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Posted on Mon, Apr 22, 2013 : 7:26 p.m.

U-M police honor officers and civilians at awards ceremony

By John Counts


U-M police officer of the year, Anthony Ricco, addresses the department at an award ceremony Monday morning.

John Counts |

The University of Michigan Police Department honored civilians, staff and police officers for their notable service at an award ceremony held Monday morning.

The highest honor, police officer of the year, went to Anthony Ricco, who also was recognized for his 10 years of service with U-M police.

Chief Joseph Piersante presented Ricco with the award, which was named in honor of Keith Curtis, an officer who died in January 2002 after a battle with leukemia.

"We won't forget the contributions Keith made to our campus family," Piersante said to the luncheon crowd that included Curtis' wife, daughter, brother and parents.

The police officer of the year, Piersante continued, "displays personal characteristics that sets them apart" that include leadership, integrity, respect, loyalty, commitment and dedication.

"I appreciate all the things that have been said of me and to be thought of in that manner," Ricco said after accepting the award, adding that he tries to pull his weight and not create work for others.

Dozens of others were awarded for their service during 14 incidents last year. The incidents ranged from medical crises to assaults.

U-M staff member Lawrence Skrdla and Ofc. Pete Pressly were honored for helping out when a university bus was stolen.

In the Darion Cole-Hickonbotton case, which involved a sexual assault and arson, Sgt. Jose Dorta and Ofcs. Kevin Harding and Margie Pillsbury were honored.

Among the other officers honored were: John-Mark Branch, Theo Chalogianis, Garry Veld, Thomas Cargill, Ryan Cavanaugh, Kevin Crowley, Milot Goci, Kevin Harding, David Hawkins, Kevin Lucas, Nanette Push, Joe Dunny, Mark West, Pete Pressly, Joe Dunny, Brent Carriveau, Sue Upton, Joe Anderson, Orlando Featherstone and Paula Williams.

From UMPD, Lt. Stacy Richmond, Sgt. Akin Bryant, Sgt. Christian Carelli and Sgt. Jason Forsberg also were given awards.

The police communication specialists honored included Scott Cook, Jessica Sciberras, Brian Jarvis and Steve Moss.

Others honored included Donald Herzog, Darnysus Jackson, Benjamin Pontiatowski, Jim Sweeton, Donna Maples and Harrison Silver.

Mike Pomorski was named professional of the year.

The ceremony ended with the swearing in of a new officer, Martin Morales.

John Counts covers cops and courts for He can be reached at or you can follow him on Twitter.



Tue, Apr 23, 2013 : 6:04 p.m.

Was there anyone who wasn't honored? Kind of like playing soccer.


Tue, Apr 23, 2013 : 1:06 p.m.

Police officers are civilians.


Thu, Apr 25, 2013 : 2:19 p.m.

Yes they are "civilians", but All Police Officers are SWORN IN.