Nashua police swearing in

The newest member of the Nashua police force, officer Matthew Belletete, is sworn in on Tuesday, Sept. 3, 2019, at the Nashua Police Department by Chief Mike Carignan.

NASHUA — Seven members of the city’s police force received awards last week for exceptional performance, including a local police officer who received several injuries during a June arrest.

Officer Michael Kekejian received a Valor for Bravery award after being injured during an altercation on June 23 and still being able to arrest a person allegedly responsible for driving through Sullivan Park with a stolen police cruiser and nearly striking two pedestrians.

Kekejian arrested Oscar Alicea, 24, of Bridge Street, after Alicea allegedly approached Kekejian’s police cruiser during a traffic stop, entered the driver’s seat and continued operating the cruiser.

Kekejian “physically engaged Alicea within the cruiser as Alicea began to drive off with the driver’s door open,” police said in an news release at the time. While the police officer attempted to stop the situation, Alicea allegedly kept driving the cruiser, drove off the roadway and struck a fence and porch of a nearby residence, according to policer, adding the cruiser eventually hit a park bench before stopping in Sullivan Park.

“During this operation, Alicea bit Officer Kekejian and recklessly placed several pedestrians in the area, as well as Officer Kekejian, in danger,” said the news release.

Also receiving awards were Detective Michael Lang, who obtained a Commendation Bar for Meritorious Service. He led an extensive undercover investigation into cocaine and crack cocaine distribution that resulted in the arrest of nine individuals on federal narcotics trafficking charges earlier this year.

Officer Kevin Delaney received a Commendation Bar for Lifesaving after saving a male who had attempted to commit suicide in June.

Four members of the police department received awards for their role in saving a despondent man who jumped into the Nashua River in April. According to a news release, Dawn Ariel, a communications technician, received a letter of recognition, while Officer Scott Ciszek obtained a Commendation Bar for Lifesaving and Officers Shaun Mailloux and Greg Miller both received a Medal for Lifesaving with Valor.

During the same awards ceremony, five supervisors were promoted and sworn into office, including Deputy Chief of Police Kevin Rourke, Capt. Craig Allard, Lt. Peter Urban, Sgt. Matthew McConnell and Sgt. Matthew Allen.

The newest member of the force, Officer Matthew Belletete, was also sworn in at the police station.