Stamford Police Officer Seth O’Brien has been named the Stamford Police Association and Stamford Police Department’s Officer of the Year. Officer O’Brien is assigned to the midnight shift where he works with K-9 partner Cooper, a six-year old German shepherd.
A lieutenant and seven sergeants of the Midnight Patrol Division nominated Officer Seth O’Brien for this award saying, “Officer O’Brien is one of the finest officers in this department. His value to this community and this department cannot be measured by one incident. He is truly an asset to the Midnight shift and this department. His outstanding police work is only outdone by the humble way he goes about it.” They continue to say, “The amount of work and effort that Seth has put in, and continues to put in, to the K-9 Unit cannot be fully measured but it is clear that our department’s K-9 Unit would not be as professional as it is without him.”
Officer O’Brien started his police career in 2004 with the Patrol Division. From there he was selected to work in the Narcotics and Organized Crime Unit. Officer O’Brien is also currently an eight-year member of the department’s Honor Guard/ Ceremonial Unit. In 2009, he was one of two officers selected to re-establish the department’s K-9 Unit after a 25-year absence.
Officer O’Brien has completed both national and state Police K-9 Handler certifications and is one of only four officers in the State of Connecticut that can certify K-9 teams for the National Police Canine Association. Officer O’Brien has also worked closely with the Fairfield, Westport and Norwalk departments to train and certify their K-9 teams.
Working alongside Officer O’Brien each night is Cooper, part of Stamford Police’s K-9 unit, which specializes in tracking illegal drugs. During their work, the duo has assisted in hunting down illegal narcotics sellers more than two dozen times.
During the last year, Officers O’Brien and Cooper have participated in numerous high-profile investigations and arrests including:
· This past December, Officer O’Brien confronted a known gang member who immediately took off running and threw what was discovered to be a stolen .45 caliber handgun into a storm drain. The gun was recovered and the suspect was arrested. The gun was determined to have been used in a double shooting weeks earlier.
· Officer O’Brien and Cooper were called upon by the Greenwich Police Department to assist in finding a man who had threatened to commit suicide. The pair tracked him for hours until Cooper alerted Police to a large garage where the man was lying unconscious in a crawl space.
· In 2012 they helped capture the fleeing suspect responsible for near fatal injuries to Stamford Police Officer Troy Strauser. Officer O’Brien and Cooper tracked the suspect across I-95 into a large wooden area. The duo finally managed to control the situation and take the suspect into custody after a violent struggle.
Speaking of the special unit he serves with, Police Officer O’Brien said, “Dogs were my passion long before I got to work with them for my job. When I was selected to be a part of restoring the K-9 Unit in Stamford, it felt like a perfect fit. Now, I am able to combine two things that I love doing; policing and helping with dogs. Every day presents new challenges, and I’m blessed with how exhilarating this journey has been.”
Sgt. Joseph Kennedy, President of the Stamford Police Association, said, “For more than a decade, the Federal Bureau of Investigation has consistently named Stamford as one of America’s safest big cities and this year is no different. The city’s low level of crime is a testament to the hard work and vigilance of our officers. The men and women of the Stamford Police Department work around the clock and keep their eyes and ears open to stop crime before it happens. The dedication and commitment of Officer O’Brien is what makes Stamford such a positive community for families to live and for companies to set down roots.”