Dedication. Positivity. Reliability. Beverly Hills police recognize admirable traits in their colleagues every day. Once a year, they have the opportunity to honor them.
Earlier this month, the department’s Annual Awards Committee announced the winners of the 2019 Awards Program recognizing 2018 achievements. The employees and volunteers will receive their honors at the Department’s Black & White Ball on Oct. 23.
“The awardees represent the core values of our department and go above and beyond,” Police Chief Sandra Spagnoli said. “Their work inspires all of us and makes each of us better.”
Clinton H. Anderson Award for Excellence in Community Policing
K9 Officer Jesse Perez
Nominated by Officer Jeffrey Newman, Officer Perez is being honored for his “relentless community policing efforts, particularly involving youth outreach,” according to BHPD.
“Throughout my time as a police officer for the City of Beverly Hills, I have noticed that the community has strong engagement with the Department. As a new officer, I remember seeing senior officers walking around and greeting people as if they were family members. I noticed that the community policing culture was embodied by one officer in particular, and that motivated me to embrace the culture as well,” Newman wrote in his nomination form. “This officer always wanted to make an impact on the citizens that need a role model the most: children.”
“Officer Jesse Perez has been a Beverly Hills Explorer Advisor for several years and goes above and beyond to make the Explorer Post one of the best in the state. In a very short time, Officer Perez made a lasting impact on the students, parents, and other advisers alike. His commitment to pioneering the program into what it is today shows his strong connection to our community.”
Newman credits Perez with growing the program into a thriving academy with more than 21 students who assist the Beverly Hills Police Department and the community at large at events such as a charitable 5K race that “benefited inter-city youth and showed that the City of Beverly Hills supports surrounding communities,” Newman wrote.
“Officer Perez understands that engaging with the youth of the community, will only make the community policing model stronger as they grow older and share what they’ve learned. Officer Perez previously served as a School Resource Officer (SRO) that enhances his abilities and makes him approachable to students who might already know him,” Newman wrote. “Despite currently serving as a K9 Officer, which requires countless hours of training, he still finds time to ensure he provides mentorship to our youth programs as often as possible. Officer Perez embodies a role model and would make an excellent recipient of the Clinton H. Anderson Award.”
Marvin D. Iannone Award: Civilian of the Year
Records Supervisor Christina Meza
Records and jail manager Sylvia Gelfman and Senior Forensic Specialist Seglit Oz nominated the 28-year veteran of the department for her devotion and disposition.
“Christina is a consummate professional. She is always patient, present and helpful, whether she is helping the community from the Records counter or whether she is working with BHPD personnel,” Oz wrote. “No task is too difficult or too demanding for her.”
In addition to managing her time well, volunteering for additional tasks and supporting her co-workers in their daily office activities, Meza’s personality has made her a sought-after asset to the department.
“Her friendly, helpful personality often has department personnel seeking her assistance,” Gelfman wrote. “Christina’s energy sparks collaboration among the Records Team to tackle new projects with an open mind. She does not hesitate to get involved with matters that require more attention.”
Both Gelfman and Oz noted that Christina was able to train a new employee while managing competing obligations and deadlines.
“She cheerfully goes about helping people in an efficient and skilled way. She is exceptionally knowledgeable about her department and helps runs it efficiently and effectively,” Oz said. “Christina is a credit to the BHPD civilian personnel.”
Allen H. Karlin Award for Exemplary Police Work
Sgt. Eric Hyon
In nominating Sgt. Hyon, Officer Jesse Perez lauded the sergeant’s “exemplary police work as a Patrol Sergeant, unofficial Administration Sergeant and current Crime Impact Team Sergeant.”
Perez wrote that he is consistently impressed by Hyon’s “work ethic, attention to detail, and unwavering commitment to doing things at his highest ability. He leads by example and challenges both his subordinates and peers to reach their highest potential.”
Praising Hyon’s patrol and administrative work, as well as his work with the Crime Impact Team, Perez wrote of Hyon’s instincts and skill in apprehending criminals on the street, as well as his enthusiasm in taking on the less glamorous roles of policing.
“Sgt. Hyon was designated by BHPD Administration to take charge of the new scheduling/time off program known as Police Officer Scheduling System (POSS). Rather than not accept or shy away from this important and overwhelming assignment, Sergeant Hyon stepped up and learned how to be an POSS Administrator,” Perez said. “He then taught others, subordinates and peers alike, how to properly use the system, which is vital to maintaining accurate staffing levels as well as record keeping of personnel time. This was not a glamorous assignment by any means, however he excelled and made others learn and take pride in learning the new system.”
Perez also detailed examples of the contributions Hyon has made to the Crime Impact Team.
“Sgt. Hyon made an excellent arrest of a residential burglary crew while working plain clothes for the Crime Impact Team,” he wrote. “Following up on a residential burglary investigation from the previous evening, Sgt. Hyon observed the suspect vehicle from the prior burglary drive by. Sgt. Hyon coordinated and assisted on a high risk stop and arrested all of the perpetrators.
“It is rare to come across such a dynamic and multi-purpose law enforcement officer, such as Sgt. Hyon,” Perez wrote. “His dedication to the department, to his partners, and to the citizens of Beverly Hills are prime examples of why I believe he should be considered for the 2018 Allen H. Karlin Award.”
Lawrence I. Shapiro Award for Outstanding Volunteerism
While it is rare for the department to honor someone twice with the same award, DCS Member Pamela Meadow’s colleagues left little doubt that she was worthy of this distinction. Three of her colleagues, DCS Members Steven Lagin, Peter B. Landau and Seth Stuart nominated Meadow, recognizing her extraordinary efforts, leadership and moral character.
“I can think of no one else more suitable to receive this honor than Pamela,” Lagin wrote, noting that Meadow gave more than 1,150 hours in 2018 to volunteer projects, including the department’s Disaster Communications System volunteer group and Emergency Management Committee, and as a BHPD CERT instructor.
All three colleagues also noted Meadow’s leadership of the newly created Volunteers on Patrol Program, crediting her supervision and participation for the program’s success.
Beverly Hills is home to several high-profile events, and Landau highlighted Meadow’s work in assisting sergeants in charge of assigning DCS members to events such as the Golden Globes, the LA Marathon and Halloween activities.
“For her tireless efforts on behalf of the police department, I believe Pam Meadow to be the worthiest recipient of the Lawrence I. Shapiro award for 2018,” Landau wrote.
Albert H. Lightfoot Award for Continuous Service
Detective Specialist Michelle Fieler
Community Service Officer Emma Nica has worked with Fieler for five of Fieler’s 35 years with the department, quickly learning how integral Fieler is in BHPD’s success, morale and reputation.
“I have only known Michelle during my five years with the Department, but in that time, I have learned what a valuable resource and asset she is to BHPD,” Nica wrote. “In her current assignment, as Detective Specialist, she has demonstrated a tremendous work ethic and attention to detail. In 2015, her observations on pawn slip entries led to recovery of stolen paintings by NC Wyeth and collaborative work with the FBI. This was an impressive accomplishment and demonstrated that Beverly Hills is thorough and diligent as any agency.”
In addition to Fieler’s work ethic, Nica noted that Fieler’s thoughtfulness makes her a valuable asset to the department.
“She constantly is there to help and to provide insight,” Nica wrote. “She helps celebrate accomplishments by co-workers in thoughtful ways. Michelle also often participates in inter-Departmental events (i.e. Gingerbread Contest), further showing her commitment to the BHPD and wanting to make sure that the Department is well-represented.”
“I believe that Michelle is worthy of the Albert H. Lightfoot Award due to her years of service and exemplary work ethic,” Nica wrote. “She is a great example of how all positions contribute to what makes Beverly Hills Police Department a successful and reputable agency.”
Chief’s Core Values Award for Outstanding Teamwork
Crime Impact Team
Submitted by Sgt. Eric Hyon, the Chief’s Core Value award recognizes the members of the Crime Impact Team (CIT): Detectives Matthew Barbani, Ryan Dolan, Jeffrey Schmidt and Stanley Shen, and Lieutenants Robert Maycott and Scott Dowling and Sergeants Eric Hyon and Kelly Spedden
Hyon wrote that the exemplary work of CIT preceded his arrival on the team, praising his colleagues’ bravery and thoroughness.
“Initially, CIT was formed to combat crime trends throughout the city and function as a crime suppression, surveillance and apprehension team. The members of CIT were granted ‘Detective’ status and were trained in writing search warrants, and investigations.”
“None of the CIT detectives had prior detective experience, and yet they learned quickly and accepted this additional role with fervor,” he wrote. “Throughout the year, CIT was able to investigate cases, identify and apprehend suspects and file their own cases with the DA’s office. CIT made numerous arrests which greatly impacted some of the crime trends which were plaguing our city.”
Hyon wrote that CIT detectives “remained flexible throughout 2018 and often worked odd hours, which limited time with family. These detectives were committed to the unit and the department. CIT was called in from home on numerous investigations for immediate follow up.
“CIT absolutely demonstrated extraordinary performance throughout 2018 in all measurable categories and sets an example of who we are as law enforcement officers,” he wrote. “I have personally overheard CIT detectives speak to victims, and their compassion towards them was both inspiring and motivating. I truly believe they meant it when they told them they would work hard to capture the perpetrators.”
“CIT has and continues to demonstrate the Core Values of our department: Courage, Commitment, Honor, Respect and Integrity.”
Explorer of the Year
Explorer Sergeant Charlotte Barzi
Officer Jesse Perez nominated Barzi for the growth she has demonstrated during her two years with the program.
“She takes a great deal of pride in mentoring, teaching, and leading by example,” Perez wrote. “She stays focused on her academics, competes at the highest level in swimming, and still finds time to represent BHPD Explorer Post 0911 at trainings and city events.”
In addition to these winners, an as-yet unannounced community member will receive the Gabriel A. Coyoca Memorial Award at the Black & White Ball in October.