeForest
  • 1993, Steve Karthan
  • 2001, Steve Hoover
  • 2002, Robert Safran
  • 2004, Kevin Scullin
  • 2005, Brian Schmitt
  • 2006, Rob Marok
  • 2007, Greg Hayest
  • 2008, Charlie Weber
  • 2009, Sarah Merhaut
  • 2010, Mark Luciano
  • 2011, John Fink
  • 2012, Sam Gagliardi
  • 2013, Brian Schmitt
  • 2014, Jeff Jones
  • 2015, Steve Szuter
  • 2016, George Keleman 

Communications Specialist of the Year 

  • 2002, JoAnne Szoke
  • 2004, AnnMarie Jones
  • 2005, AnnMarie Jones
  • 2006, Deb Forrester
  • 2007, Terry Gluszek
  • 2009, Greg Hendricks
  • 2010, Keri Quidatano
  • 2011, Nancy Terry
  • 2013, Nancy Terry
  • 2014, Becky Rantucci
  • 2015, Stephanie Prock
  • 2016, Nancy Terry 

Contact reporter Halee Heironimus at (330) 721-4012 or hheironimus@medina-gazette.com.



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