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Bergen Sheriff Saudino, Deputy Sheriff Hutchinson to be honored at State Troopers Coalition Dinner

Photo Credit: Cliffview Pilot File Photo
Photo Credit: Cliffview Pilot
Photo Credit: Cliffview Pilot
Photo Credit: Cliffview Pilot

SHOUT OUT: Bergen County Sheriff Michael Saudino and Deputy Sheriff Walter Hutchinson will be among those honored by the National Police Defense Foundation at this year’s New Jersey State Troopers Coalition dinner at the Venetian in Garfield — an event that attracts major figures from local and state law enforcement each year.

Twenty-five percent of the proceeds of the $100-a-plate event will go to “Operation Kids,” a special NPDF program that runs mercy missions to help children in poor counties get life-saving surgeries.

NPDF State Troopers Coalition award

Saudino and Hutchinson will join a select group being recognized at the Oct. 10 dinner at the Venetian in Garfield “for outstanding public service and related accomplishments that support law enforcement,” said Joseph Occhipinti, the founder and president of the NPDF.

They also include Hackensack attorney Robert Galantucci, who has defended scores of police officers over the years — and is believed to be the odds-on favorite as a successor if Bergen County Prosecutor John L. Molinelli leaves office.

In addition, citations will be presented to State Police troopers for meritorious service, public service and valor.


Man of the Year: Bergen County Sheriff Michael Saudino
Lifetime Achievement: Robert L. Galantucci
Administrator’s Award: Dr. Ali “Dr. Maz” Mazandarani
Member of the Year: Deputy Sheriff Walter Hutchinson
Safe Cop Achievement: Dr. Ira Klemons

TICKETS: Call 877-325-KIDS or visit

The NPDF – a congressionally-recognized and IRS-designated non-profit organization — boasts more than 170,000 members and supporters nationwide and in a dozen foreign countries. It provides free medical support services to all law enforcement personnel who experience a job related illness and disability (the toll-free number: 888-SAFE COP ).

Defense attorney Robert “Bob” Galantucci

The NPDF has also earned a reputation defending law enforcement officers who’ve been wrongly charged with crimes. But it’s through the multi-faceted “Operations Kids” initiative that the organization arguably has its biggest impact.

Besides arranging life-saving operations, the program distributes free child fingerprint kits to parents; posts periodic rewards for missing & kidnapped children in the U.S. and provides financial assistance to young crime victims, among other programs.

It also funds “Project Pedophile,” a unique initiative that rewards any a $1,000 U.S. Savings Bond who provides information leading to the federal arrest and conviction of any pedophile soliciting victims on the Internet.

The State Troopers Coalition is an offshoot of the foundation.

“Since its inception, the State Troopers Coaltion has brought hope and strength to the lives of many,” Gov. Chris Christie once wrote in a letter to the group. “The coalition has provided medical and legal support services and has established funds for a number of public safety programs.”

(NOTE: CLIFFVIEW PILOT Publisher/Editor Jerry DeMarco was a 2012 NPDF State Troopers Coalition Awards recipient.)

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