AUGUSTA, Maine — Ordinary people who performed extraordinary acts over the past year as well as some of Maine’s top cops were recognized Monday during the 2010 Maine State Police Awards Ceremony.
The ceremony, which drew law enforcement officers, civilian honorees and family and friends from around the state, packed the Florian Room at the state police’s Augusta headquarters to standing room only status.
Among the award recipients were the following people:
• Amanda Fitz of Corinna, Special Award of Commendation.
Fitz was working as a server at the Newport Irving Big Stop last October when she spotted fugitive Perley Goodrich Jr.
Goodrich had been the focus of a massive four-day police manhunt when he entered the Newport truck stop and ordered coffee. Fitz thought he looked like the man police were seeking in connection with the shooting death of the suspect’s father, Perley Goodrich Sr., 76, and the brutal assault of his mother, Sandra Goodrich, 64, in the family’s home on Rutland Road in Newport.
Fitz said Monday that she wasn’t sure at first that the man in the restaurant was the one shown in a photograph published in the Bangor Daily News the day before. After consulting a cook, a cashier and a manager, the group agreed not to take a chance and called Newport police, who arrested Goodrich.
Goodrich currently is being held without bail. In February, he pleaded not guilty and not criminally responsible by reason of insanity to intentional or knowing murder, depraved indifference murder, and aggravated assault. Also in February, a Penobscot County Superior Court justice ordered that Goodrich undergo a psychological evaluation to determine his state of mind when the alleged crime occurred.
• Josh Goodine of Baileyville and David Moffatt of Auburn, state police award for bravery.
Goodine and Moffatt are credited with saving the lives of two teenage girls who were trapped inside a burning Mazda Miata that crashed into a tree in May of last year. A third girl was able to crawl out of the wreckage on her own.
The 16-year-old driver, Nicholas White of Calais, was trapped inside the vehicle and died at the scene.
The two men happened upon the crash while traveling in opposite directions and stopped to help, said state police Lt. Christopher J. Coleman, who served as master of ceremonies.
“David and Josh cut through the roof of the convertible sports car and helped the three frightened teenagers get out. They managed to get the girls out of the sports car which was fully engulfed in flames,” Coleman said. “This was a tragic event [because] one man died, however, because of the selflessness of these two men, three young women are alive today.”
Two of the girls — Tessa Claridge of Calais and Shannon Scarlett of Bangor — were in the audience to cheer for their heroes. The third girl, Angelica Underhill of Calais, did not attend.
• Trooper Michael Johnston, 2009 Trooper of the Year.
Johnston, who is currently assigned to Troop E in Orono, received the Trooper of the Year award for general excellence, with his wife, Betsey, and 4-year-old daughter Annabelle by his side.
“I never set out to win this award. I don’t think anybody does,” he said. “I still feel this responsibility to carry on the kind of tradition and legacy that has been laid down before me,” Johnston said.
“And I love being a trooper,” he said. “A trooper is not what I do, it’s who I am. It defines me as a man, as a husband, as a father. I wouldn’t have it any other way. I just love being part of the Maine State Police.”
• Retired Maj. Charles Love, 2010 Legendary Trooper Award.
Love, who retired in 2003, joined the state police in 1970 in Somerset County, where he quickly earned a reputation as a “hard-working and compassionate trooper,” according to retired Lt. Ralph Pinkham, the 2005 Legendary Trooper.
Over the decades that followed, Love worked his way up the ranks to detective corporal, sergeant, patrol supervisor, supervisor of the state police’s Criminal Investigation Division, captain and then major, in charge of eight field crews and three CID units. His career took him to Aroostook and Washington counties and to Augusta, where the state police are headquartered.
Love also played a key role in developing the state police’s crime lab and worked to improve the lives of abused women and children in a variety of statewide, regional and national capacities.
“I’m truly honored and deeply appreciative and very much humbled to be invited to the podium here today,” Love said Monday. “I never imagined that I would ever be considered for this award. “… And although I truly believe that there are people more deserving than me for this award, none of them care more for the Maine State Police than I did, and none of them were more proud of wearing the French blue.”
Other recipients were:
• Special Awards of Commendation — Trooper Dan Worcester, Deputy Attorney General Bill Stokes, Assistant Attorney General Lara Nomani, forensic scientist Alicia Wilcox, forensic chemist Brandi Caron, DNA forensic analyst Cathy MacMillan and Detective Jason Andrews, Mark Rabon.
• Colonel’s Award — Trooper Robert Burke and the New England School of Communications, Doug and Elsie Hillman and their daughter, Sheila Woodman, Trooper Aaron Turcotte.
• Meritorious Service —Troopers Ben Smith and Anthony Baker, Sgt. Scott Ireland and Detective Dave Preble.
• Bravery — Trooper Corey Smith; Michael Grant.
National awards presented Monday were: the VFW National Award for Maine, Detective Jason Andrews; the U.S. Marshal’s Service’s Forensic Award, Dawn Ego.