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Cuomo awards two local officers with Certificate of Valor

A lieutenant with the Cheektowaga Police Department and a Niagara Frontier Transportation Authority Police Department officer are among 14 officers from across the state who will receive a Certificate of Valor from Gov. Andrew M. Cuomo, his office announced Monday.

Cheektowaga Police Lt. Anthony Filipski and NFTA Police Officer David Capretto were nominated for the New York State Police Officer of the Year Award, which ultimately was won by six members of the Yonkers Police Department who last September apprehended a gunman who had shot a fellow officer in the face at point-blank range.

On Nov. 14, Filipski responded to a shooting at the Dollar General store on Union Road near French Road, where a man wearing a bulletproof vest had allegedly fired 20 rounds from an AR-15 outside the store, striking one person. Filipski and another officer chased the man and, with help from two people at a nearby Darryll's Car Audio, placed 29-year-old Travis Green of Cheektowaga in handcuffs, according to Buffalo News stories at the time.

On March 15, Capretto rescued a cold and lifeless 3-month-old baby girl from a man who crashed his vehicle into a road barrier during a blizzard. The man, Kaleb A. Evans, 23, who had a bus ticket to travel to Atlanta, was allegedly acting erratically, as reported in stories in The News. Medical personnel indicated the naked infant rescued by Capretto would likely have died if the transit officer had not wrapped her in a towel and placed her inside his jacket for warmth after the infant was rescued.

The Police Officer of the Year Award was first presented in 1984 and recognizes either a single police officer or team of officers for exceptional acts of valor.

Since its inception, 117 officers from 19 agencies across the state have received the award.

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