Posted by boston.com September 28, 2013 05:15 PM
By Juan E. Cajigas Jimenez, Globe Correspondent
A Peabody police sergeant who was struck by a pickup truck while on a police detail has been given the 2013 State Community Hero Award on behalf of the Massachusetts Auxiliary.
On December 5, 2011, Sergeant Eric Zawacki was on a paid traffic detail near Route 1 when a man driving a black Chevrolet Avalanche stopped and asked for directions. While Zawacki assisted the Avalanche driver, a red pickup truck slammed into Zawacki and sent him over the hood of the truck, according to police reports at the time. Zawacki was transported to the Massachusetts General Hospital in Boston and treated for serious injuries.
Zawacki, who was 37 years old and had served for 13 years with the Peabody Police Department at the time of the accident, is still recovering from the injuries and has been unable to return to work. Charges have since been filed against the pickup truck driver.
The award was given by Wives Behind the Badge.
“Wives Behind the Badge, Inc. National Community Hero Awards are presented to an officer who has gone above and beyond his/her role as a police officer, or to officers who have made a difference in their community,” Wives Behind the Badge said in their announcement of the award.
Zawacki was described as a “top notch” officer by his colleagues. His nomination for the award also described him as “a great person who deserves positive recognition.”
Zawacki had also been the department's K-9 officer before the police dog was retired.