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The Daniel Wasson Memorial K-9 Award

~  Previous Award Recipients  ~

  All Give Some - Some Give All  

Click on link below for

Slide Show of Daniel Wasson Memorial K9 Award Recipients

2016: Officer Martin Feliciano & K9 "Ax" ( New Haven Police Department )

On 9/11/16 at 1658 Hours, Officers were dispatched to the area of Barnes ave and  Donna Dr for an unknown weapons complaint. Upon arrival they observed a Hispanic male standing in the street holding a large silver knife. On scene Officers ordered him to the ground, handcuffed and detained him, moments later a Hispanic female came out from within the nearby residence with her hands bound together with a Zip tie. It was relayed through interpreters that two men armed with Black semi automatic handguns conducted a Home Invasion bound the above noted residents with Zip ties, pistol whipped one of them, robbed them and then fled the scene. Witnesses provided information and description of the suspects as they fled and noted an area that they stopped and appeared to hide something. On scene Officers checked the above noted area and located a loaded Black semi automatic handgun and several other items. Officer Feliciano and K9 Ax responded to conduct a track utilizing the suspects discarded evidence as a scent article. K9 Ax led Officer Feliciano to a thick marsh where he gave an indication that the suspects were hiding within the marsh. after giving announcements, both suspects surrendered without incident or harm to any other harm to citizens or Law enforcement.

2015: Officer John Ockowski & K9 "Sage" ( Seymour Police Department )

On November 20th 2015, Officer Oczkowski and his K9 partner were dispatched to the Town of Woodbridge to assist to assist New Haven, CSP, Woodbridge and Hamden PD’s. It was relayed that the above mentioned Police Departments were actively pursuing a double homicide suspect, after reckless evasive attempts to elude Officers as they attempted to deploy stop sticks, the suspect dumped his vehicle and fled on foot into a heavily wooded area. Upon arrival on scene, Officer Oczkowski utilized a hat as a scent article lost by the suspect upon entering the wooded area and began a track for the suspect. The area was extremely dense giving full tactical advantage to the suspect. Despite the disadvantage, the K9 team made entry into the woods. After a considerable distance, the track led to a canal that was 15 feet long and waist deep. PSD Sage engaged through the water and alerted to the presence of the suspect that was concealing himself in the water. Due to the overwhelming show of force of the handler/ K9 team, the suspect was taken into custody without injuries to Officers.  

2014: Officer Thomas Lazure & K9 "Jett" ( West Hartford Police Department )








Officer Lazure responded to several shots fired by a suspect toward an innocent citizen in a failed carjacking attempt. The suspect fled the area with an officer in pursuit. During the foot chase the suspect suddenly stopped and spun around and pointed a 9 millimeter handgun at an officer and pulled the trigger. Miraculously the gun malfunctioned therefore saving the officer from being shot. The suspect fled the area in darkness. Officer Lazure and K-9 Jett were deployed and located the suspect who was on PCP. The suspect fought with K-9 Jett but K-9 Jett held the suspect until officers and SWAT members took him into custody. The suspect remains in jail and will hopefully be there a long time.  

2013: Officer Lars Vallin & K9 "Xander" ( New Haven Police Department )      

Officer Lars Vallin arrived on scene with an officer in a violent struggle with the male suspect holding a loaded semi automatic pistol. It appeared the suspect was trying to point the pistol barrel backwards in the direction of the officer's head. K9 Xander bit the suspect's hand holding the gun. Xander bit down with such force the suspect dropped the loaded pistol. The suspect's hand was significantly injured as a result. This suspect was then taken into custody facing numerous felony charges.

2012: Officer Thomas Lazure & K9 "Jett" ( West Hartford Police Department )








Ofc. Lazure was dispatched to a juvenile’s home to assist with a missing suicidal 16-year-old. The child had left a death note and had been missing for over an hour. Officers confirmed through a phone ping that the party was possibly still in the area. Ofc. Lazure and K9 Jett tracked through the neighborhood which led to a schoolyard and the quick recovery of the unresponsive 16 year child who had taken an overdose of medication The child was likely saved by being found so quickly. Had it not been for Ofc. Lazure and K9Jett, the outcome to this incident would have been very different.

On another incident, Ofc. Lazure was flagged down by a victim of a shooting. The victim gave Ofc. Lazure the description of a car that had just shot into his vehicle and was now fleeing the area on I-84. Ofc. Lazure was able to get a good description of the shooters vehicle and calmly put it out to district cars. The vehicle was located a short time later with Ofc. Lazure assisting with the felony stop. Ofc. Lazure deployed K9 Jett and had him alert on the subjects. The armed suspects surrendered and were taken into custody. A large amount of drugs, cash and a loaded weapon was located in the vehicle that these two convicted felons had occupied. The shooters were turned over to HPD on a host of weapons charges. A comment was made by one of the suspects stating that they weren’t “dumb enough to run because they knew the dog was there”.

This team performed 32 building searches and responded to more than 60 calls for mutual aid in surrounding towns. They have completed more than 30 drug searches with 20 finds in various narcotics not to mention their 90+ tracks with more than 20 suspects being taken into custody.

2011: Officer Frank Reda & K9 "Czar" ( Norwalk Police Department )









Officer Frank Reda & K9 "Czar" of Norwalk Police Department were selected for  apprehending a suspect who was armed with two knives and was advancing toward Officer Reda. K9 Czar was released and engaged the suspect in the abdomen. K9 Czar was then stabbed in the mouth, punched and kicked during the fight. Officer Reda was then in a hand to hand combat to stop his K9 partner Czar from being stabbed any more. While in a hand to hand combat with the person a second male jumped Officer Reda from behind and was now in a hand to hand combat with two males. A citizen arrived on scene and offered to help while other officer's were arriving. Three people were arrested and was later learned that they were from Houston, Texas and were in Connecticut conducting street robberies. One of the males had a hit out of Texas and ICE is detaining him. ICE is also conducting a more through check on the other three individualsK9 Czar recovered and returned to duty shortly after. Officer Reda used enormous restraint, and was extremely calm under these extraordinary circumstances.  Officer Reda could have utilized deadly force or could have been the victim of deadly force had it not been for the tactics, experience and strong will of the team between Officer Reda and PSD Czar.

2010: Officer Frank Reda & K9 "Czar" ( Norwalk Police Department )









Officer Frank Reda & K9 "Czar" of Norwalk Police Department were selected for tracking and apprehending a suspect who was suspected of killing his ex-wife and former mother-in law and had fled  through heavy wooded area to try and escape. The team used innovative and self taught rappelling techniques to negotiate a vertical fourteen foot drop from a rock ledge to reach the suspect. After tracking through heavly wooded area, K9 Czar found the suspect and  engaged him by biting him in the inner thigh causing enough pain to drop a loaded hand gun he used in the double homicide. K9 Czar then began to extract him from the brush putting distance between the suspect and his weapon allowing officers to handcuff him. 

2009: Officer Todd Mona & K9 "Primo" ( East Hartford Police Department )








Officer Todd Mona & K9 "Primo" of East Hartford Police Department were selected for apprehending a violent man in a domestic incident where his K9 partner Primo received two stab wounds and underwent emergency surgery and returned to full duty.

2008: Officer Matthew A. Galante & K-9 "Ike" ( New London Police Department )










Officer Matthew A. Galante & K-9 "Ike" of New London Police Department  were selected for numerous successful tracks and apprehensions in New London and also neighboring towns. The team also located a suicidal person and may have saved the victim from ending his life.

2007: Officer Todd Mona & K9 "Primo" ( East Hartford Police Department )









Officer Todd Mona & K9 "Primo" of East Hartford Police Department were selected for many exceptional urban tracks and finds.


2006: Officer Matthew J. Lima  & K-9 "Judge" ( Milford Police Department )









Officer Matthew J. Lima  & K-9 "Judge" of Milford Police Department were selected for tracking down an escaped suicidal psychiatric patient which resulted in locating the suspect. They also had numerous hard surface tracking cases ranging from 1/2 to 1-1/2 miles in the city over hard surfaces resulting in the capture of individuals that committed burglaries and also tracked an a man who had committed sexual assault on a woman. Some of the tracks were high finds and many of these tracks involved  numerous fences, hard surfaces and onlookers but K9 "Judge" stayed focused on the job until completed.


2005: Officer Eric  Rocheleau & K-9 "Kora" ( West Hartford Police Department )







Officer Eric  Rocheleau & K-9 "Kora" of West Hartford Police Department were selected for being involved in numerous cases resulting in important captures and seizures of drugs. During a Feb. 2005 car stop, Kora detected 196 bags of heroin hidden in an engine compartment and four days later found 66 more bags on another car stop. In a span of about 5 weeks, Kora assisted in package searches seizing over 55 pounds of marijuana. All of the packages were filled with masking agents. In March, Officer Rocheleau and Kora assisted Avon PD conducting a 3+ mile track for a DUI suspect. In April, Kora tracked and assisted in the apprehension of a stolen car suspect who resisted arrest and fought with officers. During a burglary track in November, a cell phone was located on the track route resulting in the burglar's capture. In July of 2005, a pair of burglars were caught by this K9 team after tracking them from the scene to their location in a local cemetery still in possession of the stolen goods. Kora also assisted in a home invasion capture during a building search. In this case a successful "bark and hold" was done resulting in a capture without suspect injury. This K9 team's most important track involved a mutual aid call for a shooting in Hartford.  Both occupants of the car were shot with the passenger killed. The driver led Hartford PD on a high speed chase.  He then crashed and injured a family while fleeing.  He ran from the scene and was subsequently located. The track involved a difficult city track which included numerous fences, hard surfaces and onlookers.  Kora stayed focused even as she tracked within feet of tied up aggressive dogs. This focus paid off as the suspect was found hiding under a porch with 2 gun shot wounds to the chest.  These are just a few of this K9 team's successes in 2005 leading to their nomination for the Daniel Wasson Award.



  2004: Officer Morales & K-9 “Niko” ( New London Police Department )          







Officer Morales & K-9 “Niko” of New London Police Department were selected for responding on July 2nd 2004, at approximately 2244 hours, to assist Norwich Police Department in locating a male suspect who had just committed a robbery and murdered his victim with a shot gun blast to the chest. K-9 Niko was deployed into an apartment where the suspect was believed to be hiding. K-9 Niko located the male hiding in a completely dark basement. The suspect surrendered to avoid a K-9 apprehension. K-9 Niko was recalled and the suspect later identified as the man responsible for the robbery homicide and was taken into custody without incident. Also during the past year K-9 Niko had many successful tracks and apprehensions along with finding a total of 28.9 grams of crack cocaine for the year 2004.


Acceptance Video #1 - 50mb


2003:Officer Morales & K-9 “Niko” ( New London Police Department )







Officer Morales & K-9 “Niko” of New London Police Department were selected for responding to a robbery in progress by three suspects at approximately 1:00a.m. at a local bar. When they arrived the suspects had run into a wooded area where Niko had tracked the suspects and was shot by one of them with a 9 mm which passed completely through him missing all his vital organs, but still continued tracking them.  All three suspects were later apprehended. Niko recovered fully from his wound and faithfully still serves and protects his handler with the New London Police Dept.  

     Acceptance Video #1 - 20mb
Acceptance Video #2 - 40mb 

2002:Sergeant David Dubiel & K-9 "Luke" ( West Hartford Police Department )










Sergeant David Dubiel & K-9 "Luke" of the West Hartford Police Department were selected for assisting the Connecticut State Police and East Hartford Police involving an exceptional two mile hard surface urban track across several highways and city streets, leading to the arrest of two men for evading a serious motor vehicle accident.  The team also tracked a subject who was taken at gunpoint following a report of shots fired, as well an apprehension of a fleeing suspect in a burglary in progress and apprehension of suspects in a stolen motor vehicle taken at gunpoint.  

2001:Officer Henry Minor and "Veko" ( Manchester Police Department )












Officer Henry Minor and "Veko" of the Manchester Police Department were selected as a result of a particularly violent encounter with an offender, where both Officer Minor and "Veko" demonstrated unbelievable persistence, courage and bravery. On November 18, 2001 at approximately 3:00 p.m. Officer Henry Minor and his partner “Veko” responded to an armed robbery in progress at a Stop & Shop Supermarket. The suspect was handed $1,200 and fled in his vehicle. A roadblock was set up and when the suspect’s vehicle came to a stop in front of their patrol cars the suspect put his hands up as to surrender. When one of the officers approached the car, the suspect accelerated his vehicle forward aiming it at the officer. The officer was struck by the vehicle and was thrown onto the hood. The officer while on the hood fired two rounds at the suspect through the front windshield and was then thrown off the car onto the road sustaining a broken foot and other injuries. Another officer fired one round at the suspect through the driver’s side door. None of the rounds struck the suspect. Officer Minor made the decision to intentionally ram the suspect’s vehicle to avoid a vehicle pursuit causing the suspects vehicle to spin around and strike a utility pole. The suspect exited his car and began running. Officer Minor activated the remote controlled bailout system allowing K9 “Veko” to exit the cruiser and take down the suspect. Once “Veko” had him on the ground Officer Minor approached and the suspect fought with Officer Minor and K9 “Veko” had to re-engage and then the suspect was handcuffed. The $1,200 was recovered where K9 “Veko” knocked the suspect down. The suspect was charged with Criminal Attempt to Commit Murder, Robbery, Assault on a Police Officer and other criminal charges. Also Officer Minor & "Veko" were called to assist in the apprehenson and cover agents as they attempted to serve a parole violation of a Hartford gang member. The suspect, seeing    K9 "Veko" surrendered without incident. The subject was suspect in the gang related shooting of 12 year old Takira Gaston in Hartford over the July 4th holiday. The suspect has since been charged in that incident.                                                                                                              

2000:Officer Frank McDermott and K-9 "Hero" ( Hamden Police Department )











Officer Frank McDermott and K-9 "Hero", Hamden Police Department. Officer McDermott and K-9 Hero's outstanding achievements during 2000 included apprehensions of suspects wanted for; robbery, sexual assault, burglary, domestic assault, motor vehicle theft, felony narcotics possession, criminal mischief and weapons possession. The team also located several missing people including a suicidal person. They were also selected by their fellow Officer's as Hamden's Police Officer of the Year for 2000.

1999:Officer Gregory Williams and K-9 "Nero" ( New London Police Department )










Officer Gregory Williams and K-9 "Nero", New London Police Department.  Nero's efforts resulted in 13 felony apprehensions during his first year of service. In 1999 Nero engaged a subject and stayed engaged during an exchange of gunfire in which Officer Williams was shot in the forearm.  

1998:Officer Gregory Williams and K-9 "Nero ( New London Police Department )










Officer Gregory Williams and K-9 "Nero", New London Police Department.  Officer Williams and K9 "Nero" were selected for numerous felony apprehensions.

1997:Officer Alberto Higuera and K-9 "Erst" ( Newington Police Department )












Officer Alberto Higuera and K-9 "Erst", Newington Police Department.  Erst located and apprehended several dangerous felony suspects throughout the year and had multiple narcotic seizures resulting in arrests.

1996:Officer Jeffrey Angell and K-9 "Niko" ( Windsor Locks Police Department )










Officer Jeffrey Angell and K-9 "Niko", Windsor Locks Police Department.  Niko tracked and located a suicidal female who had fled after taking an overdose of pills.

1995:Trooper Todd Lynch and K-9 "Uriah" ( Connecticut State Police )












Trooper Todd Lynch and K-9 "Uriah", Connecticut State Police. Uriah sustained multiple stab wounds during the tracking and apprehension of an armed felony suspect.  Uriah recovered from his injuries and returned to duty.

1994:Officer William Proulx and K-9 "Bruno ( East Hartford Police Department )






Officer William Proulx and K-9 "Bruno", East Hartford Police Department.  Bruno distracted an armed assailant, allowing Officer Proulx to disarm the suspect, thus preventing the use of deadly force.

1993:Officer Raymond Humphrey and K-9 "Evo" ( East Windsor Police Department )











Officer Raymond Humphrey and K-9 "Evo", East Windsor Police Department.  Evo located 29 persons in his first year of service.  He successfully conducted a search & recovery of a loaded shotgun abandoned in a school yard.


1992:Officer Bruce Bertram and K-9 "Falk" ( Danbury Police Department )











Officer Bruce Bertram and K-9 "Falk", Danbury Police Department.  Falk sustained a serious gunshot wound to the neck while apprehending an armed felony suspect.  Falk recovered from his injuries and returned to duty.




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