Officer Jason Perkins was honored recently with the 2011 Officer of the Year Award, presented by the Missouri Police Chiefs Association at a recent ceremony held in Jefferson City. Also, the St. Louis Regional Traffic Safety Council honored Officer Tony Kristo with the 2011 Traffic Safety Officer of the Year Award at their holiday awards luncheon.
Every year, the Missouri Police Chiefs Association presents the Officer of the Year Award to a very deserving Missouri law enforcement officer. This honor is bestowed on a police officer who performs an act of heroism in the face of personal injury and risk of life, while showing not only coverage but sound judgment as well. Hazelwood Chief of Police Carl Wolf nominated Officer Perkins for the award since he is the Chief law enforcement officer having jurisdiction where the heroic act occurred.
Officer Perkins was nominated for an incident that occurred on June 23, 2011, when he placed his own life in jeopardy while on-duty in order to apprehend a dangerous suspect. While patrolling the 8400 block of Latty Avenue in Hazelwood around 11 p.m. that night, he heard what appeared to be multiple gun shots nearby and went to investigate.
Officer Perkins saw a suspicious individual wearing a black jacket and black jeans walking along the street just inside the city limits. He exited his squad car and identified himself as a police officer. The suspect turned to face him, pulled out a hand gun and began firing rounds at Perkins. He ducked behind his vehicle and returned fire using his department issued service weapon.
A chase pursued on foot between Officer Perkins and the suspect. He found the suspect climbing a fence at 8318 Sagewood. Since the suspect was not holding a weapon, Officer Perkins holstered his weapon and drew his Taser. He then ordered the suspect off the fence. The suspect dropped to the ground and started running towards him. Officer Perkins fired his Taser which struck and stunned the suspect. This enabled him to gain control of the suspect at which time he notified dispatch to send an ambulance to his location.
During the interrogation, it was determined that the suspect had just been involved in a shooting in the City of Berkeley. A six-member awards committee was formed within the department to review Officer Perkin’s handling of the situation. They all agreed to recommend Officer Perkins for the department’s Distinguished Service Citation for Valor Award which was presented to him at a City Council meeting.
At a recent holiday awards luncheon held by the St. Louis Regional Traffic Safety Council, Officer Tony Kristo was presented with the 2011 Traffic Safety Officer of the Year Award. He is a nine-year HPD veteran who has been assigned to the Traffic Unit since its inception in August 2005. Officer Kristo serves many functions as a police motorcycle operator, crash reconstructionist, and one of the department’s two Breath Alcohol Type II Permit Holders. He also performs a multitude of other duties for the department, including the Red Light Camera program where he reviewed 2,578 traffic violations.
In 2010, Officer Kristo conducted 917 traffic stops, 361 radar assignments, and 107 stop sign watches. He issued 1,495 traffic citations, which included 598 speeding tickets and 251 seat belt violation tickets. Additionally, Officer Kristo investigated 7 non-injury crashes, 15 injury crashes, 24 “leaving the scene” crashes, and 2 fatality crashes.
Officer Mike Monticelli of the HPD was also nominated for the Traffic Safety Officer of the Year Award and recognized at the St. Louis Regional Traffic Safety Council’s event. He is a 16-year HPD veteran assigned to the Traffic Unit. One of his most noteworthy accomplishments is being a supervisor for Hazelwood’s Police Explorers Post #9217 and training the group to win First Place in the “Traffic Stop” competition at the 2010 National Enforcement Exploring Conference held in Atlanta, Ga. He also performs at an exemplary level in traffic enforcement as well as other duties assigned to him such as reviewing 1,749 red light camera violations.
In 2010, Officer Monticelli conducted 1,100 traffic stops, 263 radar assignments, and 105 stop sign watches. He also issued 1,749 traffic citations, which included 726 speeding tickets and 170 seat belt violation tickets. Additionally, Officer Monticelli investigated 4 non-injury crashes, 12 injury crashes, 11 “leaving the scene” crashes, and 2 fatality crashes.
Sgt. Norman Mars of the Hazelwood Police Department was recognized as well for serving as Secretary of the Greater St. Louis Regional Traffic Safety Council. He resigned voluntarily in order to devote more time to his duties as a newly promoted sergeant in the department.
PHOTO A– Cpl. Scott Barthelmass, president of the St. Louis Regional Traffic Safety Council Board of Directors, presents Officer Mike Monticelli with a plaque honoring him as a nominee of this year’s Traffic Safety Officer of the Year Award.
PHOTO B– Cpl. Scott Barthelmass, president of the St. Louis Regional Traffic Safety Council Board of Directors, presents Sgt. Norman Mars with a plaque showing their appreciation for his dedicated service as Secretary of the Board. Mars resigned voluntarily in order to devote more time to his duties as a newly promoted sergeant in the department.