Four officers from the Santa Ana Police Department were honored this month by Fairhaven Memorial Park & Mortuary for their outstanding service to community safety.
The park’s fourth annual Responders First banquet honored Officers John Holcomb, Robert Miller, Steven Guerrero, and Bradley Sharp for their work in 2020-2021.
“Fairhaven has served officers who have fallen in the line of duty, and we are honored to do so,” notes Gregory Morones, general manager of the park and mortuary. “With this award, we want to show our appreciation and recognition while they are still with us.”
Santa Ana City Council member Jessie Lopez, who represents Ward 3 that includes Fairhaven, said she was honored to take part in the August 11 banquet honoring officers’ extraordinary service and achievement.
“It’s important to recognize the vital role in the community that our police officers play,” Lopez said. “We are grateful for their service, and thankful that our police department is open to change and community involvement.”
Officials noted that the department and its officers have had to work differently and harness their creativity to meet the city’s ongoing needs while adapting to changes mandated by the coronavirus pandemic.
Officer John Holcomb, nominated by Cmdr. Michael Claborn, was recognized for his dedication to the local community for his role as director of the department’s Police Athletic & Activity League, a comprehensive community program that focuses on building bonds between youth and police officers through education, fitness, and activities.
Holcomb has been a member of the force for 15 years and has worked a variety of areas, including patrol, vice, and narcotics. He has directed the Police Athletic & Activity League since January 2020, refreshing the program by remodeling the breakroom, instituting monthly meetings to encourage communication, recruiting two running team coaches, and organizing a department fundraising event.
“I’m inspired to do this work because I want to leave behind a legacy in the community through outreach to kids and families,” Holcomb said. “The Responders First award means that people support what we’re doing in uniform every day.”
Officer Robert Miller was recognized for his quick thinking and action, backed by strong leadership abilities. Miller was nominated by Sgt. Adrian Silva, who described him as a professional, compassionate officer who consistently serves the public with a sense of purpose.
Miller said he was inspired to pursue criminal justice work by the 9/11 attacks. He joined the U.S. Army after high school and served five years at Fort Lewis before attending the police academy.
“There are a broad spectrum of issues facing Santa Ana,” he said. “I’m pleased to be part of a force made up of individuals who are dedicated to serving others.”
Officer Steven Guerrero was honored for his steadfast commitment to the community after transferring from the Orange Police Department.
Heralded for being an exemplary role model, Guerrero embodies the department’s core values of teamwork, excellence, accountability, and making a difference, explained Cmdr. Joe Marty, who nominated him for the award.
Marty praised Guerrero’s work ethic and willingness to serve the city beyond his own district.
“When community engagement activities need representation from patrol, Officer Guerrero volunteers and represents the Santa Ana Police Department with professionalism and integrity,” Marty said.
Officer Bradley Sharp, part of the department’s patrol division, was recognized by supervisors for his leadership abilities and his willingness to serve as both a resource and example for less-experienced officers.
A U.S. Navy veteran, Sharp completed two tours of Iraq before joining the police department seven years ago.
“The military gave me a unique perspective,” he said. “In my current position, I enjoy being able to help people any way I can.”
One recent example was a successful investigation into a burglary involving three suspects who threatened a victim at gunpoint. Cpl. Camillo Kim praised Sharp for his rigorous investigations and thorough reporting.
“In my opinion, he’s one of the best investigators and report writers in patrol,” Kim said. “I hope his team is learning from him.”
Established in 2018, the Responders First awards include a donation in each officer’s name to the charity of their choice. This year’s event coincided with Orange County’s National Law Appreciation Day.
“We’re fortunate as a city to have such a quality police department,” said Stephanie Alvarez, the park’s location manager. “At Fairhaven, we are pleased to add this special recognition for officers who keep us safe.”