By Steve Jusseaume

Hampton Union, Tuesday, February 18, 2003

[The following article is courtesy of the Hampton Union and Seacoast Online.]

HAMPTON – Eleven Hampton police officers were honored at an in-house department ceremony last month, stemming from four separate incidents that occurred last year.

Letters of meritorious service, life saving awards, and letters of commendation were issued to officers at the Jan. 31 ceremony.

Officer William R. Bourque was cited for his response to a suicide call on July 30. According to police reports, Bourque arrived at Hampton Beach at 7 p.m. on July 30, and found a man 400 feet from shore, reportedly intoxicated.

The individual would not come out of the water. Bourque requested fire department assistance, but because of mechanical difficulties, a rescue boat was not available.

“Based on that information, officer Bourque removed his duty belt and entered the water … found (the individual) to be intoxicated and uncooperative. Officer Bourque was able to calm the man and bring him to shore without physical force,” Chief Bill Wrenn said in awarding Bourque a meritorious award.

“Your actions that day are examples of the high standards of conduct that we strive to attain and the high value we place on human life,” Wrenn said.

Officers Alan Wilson and Steven Tousignant were given meritorious awards for their actions on June 24, when they discovered a fire at the Moulton Hotel on the boulevard.

Upon discovering the fire, the officers pounded on the front door, alerting the manager. “The officers proceeded to initiate an orderly evacuation of the guests out of the hotel. The evacuation took place while the room above them was totally engulfed in flames,” Wrenn said of the incident.

A report of a newborn baby on Concord Avenue prompted quick police action on Aug. 25, and resulted in four officers being awarded life saving awards and commendations.

Officers Scott Bates, Franklin Knowles, William Cronin and Robert Sparkes Jr., were commended for their response to the incident, which involved a 15-year-old juvenile giving birth and leaving her infant in the back yard, behind a garage.

The officers were commended for their “investigation and assistance that helped to find the baby and resulted in saving a life.”

According to reports, Officer Bates cut away a piece of his boot lace and tied off the infant’s umbilical cord, and Cronin cleared the infant’s airway of water and mucous to allow it to breathe easier.

The fourth incident occurred on Aug. 29, when officers were dispatched to a Concord Avenue address on a report of a distraught female subject seated in a motor vehicle. According to police reports, the female “was observed bleeding from cuts on her arm. (The officers) noticed a plastic gas can between the seats with a paper wick hanging from the spout and a book of matches on the passenger seat.”

Officers Charles Karpenko, Joseph Galvin, Steven Henderson, John Donaldson and John Galvin responded to the scene, eventually talking the woman out of the car. The woman exited the vehicle, but then ran off toward the beach with a knife in her hand. The officers were able to wrestle the knife away and take her into custody.

The five officers were given meritorious service awards.

“Your unselfish dedication to our profession, the Hampton Police Department, and the town of Hampton has helped toward making this a safer and more wholesome community,” the awards read.