Utica Post 229 Honors Top Cops

UTICA, April 5, 2012 -- Utica Post 229 American Legion declared two Utica cops as Police Officers of the Year, and presented an Award of Commendation to a third Utica Police Department officer, during the Post's annual Law and Order Awards Ceremony Thursday night, April 5.

Law and Order Chair Paul Wojcik made the presentations.

Officers of the Year are George DeAngelo and Mark Rahn, who confronted a homicide suspect shortly after the 12:30 a.m. crime last year. They were on patrol when the sound of gunshots brought them right to the shooter.

The Award of Commendation went to Sgt. Anthony Martino for integrating computers into local law enforcement and for his work in helping to catch child predators.

"We want these officers to receive the recognition they deserve, especially when they put their lives on the line," Wojcik said. "The community should be proud of the top-notch work of the Utica Police Department."

Police Chief Mark Williams noted that officers seldom come upon an armed suspect fleeing the scene of a homicide and take him into custody. Calling it a dangerous situation, he said Officers DeAngelo and Rahn exhibited bravery and professionalism. "They quickly exited their patrol car and ordered the man to drop the gun," Chief Williams said. "After a few tense moments, the man dropped the gun and while Officer DeAngelo provided cover, Officer Rahn was able to take the man into custody." The suspect, Marshall Jackson, was convicted and sentenced to 25 years to life for the murder last month, he noted. "The arrest, trial and conviction can be directly attributed to the heroic actions that night of Officers George DeAngleo and Mark Rahn," the chief said.

Chief Williams also noted that Sergeant Martino, a 19-year veteran of the department, has put Utica PD in the limelight as a specialist in computer forensics. Martino created and directs the regional digital forensics laboratory, the chief said. "The laboratory brings together law enforcement, academic and private partners to address the serious shortage of computer forensic capabilities in our region," he noted. "Serving federal, state and local agencies throughout central New York, this innovative laboratory concept has become a model for agencies throughout the country."

In 2003, Sergeant Martino founded the Central New York Computer Crime Coalition, and the Central New York Internet Crimes Against Children Task Force (ICAC). "The local ICAC task force has worked proactively to safeguard children by targeting persons that attempt to sexually exploit minors via the Internet," Chief Williams said. "These efforts have succeeded in cases such as the arrest of Flay Rood of Utica. After an online case was initiated by Tony, a lengthy investigation by multiple agencies and a prosecution in Oneida County and U.S. federal courts ensued. In 2011, Rood was sentenced to life in prison for sexually abusing multiple children both here and in Florida as well as producing child pornography."

Since 2004, the chief noted, Martino has been a deputized U.S. Marshal as a participant in the U.S. Secret Service electronic crime task force. "This collaborative agreement between the UPD and the Secret Service has brought the support of a premier federal law enforcement agency to Utica," Chief Williams said, while also allowing the Secret Service "to take advantage of the specialized technical skills that Tony possesses."

The awards ceremony followed a dinner attended by Legionnaires, auxiliary members, the families of the honorees, Chief Williams and other members of the Utica PD.

Top Cops
Chief Mark Williams, right, with Sgt. Anthony Martino, left, and Officer Mark Rahn. Officer George DeAngelo wasn't present for the ceremony due to illness.

 

More Photos

Mark Rahn
Officer Mark Rahn

George DeAngelo
Officer George DeAngelo

Anthony Martino
Sgt. Anthony Martino