BRIDGEPORT, Conn. – Three Bridgeport police officers were given the department's first merit awards for making “exceptional” arrests of felons who posed a danger to the community.
The Merit Award for Excellent Arrest was presented on Tuesday, Oct. 17, by Police Chief AJ Perez with the Board of Police Commissioners.
The officers who received the Excellent Arrest Awards were Officer Anthony Caiazzo, Sgt. Trevor Niestemski and Officer Douglas Bepko.
This was the first award ceremony under a new procedure that will award officers for their accomplishments basis.
"The Merit Award for Excellent Arrest may be awarded to any sworn member of the Department who makes an exceptional arrest of a felon who is a danger to the community, using diligence and professionalism in the performance of his duty," said a statement from the department. The award consists of a citation bar and a copy of the citation.
Here are the awards:
Police Officer Bepko
On Aug. 10, Bepko along with other VCI officers learned that a red Kia was in the area of the death memorial for Ryan Hernandez at Park Avenue and Olive Street. Further information revealed that this Kia was known to possibly have firearms inside.
The Kia was spotted by Bepko on Park Avenue, and he was able to conduct a stop for a motor vehicle violation. Bepko then seized a loaded 9mm firearm, 20 bags of crack cocaine (2.7 grams) and 12 folds of heroin (2.8 grams). All people who were arrested were known to VCI officers as possible gang members.
Sgt. Trevor Niestemski
On June 12, Niestemski was in the area of Reservoir Avenue and Moffitt Street when he saw a vehicle that was wanted for a robbery the day before. He was able to conduct a motor vehicle stop in the suspect’s driveway. Further investigation revealed a loaded .32-caliber firearm with an obliterated serial number. Niestemski also located evidence from the robbery the day before.
Officer Anthony Caiazzo
On Aug. 8, Caiazzo was in the area of the Charles Greene Homes Housing Complex. He conducted a motor vehicle stop and seized a loaded .357 Magnum, 209 folds of heroin (2.5 grams), 0.5 grams of cocaine, 15 Ecstasy pills, 28 grams of marijuana and $482 in cash. Further investigation revealed the suspect was a convicted felon.
Photo identifications: From left: Police Commissioner Thomas Lyons, Police Commissioner Vice Chair Daniel Roach, Officer Anthony Caiazzo, Sgt. Trevor Niestemski, Police Commissioner Valerie Quarles, Officer Douglas Bepko, Police Commissioner Hector Diaz and Police Commissioner Anna Cruz.
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