Police officer, 'good samaritan' honored for courage and composure

By Andrea Ray | Jul 24, 2017
Photo by: Andrea Ray Rochester police officer Nathan Valente listens as Police Chief Paul Magee reads his letter of commendation.

Rochester — Rochester police officer Nathan Valente was honored in front of friends and family on July 24 for his selfless actions when a semi-truck crashed into a pond on Mary's Pond Road.

Valente was on duty and was the first officer to respond on June 22, when the driver of a semi-truck crashed through a guardrail and into a holding tank on Mary's Pond Road.  He and an anonymous passerby held the driver's head above water for 40 minutes, until the driver could be safely extricated from the vehicle.

Valente acted with "courage, composure, bravery and without regard for his own safety," said Rochester Police Chief Paul Magee at the July 24 meeting of the Rochester Board of Selectmen, as he presented Valente with a permanent letter of commendation. "I'm very proud and impressed that we have people like this working for us here."

"You make us all very proud, and thank you for your outstanding service," said Selectman Naida Parker.

The anonymous passerby was also granted a letter of commendation. "He has told me several times that he wishes to remain anonymous," Magee explained, "but he will also receive a letter of commendation in the mail, and a copy of the video of this meeting. He should know what his actions mean to us."

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