Post Honors Top Cops for Nabbing School Gun Suspect

UTICA, May 2, 2013 – Utica Post 229 American Legion honored two Utica cops as Police Officers of the Year for apprehending a person who appeared to have a handgun at a school basketball game, Post Commander Chris Urban announced at the Post membership meeting Thursday, May 2.

Urban introduced Police Chief Mark Williams and Mayor Robert Palmieri, and together they presented the awards to Officers of the Year Kerry Carville and Michael Curley.

Mayor Palmieri, Chief Williams, Capt Mickle
Mayor Robert Palmieri, Chief Mark Williams and Capt. David Mickle

Carville was off-duty attending the game at Donovan Middle School in January when she spotted an individual leaving the game carrying a black handgun, Chief Williams noted. He said Carville alerted Curley, who was working as a School Resource Officer, drew her handgun, ran towards the male suspect, and yelled, "Police, gun, gun, gun."  The suspect ran outside with both officers in pursuit, ignoring commands to drop his gun and in fact pointing it at Carville.

"At this point," Chief Williams noted, "Officer Carville felt she was going to be shot but had to consciously evaluate the risk and safety to others before engaging the suspect at this public event. She side-stepped and sought cover behind a small tree, all the while she and Officer Curley continued yelling commands to the suspect to drop the gun. The suspect finally dropped the gun and was taken in to custody." The suspect's gun turned out to be a BB gun that "was identical in size and shape to an actual Colt Officer’s Model 1911 .45 Caliber handgun," Williams said.

"Given the manner in which it was carried and displayed, it was impossible for Officer Carville and Officer Curley to know it was not a deadly weapon," Williams said. "The calm professionalism displayed by Officers Carville and Curley in what could have been a highly dangerous incident with potentially tragic consequences prevented that very useless tragedy from occurring. Their quick response to the threat of an apparent deadly weapon in a crowded public area at Donovan Middle School reflects greatly upon their character and dedication to the safety of our community above their own safety. Their willingness to place themselves in harm's way reflects great credit upon themselves and upon the Utica Police Department.  Keep in mind Officer Carville was off duty, had no ballistic vest, nor police radio. She put duty before personal safety in a potentially dangerous situation, in an era where active shooter scenarios have the police on constant alert, even while off duty. "

OFFICER KERRY CARVILLE joined the department in October 2001. Upon graduating from the Mohawk Valley Police Academy she was assigned to the Uniform Patrol Division. In September of 2006 Officer Carville was assigned to the Oneida County Drug Task force as an investigator. While there she was part of an investigative team responsible for major drug investigations. Carville is now assigned as a day shift patrol officer, assigned to the Cornhill section of Utica. She has specialized training in the field of employee assistance and is UPD’s departmental liaison for its Employee Assistance Plan. Carville has received numerous departmental commendations to include one unit citation, two for exceptional service and six for honorable service.

OFFICER MICHAEL CURLEY joined the department in June 2006. Upon graduating from the Mohawk Valley Police Academy he was assigned to the Uniform Patrol Division. In April of 2009 Officer Curley was assigned to the Tactical Unit, now known as the Special Operations Unit. He made numerous felony level arrests especially in the field of narcotics and weapons. He is a School Resource Officer and works part time at Donovan Middle School. Curley has been the recipient of numerous departmental commendations which include one for exceptional service and nine for honorable service. He holds a bachelor’s degree.

The awards ceremony followed a dinner attended by Legionnaires, auxiliary members, and the families of the honorees.

Urban noted that Post 229 would submit the names of the officers for the County level award.

Post 229 honors top firefighters every fall and top cops in the spring.

More Photos

Officers Carville and Curley
Officers of the Year
Kerry Carville & Michael Curley