City public safety officers and civilian honored for good work

By: K. Michelle Moran | Grosse Pointe Times | Published April 10, 2018

  Grosse Pointe City Public Safety Department Detective Lt. John Alcorn — pictured with City Mayor Christopher Boettcher — was recently named Officer of the Year and received other awards for his work in 2017.

Grosse Pointe City Public Safety Department Detective Lt. John Alcorn — pictured with City Mayor Christopher Boettcher — was recently named Officer of the Year and received other awards for his work in 2017.

Photo by K. Michelle Moran

GROSSE POINTE CITY — Several members of the Grosse Pointe City Public Safety Department received kudos from officials for outstanding work on and off the clock in 2017.

The annual awards were presented to officers during a March 19 City Council meeting, giving family, friends and fellow officers a chance to attend.

“As a chief, this is always a great time for me,” Public Safety Director Stephen Poloni said of the awards presentation. “These guys make me look good. … They’re dedicated and they do a great job.”

Detective Lt. John Alcorn, who Poloni said was “the only detective beginning in January (2017) because of retirements,” was named Officer of the Year for leading investigations into home invasions, a bank robbery, embezzlement, criminal sexual conduct and other serious cases. Poloni said Alcorn also served as the fire inspector and fire marshal during this period, among other responsibilities.

“The amount of hours Lt. Alcorn put in on his own time, I can’t count,” Poloni said. “He had help in there, but John has taken the bull by the horns. It’s yeoman’s work that he did, and (the award) is well-deserved.”

Alcorn also received a departmental citation for pursuing and arresting a bank robbery suspect, and a lifesaving award for saving a heroin user who had overdosed.

Sgt. Joseph Adams, Lt. Alan Gwyn, Sgt. Thomas Martindale and officers Michael Herrgott, Christopher Saunders, Joseph Srebernak, Dean Turk and Matthew Wallis were honored with departmental citations for responding to numerous fires sparked by downed wires during a severe 12-hour windstorm on March 8, 2017.

For rescuing a dog from the basement during a house fire on April 10, 2017, Adams, Saunders and officer Robert Saleski were awarded a departmental citation. The dog, which was given oxygen and treated at a nearby animal hospital, survived the ordeal, Poloni said. His name, fittingly enough, is Lucky.

“I know if you have a family pet, you know why they deserve this award,” Poloni said.

For handling an investigation into an adult suspect who was accused of inappropriately touching several youths — leading to the suspect’s arraignment on multiple charges of sexual assault — Adams and Sgt. Christopher Cotzias were given a departmental citation.

Officer Joshua Ina and Martindale received a departmental citation for apprehending a suspect on the night of Nov. 3 who had been seen entering vehicles and stealing items; the suspect was arrested after a foot chase.

A departmental unit commendation was given to Sgt. Michael Almeranti and officers Gregory Burks, Daniel Eckert, Lisa Monticciolo and Andrew Prueter for the volunteer work they did off the clock to repair the eastside Detroit home of Kris Howett — an honorary bike patrolman in the Grosse Pointes — and his mother, Dorothy. The project spanned months during 2017 and resulted in needed repairs.

Department of Public Services Director Pete Randazzo was honored with a civic award after determining that an elderly resident had been the victim of overpriced and unneeded home repairs by a suspect, who was also found to have forged stolen checks that belonged to the victim. Poloni said after an “exhaustive investigation,” the suspect was arrested, convicted and ordered to pay restitution.

“We want to thank Pete for a fine effort,” Poloni said.

Mayor Christopher Boettcher praised the officers who were honored, and the department in general.

“In my nine years (in office), I’ve truly never seen a more engaged group of people,” he said. “They’re taking a much more active role with the community. … I look forward to the new (public safety) building that they’ll have, that’ll have state-of-the-art equipment.”

Boettcher said a resident who wishes to remain anonymous is donating funds to the Public Safety Department so that it can purchase infrared radar.

Other City leaders offered congratulations and thanks to the officers.

“What a great job they do,” City Councilman John Stempfle said. “We’re just blessed to have them in this community.”

City Councilman Andrew Turnbull said Poloni and the officers are a “fantastic” team.

“The young guys you’ve brought on are outstanding,” he told Poloni. “Keep up the good work. We really appreciate it.”