Officer Michael Blondin has been named the “Arson Investigator of the Year” for 2011 by the Bergen County Prosecutor’s Office, Mahwah Police Chief James Batelli said in a release this week.
Blondin “has an impeccable work record and is well respected in the field of arson investigation throughout the county. He truly is a valued asset to our agency,” Batelli said in the announcement.
Blondin, who received the award from Detective Sergeant Gary Allmers of the Bergen County Prosecutor’s Office, said this is the first time the PO has doled out this type of recognition. “Of course I was so honored to receive the award, especially because it was the first one of its kind,” Blondin told Patch.
According to Batelli, Blondin joined the Mahwah Police Department in 1999, and joined the Bergen County Arson Task Force in 2009. He is the arson investigator in Mahwah, and “serves in an on-call status for suspected arsons that occur in Bergen County.”
Blondin, a West Milford resident, said his 20 years as a firefighter in that town sparked his interest in fire investigation. “It fascinates me when fire is used as a crime, or to cover up a crime,” he said. According to Blondin, after becoming a certified arson investigator in the State of New Jersey, he continues to learn from the other members of the investigation squad. Being chosen for the award, considering the caliber of the other officers in the county program, was “really amazing,” he said.
Blondin has a Bachelors Degree from Upsala College and a Masters Degree from Seton Hall University. “During his career with the Mahwah Police Department he has been the recipient of numerous awards from different associations including the Bergen County Police Chief’s Association and END DWI,” Batelli said.
For Blondin, all of the accolades are a reflection of him just doing his job. “I love being a cop,” he said.