Officers receive honors for good workSuperior Police Detective Michael Jaszczak wasn’t on duty when he drove into Superior around 9 a.m. Aug. 27.
By: Shelley Nelson, Superior Telegram
Superior Police Detective Michael Jaszczak wasn’t on duty when he drove into Superior around 9 a.m. Aug. 27.
Luckily, that Saturday morning, the detective was driving an unmarked squad car. While driving on Tower Avenue, he witnessed a vehicle cross the road at Central Avenue at a high rate of speed.
Jaszczak activated his emergency lights and turned onto Central Avenue to discover the vehicle struck a parked car. It was in a ditch with a lot of smoke coming from it, said Capt. Matthew Markon, recounting the incident that earned Jaszczak the police department’s Distinguished Service Ribbon.
Jaszczak radioed the communication center to have police and other medical personnel respond. The vehicle had sustained heavy damage and the driver was unconscious.
Jaszczak went to the driver’s side of the vehicle to try to remove the driver, but it was too hot from steam and a possible fire that started under the hood.
The detective went to the passenger side of the vehicle, checked the driver’s state of consciousness — he was unresponsive and having difficulty breathing. Jaszczak could see the fire, but he continued to hold the driver’s position while the fire department put the flames out.
Jaszczak life-saving effort to help a man facing a medical emergency is just one of the many unreported stories recognized during the Superior Police Department’s annual awards ceremony.
Superior Police Chief Charles LaGesse said while all the awards were not read because the officers could not attend Friday’s ceremony, all the following awards were given:
Life Savers Award
Officers Todd Maas and Jenn Orn were recipients of the Life-Saving Award in connection with an incident Oct 21 when their efforts saved the life of a 22-year-old man who had stabbed himself in the neck with a knife.
Officers Todd Carlson and Brad Esler were recognized for work Sept. 5 in apprehending two escapees from the Gordon Prison Camp and coordinating the initial response of other officers to begin a search for the third escapee.
Officer Jim Olson was awarded for his work in making contact with a man who was threatening suicide with a rifle Aug 15. Olson negotiated over the phone with the man he knew and successfully talked the man into coming out of his house and going for an evaluation.
Sgt. Bill Lear and officers Michael Bach, Patrick Carey, Brian Davis, Sean Holmgren and Joel Markon were honored for teamwork June 15 in coordinating and successfully taking into custody a suicidal man who had threatened to jump out a seventh floor window at the Androy Hotel.
Poskozim, Bach, Davis, and officers Chris Woolery, Eric Olson, Michael Kendall and Jeff Darst, and Communications Center Dispatchers Becky Farris and Ashley Engelman for teamwork June 6 in tracking down and arresting one of two men involved in burglarizing a garage. A search for the second man led the officers through woods and swamps between Hammond and Hill avenues.
Investigators Jack Curphy and Bill Braman were acknowledged for work from August to October to compile information and connect it to a suspect involved in a series of daytime burglaries. One day after an arrest warrant was issued, they received information about the suspect’s location in Duluth. They advised a Duluth Police Department investigator of this information and conducted surveillance in Duluth that led to the suspect being taken into custody without incident after a traffic stop. The suspect confessed to several of the burglaries in Superior, and remains a suspect in several similar burglaries in the Duluth area.
Lear, Poskozim, Bach, Investigators Kirk Hill and Chris Moe, and Officer Paul Winterscheidt were awarded for work in developing leads and obtaining information that led to the arrest of two men for a long series of copper thefts in Superior.
Sgt. Nicholas Alexander, Investigators Tom Champaigne, Curphy and Hill received honors for work developing leads and suspects, interviewing suspects and obtaining evidence in a robbery that occurred on Sept 1. The call was initially handled as a shooting, but that was eventually found to be false.
Douglas County Sheriff’s Department Detective John Parenteau, a member of the Lake Superior Forensic Technology and Internet Crimes Against Children Taskforce was recognized for proactive efforts in investigating child pornography possession incidents. In the last half of 2011, Parenteau located, identified and obtained evidence from five different people who were engaged in possessing and distributing child pornography. One case — discovered here in Superior — is being discussed with the Federal Bureau of Investigations and U.S. Attorney’s Officer for possible federal charges, Markon said.
Letters of commendation
Officer Erick Flood was recognized for responding to a “Check Welfare” call Jan 8. Flood was able to get a key to the residence and assisted with the entry to the house. A woman was found in the house, incoherent and was believed to be suffering from a diabetic emergency. Flood was off duty when he heard the radio call and happened to be in the area.
A letter was issued to Woolery for work Sept. 15 following an armed robbery at Erbert’s and Gerbert’s. Woolery began processing the crime scene with some standard equipment used by patrol officers, which included DNA collection kits. Woolery photographed the scene, processed it for DNA evidence and eventually located a carbon dioxide pistol that was used during the robbery.
Carlson earned two commendation letters for work May 3 to identify suspects in an ongoing copper theft investigation during a traffic stop, and Sept. 12 to follow up on the theft of a motorcycle from a residence in South Superior. Carlson obtained information on the identities of the suspects, conducted interviews that led to other locations and was given permission to search a shed where the stolen motorcycle was located. He collected DNA evidence from the motorcycle and was able to return it to the owner.
Administration Assistant Donna Swanson received a letter for the countless tasks that make the Citizen’s Academy happen.
Several officers also were recognized for their efforts in traffic safety. They include Officer Gary Gothner who issued 307 traffic citations; Lear, 301 citations; Eric Olson, 171 citations and 23 arrests for operating while intoxicated; Officer Vern Holsclaw, 161 citations; Winterscheidt, 14 operating while intoxicated arrests; and Orn, 13 operating while intoxicated arrests.