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Top Cops Honored by American Legion

By LEXIE O'CONNOR

UTICA, N.Y. (WKTV) Utica's American Legion Post 229 honored two Officers of the Year as well as a third officer with a Commendation Award Thursday.

"It's an honor, it's humbling, there's a lot of great police officers down in Utica and for them to choose me is very humbling," says Utica Patrolman Mark Rahn.

Utica Police Officers Mark Rahn and George DeAngelo received the Officer of the Year awards, both honored for their bravery and professionalism while confronting murderer Marshall Jackson just after he committed his crime.

"Me and George were partners assigned to the the Cornhill car and that's when we heard shots fired right at James and Steuben," says Rahn. "We got to the intersection, located a suspect running at us with a black handgun in his hand and basically ordered him to drop it... turns out he was the suspect in a homicide that just happened seconds before."

Officer Rahn and DeAngelo took Marshall Jackson into custody that night. Jackson was recently sentenced to 25 years to life for the murder.

Sgt. Anthony Martino received the Award of Commendation for his work in helping to catch child predators and his role in bringing computer technology into Utica's law enforcement.

"When I first came on it was a pad and a pen that was it but now obviously everything is digital," says Sgt. Martino. "We take digital mug shots, we take digital fingerprints, we have computers in every patrol car... we're really becoming an agency that manages data not just manages people."

Sgt. Martino is also credited with creating the regional digital forensics lab that has grown to work with forensics across the state, as well as with federal agencies like FBI and Secret Service.

The officers thankful for the honor, especially in the difficult budget cutting times.

"Certainly this has been a trying time for everyone involved," says Sgt. Martino. "Fiscal realities are difficult to deal with and they effect everyone, they effect the police department they affect the moral but I've been here 19 years now and we've been through tough times as an agency before and we keep coming out and doing our job."

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