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Citizens recognized for service by Police Department

Date: 10/26/2011

Oct. 26, 2011

By G. Michael Dobbs

Managing Editor

HOLYOKE — The life-saving actions of three people in Holyoke were recognized last week with the presentation of the Police Department’s Citizenship Award in the mayor’s office.

Police Chief James Neiswanger said Michael Glasheen, James Poreda and Emery Pares “went above and beyond the call of duty.”

Pares was nominated by Lt. Denise Duguay who wrote to the chief, “As you are aware on July 5, 2001, Ms. Pares saved the life of a 14 year-old female who was about to jump off a bridge overpass on Route 91. Despite the fact that Mr. Pares did not know the teenager, Ms. Pares was able to persuade her not to jump and to come to the Holyoke Police Department to speak to me instead, where we were able to provide her with the services she needed.

“It should be noted that probably hundreds of other vehicles drove by the victim and did not stop. Ms. Pares was not only observant enough to notice that something was terribly amiss, but also took the initiative to stop and speak to the girl, persuading her not to jump and thereby saving her life. Ms. Pares’ selfless act saved the life of a young individual and I feel strongly that she should be recognized for this heroic act.”

Officer James Bartolomei nominated Glasheen and Poreda and wrote, “On July 26, 2011, at approximately 11:30 a.m., Mr. Michael Glasheen and Mr. James Poreda were working for the Water Department at the intersection of Beech and Essex streets. Just south of them on Beech Street at Cabot [Street] a motor vehicle ran a red light and t-boned a motor vehicle traveling north on Beech Street. The motor vehicle traveling on Beech Street was spun around and then flipped over, pinning the operator Mr. Raymond Devalle under it.

“There were people at the scene trying to help the child that was also in the rolled over vehicle. The motor vehicle was moving and they felt it best way to get Mr. Devalle out from under it. They lifted the Geo Tracker and were able to get Mr. Devalle out from under it Just as I was arriving on the scene. This all took place in under two minutes. Their quick thinking more than likely prevented Mr. Devalle from sustaining additional injuries in the crash. It is for this reason that I believe that both Mr. Poreda and Mr. Glasheen should be awarded for their quick thinking and heroic behavior.”

Neiswanger explained that both officers brought the incidents to his attention and the citizenship award is a way for him to “recognize heroic actions.”

“I want to reward people for their good work,” the chief added. “It’s a two-way street and we are helping each other. I’m thankful for having citizens like this in my community because the police can’t do it all.”

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