DEEP recognizes environmental conservation officers

The state Department of Energy and Environmental Protection on Wednesday recognized several of its Environmental Conservation Police Officers for their exemplary work while protecting Connecticut’s citizens and the environment, including officers dispatched to incidents in local towns last year.

“Those we are honoring are part of an outstanding law enforcement tradition that dates back more than a century,” DEEP Commissioner Robert Klee said in a news release. “Our officers play a unique role by performing traditional law enforcement duties as well as enforcement of the state’s fish and wildlife laws, investigation of boating accidents, handling of exotic species, and conducting search and rescue operations.”

Among those receiving awards were Sgt. Eric Lundin and officers Jeffrey Bruno and Liam O’Brien, who were involved in an incident on April 8, 2013, in which Old Saybrook police were chasing a car occupied by two suspects from a robbery. The pursuit entered into Westbrook. After both state police and the suspects’ vehicle crashed, an armed standoff occurred. The three EnCon officers assisted the police, which resulted in the two armed suspects being shot. They were taken into custody, received medical treatment at the scene and were taken to area hospitals. Lundin, Bruno and O’Brien all received unit citations for their actions. The three also received medals for meritorious service for their response to an individual who threatened to poison the waters in Chatfield Hollow State Park in Killingworth who also sent threatening emails to the officers. The suspected was arrested and charged with numerous crimes including making terrorist threats.

Officer Scott Arsenault received the Shikar-Safari Officer of the Year Award. An EnCon officer since 2000, one of the incidents he responded to last year was a threatening complaint at Hopeville Pond State Park in Griswold. His investigation led to the arrest of a juvenile for breach of peace and threatening. He also responded to a suicidal man at Dawley Pond in Voluntown, locating the man and his vehicle and having him safely transported to The William W. Backus Hospital in Norwich. Also last fall, he responded to a report that someone was trespassing and illegally discharging a firearm. After a foot chase of the suspect, Arsenault caught the intoxicated man, who had a loaded gun and initially refused to surrender the weapon. The suspect was safely taken into custody.


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