Nine Rock Island police officers honored, including lifesaving awards | Politics and elections

Nine Rock Island police officers have been honored by the city for exemplary actions, including a life-saving award for two officers who talked a man out of jumping off the Centennial Bridge in November. 

“I’m very proud of all the work that we do,” Rock Island Police Chief Richard Landi said during the May 23 city council meeting. “Tonight is a night when we can recognize the extra bit of work and exemplary service done by our staff.”

Officers Brieanne Lonergan and Matthew Bundy were each recognized with the Live Saving Award for their actions Nov. 21 when they responded to a suicidal man on the Centennial Bridge who was live streaming himself on Facebook after losing custody of his child. 

The man, armed with a knife, had climbed over the railing and was threatening to jump off the bridge. Longergan and Bundy initiated a conversation with the man, which lasted more than an hour as they gradually persuaded him to step back from the railing. The man was secured and transported to a local hospital for mental health treatment. 

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“This subject’s life was undoubtedly saved thanks to the teamwork and skilled negotiating tactics that (Lonergan) and Officer Bundy demonstrated throughout this tense situation,” Landi said. 

Detective Tina Noe, Sgt. Phil Anderson and Sgt. Ben Meiresonne each received challenge coins from the U.S. State Department for their assistance in an investigation involving a former military member scheduled for court martial. 

Staff Sgt. Gary Goins, a former teacher for the Davenport and Rock Island-Milan school districts, was placed under investigation for the sexual assault of a minor during a Christmas Eve party Dec. 24, 2020, while he was stationed with the U.S. Army in Saudi Arabia.

Noe, Anderson and Meiresonne collaborated with the State Department to locate and interview various witnesses involved with the case. 

Goins was convicted of one count of sexual assault of a child between the ages of 12 and 15, three counts of sexual abuse of a child involving sexual contact and one count of sexual abuse of a child involving indecent communication. He was sentenced to military prison for 126 months.

Meritorious Service Awards

Officers Zachary Costas and Andrew Lawler were each recognized with meritorious service awards for exemplary performance and dedication to duty for their roles in the police department’s Tactical Operations Division, formed for the purpose of addressing violent crime on the streets of Rock Island.

From Jan. 2019 to June 2021, Landi said the teamwork of both officers led to the apprehension of several alleged criminals. 

“You excelled in identifying, recognizing and apprehending violent repeat offenders who are commonly armed and intent on using those firearms in the furtherance of criminal activity and ultimately victimizing the citizens of Rock Island,” Landi said. 

Certificate of Commendation

K-9 handler Alex Bowman, along with his dog, Sparky Jackson, was awarded a Certificate of Commendation for exemplary performance and dedication to duty for his actions during a traffic stop last year in which two firearms were recovered.

On Aug. 23, Bowman initiated a traffic stop in the area of 5th Street and 5th Avenue. During the course of the stop, the driver exited the vehicle and Bowman observed the subject was visibly nervous and shaking. After the dog gave a positive alert on the vehicle, Bowman conducted a search, finding a loaded firearm on the front passenger seat and another firearm in a bag on the back seat. One the of firearms was reported as stolen out of Davenport. 

The driver was arrested and charged with two counts of aggravated use of a weapon and possession of a stolen firearm, a Class 2 felony. 

Certificate of Recognition

A Certificate of Recognition was awarded to CSI Officer Garrett Alderson for taking the initiative to become a certified latent print examiner in 2018.

The certification allowed Alderson access to the ISP Next Generation Identification (NGI) and the Automated Identification System (ABIS) at no cost to the city of Rock Island. 

“Having access to these systems will provide the police department with an extensive nationwide database for latent prints that could potentially identify subjects that otherwise would not have been identified,” Landi said. 

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