01/26/13 2:04pm
01/26/2013 2:04 PM
CARRIE MILLER PHOTO  |  Southold police officer Jacob Bogdoen receives an Officer of the Year award, which was presented by chief Martin Flatley.

CARRIE MILLER PHOTO | Southold police officer Jacob Bodgen receives an Officer of the Year award, which was presented by chief Martin Flatley.

While most people would run out of a smoke-filled house on fire, a group of Southold Police officers were running in, one pushing his limits to bring a former police chief to safety.

Southold police officer Jacob Bodgen, 25, of Orient Point, was honored as the department’s Officer of the Year after pulling Bob Walden, former Chief of Police of Greenport Village, from his burning home in September.

Southold Police Chief Martin Flatley presented officer Bodgen the award at the Southampton Town Kiwanis Club’s 43rd Annual Police Awards Ceremony Saturday night. Southold Town Supervisor Scott Russell was also present to show his support.

At about 2:15 a.m. on Sept. 2, Southold Police dispatch center received word of a burning house. Within a minute of the call officer Bogden, along with officers Frank Lyburd, Frank Rogers, Robert Bopp, and Robert Hasse, arrived at the location — one they were all familiar with, officer Bogden said.

The former chief’s home.

“We need to get him out,” officer Bogden said. It was the only thing running through his mind.

As the officers made their way up a stairwell, they were “immediately turned back by the intense smoke,” Chief Flatley said.

“The smoke was very overwhelming but I ran straight upstairs and I was able to find him,” officer Bogden said. “At first I couldn’t see anything, but by putting on my flashlight I was able to see him on the ground.”

Mr. Walden also suffered from advanced Alzheimer’s disease, complicating his efforts.

Officer Bogden was able to drag Mr. Walden to the top of the stairs where the other officers were. Together they carried the former chief from the home, Chief Flatley said.

“I’m a firefighter,” officer Bogden said. “So that helps, and adrenaline kind of took over.”

Officer Bogden said he became an officer to help people, and that saving Mr. Walden was “rewarding.”

“I’m very happy that the department chose me,” he said. “Also, it was a team effort. All the other officers helped tremendously.”

Chief Flatley also gave a special thanks to Sergeant Edward Cassidy, who was named Suffolk County Court Officer of the Year for helping a Southold officer in distress.

The Southold officer was by himself, trying to subdue a suspect in the woods. The suspect went after the officer’s gun, Chief Flatley said.

“The guy was definitely going after our officer’s gun, and his help made the difference,” Chief Flatley said. “He was there and came out and supported him, and if he didn’t support him who knows what would have happened.”

Sgt. Cassidy, who has been on the force for 25 years, was in the area and saved the officer in distress.

“He yelled, ‘He’s got my gun,” said Sgt. Cassidy.  “I was scared for the cops life and my own. I took immediate action to prevent a tragedy from happening.”

Southold police stood up to applaud as Sgt. Cassidy received his award, presented by Suffolk County Court Chief Thomas Honey.

“It’s a great honor,” Sgt. Cassidy said.

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01/23/12 5:00pm
01/23/2012 5:00 PM

TIM GANNON PHOTO | Supervisor Scott Russell congratulates Officer Steven Zuhoski on his being named officer of the year as Police Chief Martin Flatley looks on.

Southold police officer Steven Zuhoski has been honored as Southold’s police officer of the year for his role in initiating an investigation into the illegal sale of prescription drugs.
Officer Zuhoski, a 15-year member of the department, was recognized for his work during the 42nd annual police awards ceremony held by the Southampton Town Kiwanis Club Friday night at Vineyard Caterers in Aquebogue.
Officer Zuhoski, who was a Marine before joining the Southold police force, is consistently among the department’s leaders in total arrests and specifically driving while intoxicated charges said Chief Martin Flatley.
“Tonight he is being cited for self-initiating an investigation into the illegal dispensing of prescription drug medications by pharmacists in Eastern Suffolk,” Chief Flatley said.
“In May of this past year, Officer Zuhoski developed information that a pharmacist was dispensing prescription medications to virtually anyone who would walk into the street without a prescription for cash,” said the chief.
Officer Zuhoski was able to gain information about the ongoing sale of hydrocodone pills and other controlled substances for cash from the pharmacy, said the chief.That led to an investigation involving the county police narcotics bureau and the U.S. District Attorney in which “a successful conclusion was attained,” the chief said.
The pharmacist in question, whom he did not identify, will either surrender his license to practice or face criminal charges, said Mr. Flatley, adding that it appears the man will surrender his licenses.