The Irish American Police Officers Association (IAPOA) is pleased to announce that four Chelsea Police Department officers were awarded the IAPOA’s Meritorious Service Award for their 2019 role in the capture and arrest of a suspect in a violent crime.
IAPOA Vice President Brett Rand and past IAPOA Vice President Paul Upton travelled to the Chelsea Police Department on Oct. 7 to present the awards to Officer Bernard Grayson, Officer Edwin Santiago, Officer Mark O’Connor, and Sgt. Myles Coen.
Massachusetts State Trooper Timothy Benedetto Jr. will also be honored for his role in the incident later this month.
“These courageous law enforcement officers responded quickly to a truly horrific crime, and they responded with diligence, persistence and professionalism that enabled them to locate and arrest a suspect and bring some measure of comfort to a terribly stricken victim,” said IAPOA Vice President Rand. “These officers are to be commended for their dedication, professionalism and performance under pressure.”
On April 19, 2019, Chelsea Police were dispatched to a report of a breaking and entering at a residence in Chelsea, where a female resident was kidnapped and sexually assaulted before the suspect fled on foot.
Officer Mark O’Connor responded to the residence and provided a suspect description and other information while other Chelsea units began a search for the suspect. Within minutes, Sergeant Myles Coen spotted the suspect behind an old factory building.
Officers Bernard Grayson and Edwin Santiago converged on the area and began
to chase the suspect. Upon seeing the officers, the suspect jumped into the Mystic River and began to swim away to avoid capture.
Within a short distance, State Police Trooper Timothy Benedetto Jr. was able to pull the suspect out of the river assisted by the Chelsea officers, who placed him under arrest.
Chelsea Police Chief Brian Kyes, who attended the award presentation, praised the officers for a quick arrest of this violent suspect. Chief Kyes said the incident was the most violent of its kind that he has seen in his long career with Chelsea Police, and also praised Trooper Benedetto.
Trooper Benedetto will receive an award later this month at Massachusetts State Police Headquarters in Framingham.
The IAPOA usually holds an annual awards dinner for all honorees, but has been unable to do so for the past two years due to the COVID-19 pandemic.
This year the IAPOA is recognizing honorees by travelling to meet them and present the awards individually. The IAPOA is hopeful they will be able to host an in-person dinner and awards ceremony again next year.
Individuals and organizations can be nominated for awards in six categories:
- Life saving
- Meritorious service
- Community Service
- Humanitarian Acts
The IAPOA also recognizes the sacrifice made in line of duty deaths with a Medal of Honor presented posthumously to the families of fallen officers.
The IAPOA is a designated 501(c)(3) charitable organization. For further information or to become a member, please visit www.irishamericanpolice.org.