Before a packed crowd of friends, family and colleagues, River Edge resident Jay Orsino along with _ Sgt. Curt Wilhelm and Officers Michael McGinty, Michael Varrecchia and Dennis Griffith were all honored for their dedication and heroic efforts on behalf of Bergen County by Mayor Sandy Moscaritolo and County Executive Kathleen Donovan on Monday evening. Additionally, the _welcomed the promotion of Officer Gary Faustini to the rank of sergeant.
On July 22, Orsino was one of two men that _ to rescue _82-yearold Elizabeth Moore of River Edge_ after she apparently hit the wrong pedal exiting a car wash and plunging the vehicle into the river. Spotless Auto Laundries employee John Goez of Teaneck was joined by Orsino in rescuing the woman as water flooded the sinking car.
He received a Good Samaritan Certification of Recognition by the River Edge Mayor and Council and a Certification of Heroism by Donovan.
"This is overwhelming but I appreciate it," Orsino said.
Monday night was also a momentous occasion for the River Edge Police Department which recognized the efforts of Sgt. Curt Wilhelm and Officers Michael McGinty and Michael Varrecchia in their week-long investigation into the _ and _.
"I am very proud of your hard work for your providing the highest level of security to the community you serve in investigating the Hudson City Savings robbery which led to an arrest and confession," Police Chief Thomas Cariddi said.
Each officer received a commendation for exceptional service for their work leading to the arrest of Darrel Johnson, 29, of Englewood. Darrel was charged with one count of robbery for allegedly entered the and presented a bank teller with a note which contained a specific demand for cash, and had indicated that he was armed with a weapon. He had fled the bank on foot towards Hackensack with an undisclosed amount of cash.
"This particular investigation is a real example of cooperation among law enforcement," Cariddi said. "Members of the Hackensack, Teaneck and Englewood Police departments along with the Bergen County Sheriff's Department and Bergen County Prosecutor's Office all assisted in contributing one piece of information that led from one step to another."
Officer Dennis Griffith was recognized by the State Attorney General's Division of Highway Safety for being responsible for one-third of all DUI arrests in the borough during 2011.
"All of Bergen County is proud of all the outstanding work you do," County Executive Kathleen Donovan said.
For many years, Officer Gary Faustini has grown his reputation within the department as being responsible, dependable and thorough in ever capacity. He will now have a new role to utilize his talents in after having been promoted to the rank of sergeant and fill the opening left by Sgt. William Haggis who recently retired.
"Officer Faustini is partially responsible for making sure things get done around here," Chief Cariddi said. "He serves as the property and evidence clerk, the computer compliance officer and OSHA safety officer."
He is also the commander of the department's honor guard since it was formed in 1998, is a former United States Marine and served in Vietnam. As part of his promotion, Faustini will now serve as one of four patrol squad supervisors.