To the Editor:
This month's program was not the first recognition ceremony to honor Sandy Hook responders and it was never intended to be the last ceremony to acknowledge the many exceptional individuals and organizations who heeded the call. The department deeply regrets any confusion that may have occurred and sincerely apologizes for disappointment that personnel in allied fields may have experienced when they were not acknowledged.
Many state agencies including the Department of Emergency Services and Public Protection periodically host awards programs for their staff. Typically, these programs recognize attributes, contributions and accomplishments such as meritorious service and acts of bravery. Earlier this month, the Connecticut State Police held a special awards program primarily to acknowledge the efforts of its workforce who responded to the tragedy that unfolded at Sandy Hook Elementary School in December 2012, many of whom continued to serve in various capacities for months afterwards and that of others in the first responder community with whom they had worked closely.
The State Police's Sandy Hook awards program was developed in keeping with its staff recognition policy which starts with the submission of written nominations and culminates with consideration by a State Police Awards Committee. The committee received many nominations and considered them all. In the end, the committee identified approximately 300 individuals and several groups, primarily sworn personnel, for recognition for exceptional service.
The state police has tremendous respect for the important work that all first responders do every day. Your contributions matter. As quickly as it was pointed out that some organizations may have been overlooked, we doubled back to those communities to ensure that all of the actively involved agencies are identified and recognized for their service at Sandy Hook.
Dr Dora B. Schriro
Department of Emergency Services and Public Protection
1111 Country Club Road, Middletown July 18, 2014