AAA Northeast recently honored Wilton’s 84-member Community Emergency Response Team (CERT) and two Wilton police officers as department-nominated Traffic Safety Heroes during the auto club’s annual Traffic Safety lunch.

Formed in 2004, the CERT response team assists Wilton’s Emergency Services departments in times of need. Members are trained in traffic and pedestrian crowd control, missing person searches, and motor vehicle investigation support, among other initiatives. Team members have been called upon to assist with road closures because of weather-related or crash related issues.

Three CERT individuals–T.G Rawlins, Jack Majesky and Pat Russo–also have played invaluable roles as team leaders who’ve headed the organization during town-wide deployments. Since 2017, the trio have overseen 52 deployments and offered invaluable assistance to pedestrians, motor vehicle traffic and EMS services.

In addition, AAA also honored Officer Brandon Harris and Officer Mark Canepari for their traffic safety efforts. Harris, who received the department’s Traffic Safety Hero award last year, is very active in motor vehicle enforcement, relying first on education, then ultimately enforcement to prompt potential violators to comply with motor vehicle laws. Lt. David Hartman, who nominated Harris, says Harris has made over 500 motor vehicle and narcotic arrests through this approach.

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Canepari also participated in town-wide distracted driving campaigns, Click-it or Ticket drives and DUI enforcement in Wilton, and in the past year alone has also made over 500 motor vehicle and DUI arrests.

AAA also presented the Wilton Police Department with a Gold Award for its overall community Traffic Safety programs.

At AAA’s 9th Annual community Traffic Safety Awards lunch at Testo’s restaurant, Bridgeport, AAA’s Public Affairs Manager Fran Mayko, right, presented award, from left to: Officer Brandon Harris, Officer Mark Canepari, Capt. Robert Cipolla and Lieut. David Hartman.