Newspaper article The Record (Bergen County, NJ)

80 Paterson Cops Honored for Jobs Well Done

Newspaper article The Record (Bergen County, NJ)

80 Paterson Cops Honored for Jobs Well Done

Article excerpt

PATERSON -- In February, Detective Salvatore Macolino, with a team of police officers, helped seize three loaded guns and more than $11,000 in heroin during a bust on Rosa Parks Boulevard.

In April, he joined in a raid that led to the discovery of a dog- fighting ring on Van Blarcom Street and the rescue of 18 animals.

In December, Macolino identified a suspect in a killing while watching live video from a city surveillance camera, a discovery that led to the man's arrest.

For these and other activities, Macolino was the most decorated Paterson officer in 2014, with 13 commendations, two Medals of Merit and one Chief's Medal awarded during a ceremony at Passaic County Community College on Wednesday night that honored more than 80 Paterson law enforcement officers.

Macolino, who was working on a narcotics investigation that led to seven arrests that night, couldn't make the awards ceremony.

Mayor Joey Torres and Police Director Jerry Speziale praised the officers for overcoming obstacles to do their work -- a "calling," said Speziale, "that transcends the boundaries of any material reward or gain."

The Medal of Honor, the department's top award, was presented to Officer Muhammed Karasekreter.

The officer was heading home after his shift in the early morning of New Year's Day 2014 when he saw a crowd gathered around a fight outside a Main Street bar. As he tried to disperse the crowd, Karasekreter saw a man who appeared to be loading a handgun, police officials said. He momentarily lost sight of the man in the crowd, then saw him emerge, pointing the weapon at him. The man began firing.

Karasekreter fired back, wounding the suspect, Elijah Morales, 28, who was charged with attempted murder, police reports said. As he approached the wounded man, people in the crowd threw bags of garbage at Karasekreter, police said.

Medal of Valor recipients were Detective Russell Curving, Officer James DiPiazza, Detective Sgt. …

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