A Salute to Excellence Series on Wreaths Radio

Every day, the men and women of law enforcement in this country step up to help others. When they wear their service uniform, they pledge to protect, so that citizens in their communities can live safely. Wreaths Across America is grateful for their service and sacrifice, and all the efforts they put forward throughout the year to protect our mission to remember, honor, and teach.

This Salute to Excellence goes out to Westbrook, Maine’s Police Chief, Janine Roberts. Janine Roberts is known in the Wreaths Across America family and beyond, as “Cupcake,” but don’t let that sweet moniker fool you! When it comes to leading the way for the Annual Wreath Escort to Arlington National Cemetery every year, she’s all business, and it’s all about safety. Chief Roberts started participating with Wreaths Across America gradually about 15 years ago while serving with the Portland, Maine police department. 2013 was her first full week with the escort from Maine to Virginia, and she’s been going strong ever since. Chief Roberts also participates in wreath-laying ceremonies at Arlington National Cemetery. In addition to her law enforcement work, she selflessly serves her community participating in countless charity events earning her the 2019 Humanitarian of the Year award from Spurwink. Chief Roberts never misses an opportunity to say the names of those men and women of law enforcement who have been killed in the line of duty while acknowledging their sacrifice with a moment of silence.

Patrol Sgt. Ted Hatch with the Gorham, Maine police department. Sgt. Hatch has participated with the Wreaths Across America Annual Escort to Arlington National Cemetery for several years, only in the portions of the journey in the state of Maine. In 2018 and 2019, Sgt. Hatch provided law enforcement support for the entire journey. He was always engaged with veterans, Gold Star family members, and students during the trip, and always with a smile. Ted Hatch started with the Gorham Police Department in 2004, promoted to Sergeant on Pearl Harbor Day, 2017. Sgt. Hatch has received multiple community service awards and recognized for his outstanding contribution to law enforcement. Some of that outstanding community policing work has included instituting the TRIAD program in Gorham, and other jurisdictions to help reduce the victimization of senior citizens. He has also coordinated and run Citizen Police Academy classes.

Nick Dascanio with the So Portland, Maine Police Department. Additionally, Officer Dascanio has served in the United States Coast Guard for 12 years as a Maritime Enforcement Specialist, 1st class, and is currently stationed at Sector Northern New England as a member of a Vessel Board and Search team. Officer Dascanio is passionate about the mission to remember, honor, and teach having lost a friend who succumbed to injuries he sustained in Iraq. 2016 was Nick Dascanio’s first involvement with Wreaths Across America. He’s agreed to step it up a notch training to eventually take the lead law enforcement role for the annual wreath escort when Chief Janine Roberts retires from that responsibility.

Officer Kevin Haley with the Portland, Maine Police Department. Officer Haley’s been volunteering with Wreaths Across America for many years, and he’s also a Gold Star family member, having lost his brother, United States Air Force MSGT, William Patrick Haley. William rests at Arlington National Cemetery. Since learning about Wreaths Across America, Officer Haley has joined the Board of Directors and says volunteering at Arlington is automatic. He’s taken numerous other law enforcement officers and first responders to Arlington to volunteer to lay veterans’ wreaths. While there, Officer Haley puts children front-and-center during wreath-laying ceremonies and chats with them about honor and respect. As part of his law enforcement work, Haley has served as a Field Training Officer (F.T.O.) for recruits, a hostage negotiator, a member of the Police Department’s Honor Guard, and as a member of the Department’s Peer Support team. Officer Haley also dedicates his time as an athletic coach for high school sports. 

Thank you, Officer Kevin Haley, Officer Nick Dascanio, Sgt. Ted. Hatch, and Chief Janine Roberts for your service and commitment to the mission.

Wreaths Across America Radio salutes the excellence of the men and women who serve to protect their communities and our mission to remember, honor, and teach. A new Salute to Excellence can be heard every Monday morning at 7:15 AM EST.

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