Keansburg, Howell, Manalapan, Middletown agents receive Monmouth 200 Club bravery awards


Keansburg Pharmacy, located on the main street of the nearly 10,000-resident borough of Keansburg, was sent into an unforeseen whirlwind on Jan. 6, when a man with a knife held workers hostage, triggering a frenzy of panic and a flurry of 911- to call to action.

The workers got out physically unharmed and the alleged attacker was killed after attacking an officer with his weapon, security footage released.

On June 3, four officers responded to the hostage situation: Patrol Officer Jillian Putkowski, Lieutenant Dennis Valle, who was stabbed and sustained multiple gunshot wounds, Detectives Richard Johnson and Christopher Rogan were among those to receive gallant awards from the 200 Club of Monmouth County, a organization that provides financial support to officers injured on the job.

A pharmacy employee said “the agents certainly deserve what they get,” while refusing to be interviewed further, saying “nobody here wants to relive that day.”

James Sutton is seen in police CCTV footage holding a knife in one hand while holding a man with the other at Keansburg Pharmacy on January 6, 2022 in Keansburg, NJ

“They deserve and have earned our utmost respect and appreciation,” said Benjamin J. Lucarelli, president of the 200 Club’s Monmouth County Branch. “These fine men and women have served with distinction and we recognize their heroism and dedication to the community.”

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The club also gave bravery awards to Officer Omar Akel (Middletown PD), Patrolman Eric Voorand (Manalapan PD) and Officer Daniel Murphy (Howell PD) of the Monmouth County Emergency Response Team, as well as Stephen Borchard of the Monmouth County Prosecutor’s Office Narcotics Bureau for their efforts led to a Long Branch standoff on November 5.

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A murder suspect pretended to turn himself in and then, holding a baby, opened fire on the officers.

The suspect was killed by the officers, but the two-week-old child was rescued unharmed.

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In addition to the awards for bravery, the organization honored more than 30 first responders with merit.

The 200 Club of Monmouth County has been helping local first responders and their families since the 1970s.

In 2021 alone, The 200 Club distributed a total of $88,000 in scholarships to 68 first responder children and spent nearly $2.5 million in total.

Prize winners


  • Patrol Officer Jillian Putkowski (Keansburg Police Department)

  • Lieutenant Dennis Valle (Keansburg Police Department)

  • Detective Richard Johnson (Keansburg Police Department)

  • Detective Christopher Rogan (Keansburg Police Department)

  • Detective Stephen Borchard (Monmouth County-Narcotics Bureau Prosecutor)

  • Patrol Officer Eric Voorand (Monmouth County Emergency Response Team/Manalapan Police Department)

  • Police Officer Daniel Murphy (Monmouth County Emergency Response Team/Howell Police Department)

  • Police Officer Omar Akel (Monmouth County Emergency Response Team/Middletown Police Department)


  • Detective Connor Mullan (Long Branch City Police Department)

  • Officer Francis Sheldrick (City of Long Branch Police Department)

  • Sergeant Nicholas Morgan (Neptune City Police Department)

  • Patrol car George Williams IV (Neptune City Police Department)

  • Detective Sgt. First Class Erin Smith (NJ State Police)

  • Patrol Tim Walden (Middletown Police Department)

  • Patrol Kevin Mahon (Middletown Police Station)

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  • Lt. Craig Hausmann (Aberdeen Township Police Station)

  • Police Officer Alex Mabe (Asbury Park Police Department)

  • Detective Sgt. Ryan Meixsell (Brielle Police Station)

  • Patrol Officer Francis Wood (Keansburg Police Department)

  • Captain Michael Deaney (Keansburg Police Department)

  • Capt. Bryan King (Keansburg Police Department)

  • Patrol John Murray (Keansburg Police Department)

  • Detective Robert Hagerman (Neptune Township Police Department)

  • Lt. Jason Petillo (Neptune Township Police Department)

  • Lieutenant William Kirchner (Neptune Township Police Department)

  • Sergeant Vincent Mazzaccaro (Wall Township Police Station)

  • Sergeant Amy Drackwicz (Wall Township Police Station)

  • Patrol Thomas Dowd (Wall Township Police Station)

  • Patrol Officer Frank Kuhl (Wall Township Police Station)

  • Patrol Vincent Reinecke (Wall Township Police Station)

  • Patrolman Jerry Baker (Wall Township Police)

  • Patrolman Cole Kennedy (Wall Township Police)

  • Patrol Joseph Phillips (Wall Township Police Station)

This article originally appeared on Asbury Park Press: NJ Cops Win Monmouth 200 Club Courage Awards