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DOJ Honors Suffolk County PD with National Officer Safety and Wellness Award

June 26, 2017  | 

The 2017 National Officers Safety Award was presented to Dr. Scott Coyne and MedCAT Sgt. Colleen Cooney-Tsante. (Photo: Suffolk County PD)
The 2017 National Officers Safety Award was presented to Dr. Scott Coyne and MedCAT Sgt. Colleen Cooney-Tsante. (Photo: Suffolk County PD)

The Suffolk County (NY) Police Department (SCPD) recently received the 2017 National Officers Safety Award presented by the National Law Enforcement Memorial Fund and the U.S. Department of Justice Valor Initiative for implementing programs which have significantly enhanced police officer safety. The department was selected from law enforcement agencies throughout the nation in recognition of its innovative programs and advanced emergency medical training which requires that all SCPD police officers receive formal EMT certification during Academy training.

"The Suffolk County Police Department is deeply honored to receive this national recognition of our department's training programs enabling our police officers to provide quality emergency medical care which not only enhances officer safety but also the safety and well-being of all our residents," Police Commissioner Timothy D. Sini said. "We are also most grateful to Dr. Coyne and our MedCAT Team for their skillful delivery of lifesaving medical care to our police officers at critical incidents, an asset which cannot be overstated during these times."

The award specifically highlights the creation of the department's Medical Crisis Action Team (MedCAT), which was spearheaded in 2008 by SCPD Chief Surgeon and Medical Director, Dr. Scott Coyne. The MedCAT team has grown to 28 police officers and police supervisors from every precinct and various specialized commands, who must have advanced life support (ALS) certification at either the paramedic or EMT-critical care level. The team also includes five MedCAT physicians who receive specialized tactical training for high-risk operations. MedCAT officers are on call around the clock to provide ALS field care at all types of emergency medical situations including cardiac arrests, auto accidents, maternity calls, overdoses and maritime incidents, and are able to start IV's, perform intubation, administer medication and other advanced life support care, frequently during the initial critical minutes which often makes the difference between life and death.

The MedCAT Team also functions as a specially trained "Medical SWAT Team" for rapid deployment to high risk Mass Casualty Incidents including active shooter or other terrorist situations. MedCAT officers are intensively trained as combat medics to deliver 'care under fire' primarily to injured and wounded police officers as well as civilians, while simultaneously engaging the ongoing active threat. The team also receives specialized training for response to chemical, biological and radiation attacks. The MedCAT team bridges the worlds of policing and medicine, and has been recognized as one of the most unique law enforcement based tactical medical teams in the country.

"This prestigious national award is a truly impressive achievement for our department which has continuously supported our very unique medical training programs and field operations," Dr. Scott Coyne stated. "Most importantly, it recognizes the dedication and excellence of our Academy training staff, our police officers, and specifically the members of the MedCAT team who together are responsible for saving countless lives each year."

The 2017 National Officers Safety Award was presented to Dr. Scott Coyne and MedCAT Sgt. Colleen Cooney-Tsante during the National Law Enforcement Memorial Service at the Ronald Reagan Building in Washington D.C.

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