For Immediate Release
Wednesday, Nov. 19, 2014
Contact: Sergeant Olivia Silva, PIO
Office: 978-774-1213 ext. 134
Contact: John Guilfoil
Danvers Police Officers Receive George Hanna Medal of Valor for Saving the Lives of Fellow Officers
Medals Awarded During Ceremony at the Massachusetts State House on Wednesday
DANVERS — Police Chief Neil F. Ouellette is proud to announce that two Danvers Police officers received the George Hanna Medal of Valor at the Massachusetts State House, on Wednesday, November 19, 2014, for their actions last year, which saved the lives of their fellow officers.
Sergeant Peter Shabowich and Officer Justin Ellenton each received the medal for their quick thinking on August 23, 2013, when an armed suspect was attempting to stab Sergeant Paul Stone. The suspect, who was wanted on serious felony warrants, and had just been involved in an attempted armed robbery of a neighbor, rushed toward officers in a menacing manner, with a knife. The officers took immediate, difficult action, relying on their training, to save the life of Sergeant Paul Stone and several other officers who were in jeopardy.
In the words of Sergeant Paul Stone: “Officers Shabowich and Ellenton saved my life.”
This incident rapidly unfolded into a life-threatening encounter for all of the police personnel involved. Officers Shabowich, Ellenton, Dana Martin, Kevin Wood and State Trooper Dale Jenkins Jr, under the direction of Sergeant Paul Stone, were placed in a no-win situation, which resulted in taking a young man’s life.
“As police officers, we take no joy in our solemn responsibilities. We never want to be in a position where we are forced to take another person’s life, but our training teaches us to react when we have no choice,” Chief Ouellette said. “Officers Shabowich and Ellenton did not make a decision; they reacted to a situation, and they saved the lives of police officers that day.”
Sergeant Peter Shabowich joined the Department in May of 1990, and Officer Justin Ellenton joined the Department in June of 2004.
The George Hanna Medal of Valor is awarded to a police officer who demonstrates actions above and beyond the call of duty, disregarding the potential for danger to him/herself.