HARRY E. NEAL AWARD: This award is named in honor of a former Assistant Chief of the Secret Service and Editor of the AFAUSSS Pipeline (Newsletter). The award is given to several law enforcement officers each year who have performed outstanding service to the community in the form of a heroic act or extraordinary investigation. Each officer receives a plaque and a check for $1000.00 from the Foundation of the Association of Former Agents of the U.S. Secret Service.
This program provides an opportunity for AFAUSSS to support the U.S. Secret Service by involving the District SAIC, RAIC, or RA in the presentation of the award. The award is generally presented where the officer is stationed with appropriate police officials and AFAUSSS members in attendance. On occasion, the award may be presented at the AFAUSSS national conference or other appropriate law enforcement gathering.
For a list of Harry E. Neal Awards Presented click here.
Harry E. Neal Awards Presented
Harry E. Neal Award: Officer Richard Donohue
Massachusetts Bay Transportation Authority (MBTA)Transit Police Department
Left to Right: Pet Cavicchia, SAIC Ricciardi, Officer Richard Donahue and wife, ?????, Director Pierson
On April 19, 2013, Officer Richard “Dick” Donohue responded to the Watertown, Massachusetts in order to provide assistance during an intense gun battle with Tamerlan Tsarnaey and Dzhokhar Tsarnaev, who were suspected of killing three innocent bystanders and wounding more than 170 at the Boston Marathon. Previously Officer Sean Collier, MIT Police, had been fatally shot during the incident. This encounter also resulted in the death of 26-year-old suspect Tamerlan Tsarnaev.
Knowing that this situation was extremely dangerous, Officer Donohue continued to respond. At great risk to his life and safety, Officer Donohue started to engage the suspects when he was immediately wounded. These initial actions of courage by Officer Donohue are an example of his professionalism and dedication to duty.
The Harry E. Neal Award was presented to Officer Donohue’s for his bravery in the face of dire and deadly circumstances, and for his courageous and inspiring fight to survive and recover.
Officer Richard Donohue is married and the father of a 7-month-old son. He has been a member of the MBTA Transit Police Department for three years. Officer Richard Donohue is a graduate of the Virginia Military Institute and served as an Officer in the United States Navy prior to serving on the MBTA Transit Police.
Harry E. Neal Award: Lieutenant William Ridge
Boston Police Department
Left to Right: Pet Cavicchia, SAIC Ricciardi, Lisa and Lt William Ridge, ?????, Director Pierson
Lt. Billy Ridge, Boston Police Department (BPD) Special Operations Division, has been an instrumental part of providing and coordinating motorcade and uniformed manpower support for every Secret Service protectee visiting the city of Boston, Massachusetts. Lt. Ridge has been the Special Operations Division point of contact within the Boston Police Department for the past 15 years and has never failed to provide the highest level of partnership and service.
In the face budgetary constraints and a reduced work force, Lt. Ridge was able to ensure that all Secret Service protectees were provided the appropriate level of motorcade and uniformed BPD support. This has been an outstanding effort due to the fact that the Boston Field Office continues to have an extremely active protective mission. This has included a National Special Security Event, 1 Presidential Candidate residence and a yearly average of approximately 50 protectee visits to the city of Boston.
Our partnership and collaboration with the Boston Police Department and Lt. Ridge’s commitment to support our mission helps ensure that all United States Secret Service protectees in the city of Boston receive the highest level of protection possible. Lt. Ridge’s professionalism and dedication to duty has had a positive impact on the safety and security of our protectees.
Harry E. Neal Award: Lt Billy Cederquist
Massachusetts State Police
Left to Right: Pet Cavicchia, SAIC Ricciardi, Debbie and Lt William Cederquist, Director Pierson
Lt. Billy Cederquist, Massachusetts State Police (MSP) Special Operations Division, has been an instrumental part of providing and coordinating Motorcade support for every Secret Service protectee visiting the Commonwealth of Massachusetts. Lt Cederquist has been the Special Operations Division point of contact within the Massachusetts State Police for the past 15 years and has never failed to provide the highest level of partnership and service.
In the face budgetary constraints and a reduced work force, Lt. Cederquist was able to ensure that all Secret Service protectees are provided the appropriate level of motorcade and uniformed MSP support. This has been an outstanding effort due to the fact that the Boston Field Office continues to have an extremely active protective mission. This has included a National Special Security Event, yearly Presidential vacation trips, 2 Presidential Candidate residences, and a yearly average of approximately 80 protectee visits to the Commonwealth.
Our partnership and collaboration with the Massachusetts State Police and Lt. Cederquist’s commitment to support our mission helps ensure that all United States Secret Service protectees in the Commonwealth of Massachusetts receive the highest level of protection possible. Lt. Cederquist’s professionalism and dedication to duty has had a positive impact on the safety and security of our protectees.
Harry Neal Award (awarded posthumously)
Officer Sean Collier
Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT) Police Department
Officer Collier had worked for the MIT Police for only a short time, however, had assisted the Secret Service with multiple protective visits to the MIT campus. Officer Collier has been described as deeply caring about his job, his friends and family, and anyone around him, even if he had just met them.
“Sean was one of these guys who really looked at police work as a calling,” said MIT Police Chief John DiFava. “He was born to be a police officer.”
On the evening of Thursday, April 18, 2013 MIT and all law enforcement suffered a tragedy, as Officer Sean Collier was shot and killed in his vehicle outside the Stata Center. This tragic incident was directly related to the Boston Marathon Bombing. He was only 27 years old.
Our partnership and collaboration with the MIT Police Department and Officer Collier’s commitment to support our mission has helped ensure that all United States Secret Service protectees, while visiting the Massachusetts Institute of Technology, receive the highest level of protection possible. Officer Collier’s professionalism and dedication to duty has had a positive impact on the safety and security of our protectees.
Harry E. Neal Award: Lieutenant Kevin O’Connor
Brown University Police Department
Left to Right: SAIC Ricciardi, Acting RAIC Brian Deck (PRV), Lt Kevin O’Connor (Brown University Police), his daughter, Col Mark Porter (Brown University Police)
The Providence Resident Office nominated Lt. Kevin O’Connor, Brown University Police, to be recognized with the Harry E. Neal Award. Lt. O’Connor has been a partner with the US Secret Service from the earliest part of his career, assisting in the protection of President Jimmy Carter and his daughter, Amy, when she attended Brown University in 1986.
Since then, he has partnered with the USSS security planning for three US Presidents, four foreign Presidents and several other USSS protectees. He has been the Brown University Police Department’s Special Operations Commander and has oversight responsibility for all dignitary and VIP operations. Lt. O’Connor is a true professional and is tremendously dedicated to the collaboration so critical to the U. S. Secret Service mission.
Harry E. Neal Award: Senior Trooper Hugh B. O'Donnell
Vermont State Police
Left to Right: SAIC Ricciardi, Pete Cavicchia, Trooper Hugh O’Donnell (Vermont State Police) accompanied by his wife and children
In recognition of his action taken during the early morning hours on June 10, 2007 in the town of Thetford, Vermont. Trooper O'Donnell was called out of his home to respond to a report of a domestic assault occurring at a residence a short distance away. His back up was approximately forty minutes out.
He quickly responded to the scene, and observed two young females standing outside the residence screaming, “He is killing my mother.” He heard the victim yelling and screaming from within the residence. Without hesitation and regard for his own safety, he entered the residence alone and confronted the accused in the act of assaulting the victim. He took control of the accused, which brought an end to the assault. He observed the victim to be badly burned and injured and immediately called for an ambulance. The victim was transported to Dartmouth Hitchcock Medical Center and then transferred to the Boston Burn Center for burns that consumed over eighty percent of her body caused by a toxic chemical.
He came in contact with this chemical while apprehending the accused, which resulted in him having to be decontaminated and evaluated by a doctor.
Trooper O’Donnell's quick actions that morning, despite life threatening conditions and no back up, resulted in the apprehension of a dangerous subject and ultimately saved the life of a woman who fell victim to a horrific assault. Without his courage and assistance, the victim could have died. He is a credit to the community and the Vermont State Police.
Harry E. Neal Award: Mike Vernon
Left to right: Chief Ted Lowery, Officer Mike Vernon (wheelchair) Dennis McCarthy and SAIC David Schreiber.
On January 28, 2013, the Harry Neal Award was presented to Officer Mike Vernon of the Florissant Missouri Police Department. The award ceremony took place at a Florissant City Council meeting in their city hall. Florissant Police Department Chief Tim Lowery and his command staff were present as well as many citizens and Officer Vernon's wife. St. Louis Field Office SAIC David Schreiber, ASAIC Kris Schmidt and ATSAIC Doug Roberts also took part in the ceremony. AFAUSSS Region Two Director Dennis McCarthy made the presentation of the Harry Neal Award and a check for $1,000 to Officer Vernon.
On May 28th, 2012 Officer Vernon, with the Florissant Police Department, was called to respond to a burglary. Officer Vernon arrived and conducted an area canvass for the suspect wanted for the burglary. Officer Vernon encountered the suspect who shot at Officer Vernon three times. Officer Vernon was wearing his protective vest but the rounds entered his shoulder and side, areas not covered by the vest. Although injured, Officer Vernon was able to give a detailed description of the suspect that enabled responding officers to locate and arrest the suspect. Officer Vernon was immediately transported to a local hospital for treatment.
After several surgeries Officer Vernon is currently paralyzed and confined to a wheel chair. Officer Vernon is also a military reservist who served two tours in Iraq in support of the Global War on Terrorism. He was recently awarded the St. Louis Purple Heart by area police agencies.
- 2012 - Detective Brad Smith
- 2011- Chief Deputy Kevin Roberts
- 2011 - Investigator Brian L. Mahaffey
- 2011 - Detective Beverly Russell
- 2011 - Lt. Nikki Renfroe
- 2011 - Criminal Investigator Wilson Cabrera
- 2010 - Sergeant Christopher Newsom
- 2010 - Officer Marvin Carraway, Jr. and Officer Jeffery Amos
- 2009- Sergeant Todd, Sr. and Munley
- 2009- Officer Wooten
- 2009- Officer Carter
- 2009- Sgt. Colon
- 2008- Officer Bedard
- 2008- Trooper Hemphill
- 2008- Officer Favela
- 2008- Officer Lozada