An 11-year veteran of the New Canaan Police Department has been selected as the Lt. Stephen W. Wood Memorial 2023 Officer of the Year, officials say.
Officer Christopher Dewey, a patrol division member who serves as assistant executive officer of the department’s Special Response Team, is “an invaluable asset to our officers,” according to a press release issued by NCPD.
“His proactive utilization of these certifications, through the implementation of targeted training scenarios and exercises for our patrol officers, has significantly contributed to the enhancement of our department’s capabilities Officer Dewey consistently represents the department with dignity and respect, and takes an active role in our Honor Guard,” it said.
Dewey is a field training officer and certified instructor in firearms, according to the press release.
Created in 2014 and with Wood’s own son-in-law, Lt. Aaron LaTourette, as its inaugural recipient, the Officer of the Year Award honors and memorializes the late Wood “who was taken from us far too young,” the NCPD release said.
“Nomination and selection for this award is the result of exceptional work, integrity, and overall service to our town and department,” the press release said.
Dewey will receive the award at the department’s Annual Awards Ceremony in the spring.
Three others were nominated by their supervisors. Officers Owen Ochs, Annamaria Ceci and Giancarlo Vincenzi each embody “exemplary qualities,” according to NCPD.
Ochs, a member of the department since 2017 who is assigned to the patrol division, is a certified dispatcher, accident reconstructionist and field training officer.
“Officer Ochs is a highly motivated and proactive officer,” the department said. “His attention to detail and investigative skills led to the successful issuance of ten arrest warrants in 2023. Officer Ochs was the recipient of the 2022 Lt. Stephen W. Wood Officer of the Year Award.”
Ceci, an NCPD officer since 2018, served as the department’s Community Impact Officer in 2023.
“During her tenure as CIO, she built lasting relationships with our local businesses and was a positive presence in our downtown,” the press release said, citing Ceci’s citation. “Officer Ceci epitomizes community policing, organizing impactful events such as food drives, winter clothing drives, and, most recently she spearheaded the department’s ‘Giving Wall[ which provided 78 gifts to New Canaan children in need during the holiday season. In addition, Officer Ceci was instrumental in the growth of our department’s social media channels.”
Vincenzi, the third “commendable” nominee for the award, joined NCPD in 2019 in its patrol division, and is a member of the Special Response Team as well as a field training officer.
“He is very proactive while on patrol and has keen investigative skills,” the press release said. “He is a talented officer with a friendly and approachable demeanor.”
Together with Dewey, the three nominees make four of the 47 NCPD “who deserve our gratitude and praise for serving and protecting our town,” it said.