BOSTON (WGGB) — Several of those involved in last year’s shootout on West Street in Chicopee are being honored for their bravery.
At a ceremony at the State House Friday morning, nine officers from the Chicopee Police Department, ten members of the Massachusetts State Police, and one civilian were recognized by the state’s Executive Office of Public Safety and Security for helping protect citizens in the neighborhood.
The twenty members involved in the Chicopee incident are among 54 first responders and 14 civilians being commended for their bravery and lifesaving acts performed during several different incidents.
Chicopee Police Chief Thomas Charette recalled the day.
“That day was a horrific day in the city of Chicopee and when a lot of people were running away from the gunfire, the officers of the Chicopee Police department were running toward that gunfire to accomplish a mission we had in front of us which was to attempt to rescue a wounded officer and evacuate civilians,” says Chief Charette.
Chicopee Patrolman Johnny Jusino was also on the scene.
“I got word from some of the officers about a trooper that was hit, myself and officer Benoit got together, went up there, and helped the trooper get out of there,” Jusino adds.
Chief Charette says both Chicopee Police and Massachusetts State Police have a lot to be proud of.
“Courage isn’t that you’re not afraid. Courage is how you handle your fear, and do what you’re supposed to do and that’s exactly what the members of the Chicopee Police department and Massachusetts State Police did that day,” says Chief Charette.
Among the State Troopers being honored in connection with the Chicopee shootout was Trooper John Vasquez who received the Medal of Honor.