Connecticut State Police awards Medal of Honor

CSP Medal of Honor Marc OMara

Dozens of Connecticut state troopers, municipal police officers and civilians received awards Tuesday, October 23rd at the annual state police awards ceremony, including one trooper who received the rare Medal of Honor. Trooper First Class Marc O’Mara was working a construction detail on I-95 in October 2014 in the Norwalk area when a bus bound for the Mohegan Sun casino pulled up behind him. A man on the bus had stabbed several passengers and was threatening more. He was locked in a struggle with a passenger as they spilled out onto the side of the road, where the attacker kept trying to stab the passenger. The knife-wielding man began trying to attack O’Mara with the knife, and O’Mara shot and killed the attacker. On Tuesday, O’Mara received the Medal of Honor, given to officers who perform bravely by risking their own lives in combat with an armed and dangerous attacker. He said after the ceremony that officers need to be ready for any type of incident to unfold in front of them. He was assigned to a construction crew for a routine night, but ended up confronted with a deadly situation. “The adaptability of what we do out there on the road and being able to change gears and respond to an emergency like says it all about our training and about this department,” O’Mara said. “When you’re out there representing this department or any department, and you’re in uniform, you can be called on at any time.” The volume of dangerous, unexpected situations represented by awards Tuesday shows the bravery of police officers on a daily basis, said Col. George Battle, state police commander. Any day can start out as routine, but a tragedy can quickly and unexpectedly develop, he said. “You never know what’s going to happen from day to day or from shift to shift,” Battle said.