Seymour Police Sgt. Stephen Prajer wins prestigious award, honored by state legislators [CT Post]

October 20, 2015

Article as it appeared in the Connecticut Post

SEYMOUR — For 10 weeks this summer Police Sergeant Stephen Prajer left his family and began leadership training in Nashville, Tenn.

He returned having been voted the prestigious Franklin M. Kreml Leadership Award from the program run by Northwestern University’s Public Safety School of Police Staff and Command Training. Prajer finished first among 50 candidates.

On Monday, the town, its police department and the state Legislature honored Prajer, a 48-year-old U.S. Marine Corps veteran, for receiving the award.

“Going through the training has really enriched my supervisory ability as well as my knowledge that can be applied to my current position,” said Prajer, who joined the department as a supernumerary in 1992. He thanked Police Chief Michael Metzler for giving him the opportunity to attend the program. Prajer was the first Seymour officer ever to attend the program.

Prajer said he was looking forward to applying “some of the techniques learned” as well as “offer suggestions that could enhance the current programs we have to provide better services for our citizens.”

Prajer attended classes from July 20 to Sept. 24 in Nashville. They involved enhancing management levels and abilities, strategic planning, policy and organizational development, using statistics in policing, and recruitment and selection of candidates.

State Sens. Rob Kane, R-Watertown, and Kevin Kelly, R-Stratford, presented Prajer with a citation of appreciation from the General Assembly.

“This is the best part of this job — celebrating things like this,” Kane said. He said, “There is no more difficult time to being a police officer in our country than now.”

Prajer served in the U.S. Marine Corps from 1987-91 where he was dispatched to the Persian Gulf. He was honorably discharged as a corporal.

He became a full-time police officer in October 1993, and served in community policing and the DARE program. He was promoted to sergeant in June, 2007 and four years later was named the town’s police officer of the year.

“He does a phenomenal job every day,” Deputy Chief Paul Satkowski said of Prajer. “He is hardworking and dedicated to his position. Receiving this type of award verifies all that he does.”