West Hartford Police Off. Andrew Teeter has been named ‘2018 Police Officer of the Year’ by American Legion Hayes-Velhage Post 96.
By Ronni Newton
Off. Andrew Teeter has received numerous awards for saving lives and arresting drug dealers and armed robbery suspects, and he also runs the department’s Christmas party for children, reads to elementary school students at Smith STEM School, volunteers as a role player for the West Hartford College Police Academy, and helps out K-9 officers by serving as a decoy, and on Monday night he was honored by the American Legion Hayes-Velhage Post 96 as West Hartford Police Officer of the Year for 2018.
Members of Post 96, the West Hartford Police Department, Town Manager Matt Hart, and Town Council members Leon Davidoff and Mary Fay attended the ceremony, as did Teeter’s father, Chief Deputy Jerry Teeter (a 34-year veteran of the Monterey County (California) Sheriff’s Office in California), and his girlfriend.
Officers are selected by their peers to receive the award. “Andy has been characterized by his fellow officers as hard working, motivated, and determined officer,” said Assistant Chief Daniel Coppinger at the ceremony, as he read off a long list of cases that earned Teeter three departmental citations, a lifesaving award, a merit award, and many unit citations.
“He is highly decorated and has received numerous letters of commendations from the department and letters from grateful citizens,” Coppinger said.
Past Post Commander Moe Fradette served as emcee for the ceremony. “This is a very special occasion for the American Legion. We have the opportunity to honor one of the first responders from our town and our community,” he said.
Post Commander Jeff Cole praised the West Hartford Police as well as the West Hartford Fire Department, and said that he had recent medical issues and was so happy with the service from the town’s first responders. “I am very happy that I live in this town …,” Cole said.
Town Council member and Public Safety Committee Chair Leon Davidoff read a proclamation on behalf of Mayor Shari Cantor, honoring Teeter and recognizing his outstanding achievement, hard work, and dedication.
“I am honored and humbled to receive this award,” Teeter said, after thanking all who were present. “I have been fortunate to work alongside the excellent men and women of this agency.”
Teeter said when he was considering what to say at the ceremony, he reflected on the words of advice his trainer in the police academy: “Know your job and do your job. Since then it has always been one of my biggest goals to always abide by that simple, honest statement.”
Teeter said he has responded to nearly every type of imaginable call – including saving people who were “being held hostage by the aggressive kitten they just adopted” as well as many serious situations. “My recognition here tonight is very much appreciated but it is only possible because I work alongside such excellent officers – so thank you to all of you who have been here for me.”
Teeter earned a bachelor’s in political science from Norwich University in Vermont, and joined the West Hartford Police Department on Aug. 19, 2007. He has served in the Patrol and Traffic Divisions, and on the Community Interaction Team. He is currently a Field Training Officer, member of the West Hartford Police Honor Guard, Police Department Safety Committee, and a member of the Capitol Region Emergency Services Dive Team which services 20 towns and cities in the greater Hartford area.
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