Four Santa Ana Police Department officers – including two previous honorees – were recognized during the 2022 Responders First Award by Fairhaven Memorial Park & Mortuary.
Officers Stephen Geist and Robert Miller, who both received the honor in 2020, and Officers Alex Gomez and Dominic Dominguez were presented with their awards at the sixth annual banquet on the cemetery grounds.
Fairhaven General Manager Stephanie Alvarez said the park appreciates the invaluable service Santa Ana PD provides, and created the awards to honor officers who often work tirelessly behind the scenes.
The memorial park’s Campaign Coordinator, Cynthia Adair, notes that the emotional funeral of an Orange County Sheriff’s Deputy prompted the awards.
“We saw the community outpouring and support and decided we wanted to show our appreciation for local law enforcement while the officers are still alive,” Adair said.
In addition to the plaques, the memorial park provided $100 donations in each officer’s name to their chosen charity.
“Saying thank you is at the heart of it all,” Alvarez said. “We can’t thank them enough for the work that often goes unnoticed.”
Officer Dominic Dominguez
Cpl. Sal Lopez nominated Dominguez – the department’s 2022 Officer of the Year – for his precision, intelligence and proactive police work.
Now on Civic Center patrol, Dominguez previously worked the South Coast patrol area, where he concentrated on addressing high-crime areas. Lopez noted that Dominguez helped clear the streets of gang members.
Dominguez, 27, lives in Orange County. His donation goes to CASA, the Court Appointed Special Advocates of Orange County.
Officer Stephen Geist
Sgt. Richard Shin attended in support of Geist and noted Geist’s strong work ethic, leadership among his peers, and his desire to serve the Santa Ana community.
“When he was selected as a motor officer, he was No. 1 on my list,” Shin recalled.
Of his honor, a modest Geist said merely, “I am part of a really good watch team.”
He was nominated by Sgt. Armando Chacon. Geist, 27, lives in Orange County with his wife. His donation goes to the Leukemia and Lymphoma Society.
Officer Alex Gomez
Cpl. Mario Lopez nominated Gomez for his community involvement and positive attitude.
Gomez, 36, is on the Civic Center patrol and previously served as the downtown liaison officer between the business community and the police force.
He lives in Riverside County with his wife Angelica and their two children, a 6-year-old son and a 4-month-old daughter. His donation goes to KidSingers, an organization empowering children’s self-esteem, self-expression, and sense of community accomplishment through the discipline of music training and performing.
Officer Robert Miller
Cmdr. Rosa Ponce de Leon nominated Miller for his extensive knowledge of case law and policy, and his decision-making skills.
“Officer Miller is a calming, stable persona at chaotic scenes,” Ponce de Leon said. “He exceeds expectations who’s set himself apart.”
Recently named a Field Training Officer, Miller, 35, patrols the city’s West End. He says he appreciates that his team recognizes his leadership skills. He and his wife, Amanda – an SAPD detective – live in Riverside County. His donation goes to the California Peace Officers’ Memorial Foundation.