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Officers move up ranks in Groton

By Deborah Straszheim

Publication: The Day

Published December 07. 2013 4:00AM
One receives life-saving award for helping to talk suicidal man off Mystic River Bridge

Groton - The Groton Town Police Department on Friday promoted four officers and a sergeant, including a recipient of a life-saving award for crisis negotiation.

Sgt. Brian Dawson was promoted to lieutenant; Officer William Wolfe was promoted to sergeant; and officers Derek Robertson and Lauren Fippinger were promoted to youth investigators in the special services division. About 50 attended the ceremony in the Town Hall Annex.

Fippinger, who was at a training session and was unable to attend the Friday ceremony, was on duty on May 22, 2012, when a man climbed a span of the Mystic River Bridge and threatened to jump. She and another officer talked to him for an hour before he agreed to come down.

Those promoted said they look forward to working in their new roles.

"I just want to provide sound leadership for the young men and women who are coming up through the ranks," Wolfe said. "Be a mentor."

"My career at the town has been amazing," Dawson said.

The town hired him in 2000. A Marine Corps veteran, he earned a bachelor's degree from the University of Connecticut in 2005 and instructs others in offensive and defensive techniques.

Dawson also is firearms instructor for the department. He has served as a liaison to the U.S. Navy, is a member of the dive team, and is a certified mountain bike officer, a motorcycle officer and a crisis negotiator. He was promoted to sergeant last year.

Wolfe is a 12-year veteran of the Marine Corps, a certified K-9 handler and a community policing officer.

He's been honored multiple times, has five commendations from Mothers Against Drunk Driving and also received the Medal of Honor for bravery.

Wolfe conducts background checks for town police and has received anti-terrorism and drug law enforcement training.

Robertson was hired in 2002 and has served as a community policing officer and networking officer at the Poquonnock Bridge police substation.

He provides field training for the department.

Fippinger has a bachelor's degree from Charter Oak State College, is a crisis negotiator and earned the "life-saving award" from Stonington Police Department for her work.

Youth investigators serve in multiple roles. They teach the Drug Abuse Resistance Education program and investigate specific crimes, such as those committed against the elderly.

d.straszheim@theday.com

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