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What you need to know for 06/26/2017

Schenectady Officer of the Year named

Schenectady Officer of the Year named

Others honored at annual Valor Day Awards
Schenectady Officer of the Year named
Schenectady police officer Nicholas Contompasis receives the Officer of the Year award Tuesday.
Photographer: PETER R. BARBER

When Schenectady police officers Komieko and Takeo Mosher were called to the Summit Towers apartment complex for a domestic disturbance this past winter, the sister and brother responded quickly to find “a quiet scene with no one in sight,” Assistant Chief Jack Falvo Jr. said. 

“It would not have been unreasonable to determine that the involved parties were no longer in the area,” Falvo told a roomful of people at the GE Theater at Proctors for the department’s annual Valor Day Awards.  “However, Officers Komieko and Takeo Mosher took extra initiative. The officers decided to check the trash room of the apartment building, where they discovered a male in the process of raping a female.”

The suspect in the Dec. 26 incident was immediately taken into custody and the woman received medical attention and other services, Falvo said. 

“The diligence and thoroughness of these two officers is directly responsible for stopping a violent crime in process that may have gone undetected otherwise.”

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The Moshers received an Exemplary Service Citation for their work that day and were among many members of the police department recognized Tuesday night. 

The Officer of the Year award went to Officer Nicholas Contompasis, who patrols State Street on foot, always seems to be smiling and goes by “Officer Nick.”

“He is becoming a legend around downtown Schenectady,” Chief Eric Clifford said. “During my first eight months as chief, I’ve received feedback from businesses owners, visitors and city officials saying what a great job he’s doing.

“Nick is helping to define how community policing is done in Schenectady.” 

Clifford said Contompasis was quick to recognize his own commitment to community policing.

“Nick said to me one day in the parking lot, ‘You could go down in history as one of the best chiefs ever,” he said. ”It wasn’t the fact that he was pointing that out, but it was the fact that Nick was saying it to me. I respect the work that Nick does so much that for him to say those words to me really meant that I was on the right track.”

Mayor Gary McCarthy said that on his way into the ceremony, he was stopped on State Street by someone who complimented him on Contompasis’ work.

“I get the most comments about him downtown in terms of the work he does where he’s just nice to people,” the mayor said. “People he’s writing tickets for, or citing them, they smile or they thank him. You gotta write a book or put out a Youtube tutorial on the work you’re doing, Nick.”

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New to the ceremony this year, the department also honored three retiring police canines: Vert, Thor and Koenige.

“Our sincerest thanks to you for a job well done,” Lt. Ryan Macherone said. “Thank you for always watching our backs. God bless, get some rest — we literally owe you our lives.”

The dogs started barking after receiving the recognition.

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