As 19 Beverly Hills Police Department employees moved up the rank or were sworn in for the first time during a Police Recognition Ceremony on May 28, city officials noted that what makes Beverly Hills special is not its famous zip code, but the depth of the relationship between residents and the Beverly Hills Police Department .
“Just yesterday, I was witness, personally, to the courage and dedication of the Beverly Hills Police Department,” said Councilmember Robert Wunderlich, who, along with councilmembers Lili Bosse and Dr. Julian Gold represented the city at the ceremony in the Beverly Hills Boat Court.
In his opening remarks, Wunderlich said he was present when police responded to a reported break-in on South Rodeo Drive. The officers arrived in less than one minute and were quickly able to capture the suspect.
“That is why we are so supportive of our police department,” he said. “The remarkable relationship we have sets the city of Beverly Hills apart and is something we value very much.”
Receiving promotions were Police Sergeants Scott Dibble, Kevin Orth, Rodney Solorzano and Senior Forensic Specialist Segalit Oz. New appointments include Communications Dispatcher Brian Flores, Jennifer Munoz, Guadalupe Ortega and Nicole Polk. Police officer appointees were Walton Cabrera, Francesca Fasullo, Gor Hovhannisyan, Madison Lee, Connor Reeves, Zachary Travnitz and Jerry Whittaker. Dana Denton was appointed Senior Record Specialist, and Patrick D’Andrea, Karen Ortiz and Melissa Sutton were appointed Traffic Control Officer.
In recognizing these men and women, Police Chief Sandra Spagnoli emphasized the swift police response time and the city’s 13 percent reduction in overall crime. The numbers, she said, reflect the quality of the men and women who make up the BHPD.
“Today we are introducing the newest members to the BHPD family and recognizing new front line supervisors who will play a critical role in carrying out the Department’s mission. They are expected to provide leadership, mentoring and guidance to support organizational health and good morale,” she said. “Each employee appointed today, represents the BHPD Core Values of Commitment, Courage, Honor, Integrity and Respect. As a team, we will continue to build on the traditions of excellence and build an amazing legacy together.”
The chief also presented awards to community members Amber Jamal Eckerlund, director of marketing for Coral Tree Cafe for continued support of BHPD during National Police Week; Public Works Inspector Benjamin Smith, whose quick thinking likely prevented a burglary, and outgoing City Manager Mahdi Aluzri, who is retiring this week.
Incoming City Manager George Chavez received an introduction, and the chief acknowledged Stephanie Szwajkos and Darlene Leon for organizing the day’s ceremony. On behalf of National Police Week, the city issued a proclamation to Beverly Hills Police Officers Association President David Leber.
Additional awards included police officer Alex Duncan’s presentation of the California Highway Patrol 10851 Award, his fourth award and first master award. Officers Eric Bender and Dmitriy Starkov received awards for their DUI efforts by Mothers Against Drunk Drivers.
Before issuing new badges, Spagnoli reminded recipients about the trust and responsibility that each comes with.
“This badge although only weighing a couple of ounces, carries a great weight of responsibility,” she said. “The badge is a symbol of public faith and trust, one which we truly commit ourselves to elevated standards of trust, responsibility and discipline while promoting justice in a fair and impartial manner. It is the willingness to do what is right even when no one is looking. Every day you wear the badge, remind yourself of its significance.”
SERGEANT SCOTT DIBBLE
After serving 13 years with the Costa Mesa Police Department, Dibble joined the Beverly Hills Police Department on May 20, 2014. Dibble has held specialty assignments as Field Training Officer and Motor Officer. He is a current Police Officers’ Association Member At Large and is a current Bike Unit Member and Explorer Advisor. Dibble possesses a bachelor’s degree in business administration from Concordia College and is a recipient of the 2017 Chief’s Core Values Award.
SERGEANT KEVIN ORTH
Orth began his career with the Beverly Hills Police Department as a Police Cadet on May 18, 2006. Orth worked as a temporary Jailer in 2007, before he was hired as Pre-Service Police Officer on July 26, 2007. He graduated from the Los Angeles Sheriff’s Department Academy on November, 30, 2007. Orth has held assignments as DUI Officer and K-9 Handler before his assignment to Acting Sergeant on October 20, 2018. Orth has received Patrol Officer of the Year in 2010, the Allen H. Karlin Memorial Award in 2011, and possesses a bachelor’s degree in psychology from California State University Channel Islands.
SERGEANT RODNEY SOLORZANO
Solorzano was sworn in with the Beverly Hills Police Department on June 1, 2015, after serving 11 years with Pasadena Police Department. Solorzano has held collateral assignments with SWAT and the Bike Unit Team and is a Captain with the United States Marine Corps Reserves. Solorzano possesses a bachelor’s degree in psychology and Chicano and Chicana studies from California State University, Northridge and is the recipient of the 2016 Patrol Officer of the Year.
SENIOR FORENSIC SPECIALIST SEGALIT OZ
Oz was hired by the Beverly Hills Police Department on March 16, 1999 as a Records Technician II. She worked in the Records Bureau until her reassignment to Property Officer on April 6, 2002. In September 2007, Oz was promoted to Forensic Specialist assigned to the Crime Lab. Oz has received the 2016 Distinguished Service Award, the 2017 POALAC Centurion for Excellence Award, and possesses a bachelor’s degree in geography/urban planning from University of California at Los Angeles.
Flores joined BHPD as a communications dispatcher on Monday after 14 years at the Long Beach Police Department. He earned his bachelor’s degree from California State University Long Beach.
Munoz was hired in May, 2019 after serving for 19 years with the Long Beach Police Department as a Public Safety Dispatcher II.
After 11 years of service with the Los Angeles Sheriff’s Department, Ortega joined the Beverly Hills Police Department on March 11, 2019.
Polk came to BHPD in 2018 from San Bernardino County Sheriff’s Department, where she served as a Communications Dispatcher III.
Cabrera was sworn in with the Beverly Hills Police Department on March 4, 2019, after serving 7 years with the Los Angeles Police Department. Cabrera possesses a bachelor’s degree in education from California State University of Northridge and served eight years with the United States Marine Corps.
Fasullo served with Hawthorne Police Department for 5 years prior to joining the Beverly Hills Police Department on March 11, 2019.
Hovhannisyan was hired as an Entry Level Police Officer on October 16, 2018. Hovhannisyan graduated from the Los Angeles Sheriff’s Department Academy and was sworn in as a police officer on March 28, 2019.
Lee was hired as an Entry Level Police Officer on October 16, 2018. Lee graduated from the Los Angeles Sheriff’s Department Academy and was sworn in as a police officer on March 28, 2019. She earned her master’s degree in forensic science from National University.
Reeves was hired on June 9, 2016, as a police cadet, then promoted to Community Service Officer on October 25, 2016. Reeves began training with the Los Angeles Sheriff’s Department Academy on August 3, 2018, and was sworn in as a police officer on January 4, 2019.
Travnitz served with the Pasadena Police Department for 2 ½ years before joining the Beverly Hills Police Department on January 7, 2019.
Whittaker was hired by the Beverly Hills Police Department on January 7, 2019, after 2 ½ years of service with the San Diego Sheriff’s Department. Whittaker possesses a master’s degree in homeland security from San Diego State University.
Denton was hired as a senior records specialist on Jan 30, after 2 ½ years with the Los Angeles Sheriff’s Department.
D’Andrea began his career at BHPD in 2016, as a community service officer before becoming a traffic control officer on March 30. He holds a degree in criminology from Ohio State University.
Ortiz became a traffic control officer on March 30, after serving as a communications dispatcher and records specialists for two years with the BHPD. She has a bachelor’s degree from California State University Northridge.
Sutton is now a traffic control officer, after having begun her BHPD career in June 2005 as a parking enforcement dispatcher. She is a member of the Peer Support Team and Pres of the Safety Support Association.
Once the representatives of BHPD received their recognition, Assistant City Clerk Lourdes Sy-Rodriguez administered the Oath of Office.
Police Chaplain Rabbi Jonathan Aaron gave a blessing to the awardees, promotions and new hires that they “continue to pursue a passion for excellence.”
“Let peace and harmony be the result of your tireless effort to improve our society,” he said. “And make our city a shining example of partnership between law and citizens.”