The Anaheim PD recently held its 2016 Annual Awards & Retirement Ceremony. Behind the Badge OC was there to capture all the special moments.
A hearty congratulations to all the winners!
Without further ado…
The Anaheim Police Association’s Survivors and Scholarship Fund recipients
Victoria Ann Castro
Dr. Alice Grant Scholarship Award
APD Explorer Karla Ramirez Lopez
APD Explorer Hector Martinez
Joyce Lynch, Maxine Marcus, Laurie Meredith, Denise Morris, Diane O’Bryan, Antoinette Partington, Tracy Patterson, David Simkin, Robin Smith, Dawn Sweidan, Amber Umlah, Mariann Vlacilek, Roger Allen, Julie Kline, Alan Marcus, Donald Smith, Larry Waltz, Robert Witter, Sylvia Abbott, Marge Herman, Pamela Holsinge, Geraldine Bordelon, Frank Lansner , Gene Nelson, Wanda Smith-Brace, Gene Benedict, Don Williams, Steve Bartolone, Raul Valdivia, Don Baldwin, Bert Crawford, Don Schilling, Melva Snyder, Helen Scott, Loretta Ogden, Claire Neeses
Harold A. Bastrup Explorer of the Year
Matthew is a graduate of Anaheim High School, and a current student at Cal State Fullerton. He joined the Explorer Post over four years ago and rose through the ranks to become the Post Captain a year ago, overseeing the activity of nearly 90 Police Explorers at over 50 events each year. After college, Matthew hopes to become an Anaheim Police Officer and looks forward to joining the SWAT Team.
Community Member Recognition
Phyllis has been involved in community service for over 20 years. Most recently, she was the organizer and chairperson for “Renew West Anaheim,” which is a hardworking group of residents, businesses and community leaders working together to redevelop the Beach Boulevard corridor.
When Norma saw an increase in crime in her neighborhood, she decided to take action. She talked to her neighbors and quickly learned she was not alone with her concerns about crime affecting the neighborhood. After reaching out to the Community Policing Team, Norma volunteered to host a monthly neighborhood watch program at her home.
As the Neighborhood Watch Block Captain, Norma worked with the Community Policing Team to organize flashlight walks and to solve the problems plaguing her neighborhood. The community policing team described Norma as a “true community leader” whose willingness to get involved has made a positive change in her neighborhood. Norma continues to be involved in not only her neighborhood, but also the surrounding area. She is currently the vice chair of the Anaheim Central District Neighborhood Council.
For many years, the Arena Inn Motel was infamous at the Police Department for its chronic problems. In 2006, there were nearly 400 incidents of police activity at this single location in the South District. In 2007, Bobby purchased the motel and became passionate to protect his investment and to improve the quality of life at the motel and the surrounding area.
Working with the officers assigned to the South District Community Policing Team, Bobby continuously worked to identify and remove problem tenants from his property. His partnership with the police department demonstrated his strong commitment and it has made a difference. In 2015, police activity at the motel was down 70 percent.
For many years, Terry has been involved in the Anaheim community and has been a great supporter of the Anaheim Police Department. She and her husband Tim are graduates of the PACE Program and have completed CERT Training.
After Police K9 Bruno was shot in the line of duty, Terry immediately volunteered her time to help raise money for him. She helped organize the sales and shipping of Bruno T-Shirts to 36 States and seen different countries throughout the world.
As a result of the Bruno incident, and with the support of Councilmember Kris Murray, several members of the Anaheim community wanted to show their appreciation for all of our retired Police K9s by erecting two monuments at two dog parks within the city. In order to purchase the monuments, the community needed to raise 100 percent of the funds to cover the costs of the monuments.
Terry once again stepped up and organized a large fundraiser at the Anaheim Hills Golf Course that was a tremendous success. As a result of Terry’s efforts and several other community members, the first monument was recently dedicated at a ceremony at La Palma Park.
Social media has made its impact on law enforcement. Sometimes the impact is not so good, but there are countless examples of good things happening for law enforcement as a result of social media.
Theresa was recognized for establishing the “Anaheim Hills Buzz” Facebook group for Anaheim Hills residents.
Over the past seven years, Anaheim Hills Buzz has accumulated over 14,000 members. The success of the group has led to additional “Buzz” groups in Anaheim and other areas throughout Orange County.
Theresa is a key administrator for the Buzz and she volunteers thousands of hours posting information that will benefit the community. She also works closely with the police department to provide accurate information about crime related issues.
Sasha and Skylar Cerny
In February 2015, Sasha was contacted by a family friend asking for help. She had run away from home and had become the victim of human trafficking. Sasha immediately drove to Anaheim and picked up the young victim and returned her home.
Sadly, the next day, the victim, out of fear, returned to the suspect. Sasha contacted the task force, whose members launched an intensive three-day investigation in an attempt to find the young victim.
During this time, Sasha and Skylar conducted their own investigation and uncovered key information that directly led to the apprehension of the suspect and several accomplices.
Since then, Sasha has opened up her home to the victim to provide a safe and loving home.
COMMUNITY SERVICE AWARDS
Last year, Trauma Intervention Program, Inc. (more commonly known as TIP) recognized Officer Robert McKay with a “2015 Heroes with a Heart” award for his role in assisting the daughter of a woman who unexpectedly passed away in her home
Every year, the Veterans of Foreign War presents an award to an outstanding Anaheim Police officer who demonstrates consistent great work to the Anaheim community. This year, the VFW presented the “VFW Officer of the Year Award” to Officer Eric Deegan and Det. Ryan Hunter for their work during the 2015 calendar year. The VFW also recognized APD Volunteer Loretta Ogden, who has volunteered over 7,400 hours for the PD.
The California Public Safety Radio Association recently held its annual Telecommunications Awards Banquet, where they recognized the special accomplishments of Police/ Sheriffs/Fire and EMS public safety dispatchers. These eight Anaheim Police dispatchers received an honorable mention in the CPRA Team category.
Field Services Division
Jonathan McClintock – Officer of the Year
Jonathan was assigned to Patrol in 2015 and repeatedly demonstrated his passion and dedication to law enforcement and the Anaheim community.
During 2015, he received several commendations for investigations he completed as a patrol officer that led to the successful prosecution of several violent offenders. His patrol sergeant commented, “Jonathan’s work ethic was a model for all patrol officers and his commitment to conducting exceptional investigations resulted in his selection for the gang detail (in October).”
Jonathan Munroe, traffic control assistant — Employee of the Year
Jonathan is recognized for his work ethic and dedication to the police department and the community. While directing traffic in the resort area, Jonathan has been observed on many occasions going above and beyond to assist residents and visitors. His supervisor noted that Jonathan never hesitates to help and is a positive role model in the traffic section.
Special Enforcement Division
Dave Hermann — Investigator of the Year
Over the past two years, Dave has been assigned to the Burglary/Auto Theft Detail. Drawing upon his previous experience as a community policing officer and as an investigator with the Crime Task Force and the Gang Detail, Dave has achieved much success in the BAT Detail. But his past experience is only part of the equation – Dave’s strong work ethic, personal commitment and tenacity have really set him apart.
While Dave works at a fast pace to solve his own cases, he always takes the time to mentor new detectives, build camaraderie in the detail, and to pitch in whenever he is needed. Dave was recently recognized by the Orange County District Attorney’s Office as the first recipient of the DNA Unit’s Award.
Nancy Lopez — Employee of the Year
Nancy is assigned to the Gang Detail and is responsible for filing juvenile petitions, diversion referrals and assisting gang investigators with collecting data for gang expert testimony in court.
As an investigator, Nancy has become familiar with the various tagging crews vandalizing the Anaheim community. Her knowledge and expertise have led to the identification and arrests of several violent suspects.
Brian Leist — Officer of the Year
Over the past few years, every officer at the Anaheim Police Department has attended mandatory department training at the SWAT Annex building. These training classes were crafted as a result of real-life events that were examined by Brian and other members of the department’s MIRT team to find gaps in our officers’ training.
As the lead trainer for these classes, Brian’s ability to teach tactics to officers with different levels of experience and ability proved to be remarkable. His patience, humor, credibility and experience all combined to make these classes, not only beneficial to the individual officer, but they have improved the capabilities and effectiveness of our entire organization.
Taylor Brewer — Cadet
Taylor is a full-time college student majoring in Criminal Justice and works as the cadet in the Training Bureau. Prior to that, she worked in the Personnel Detail and at the front counter of the Main Station. No matter the assignment, Taylor has embraced the opportunity to learn about her chosen profession in law enforcement. Her willingness to learn and her positive attitude have paved the way for her to take on additional responsibilities. Taylor conducts new employee orientations, trains new police cadets, and often assists instructors with training classes.
Support Services Division
Nicole Rapp, Senior Property and Evidence Technician — Employee of the Year
Nicole has earned herself a reputation for being an outstanding employee who always puts the needs of the organization ahead of her own. Her willingness to help others and to work as part of a team has improved the efficiency of her own work area and had made a positive impact on many other areas.
Evelyna Lazo, office specialist — Employee of the Year
Evelyna was nominated for this award by her co-workers in the Records Section for her continuous hard work and dedication to the police department. Currently, she is the only person in the Records department entering information from police reports submitted on paper into the automated records management system. Although this can be a repetitive and tedious task, Evelyna always has a smile on her face and a desire to help others with their workload.
In addition, her co-workers applaud her contributions beyond her duties in Records by volunteering her time to be on the APD Awards Committee, volunteering at fundraisers at the Family Justice Center, and most recently the Guns and Hoses Crossfit event benefiting the APA Survivor and Scholarship Fund. Her volunteerism doesn’t end at the PD either — Evelyna demonstrates her caring personality as a volunteer for TIP.
Community Services Division
Eric Anderson — Officer of the Year
As a member of the Community Policing Team, Eric has demonstrated his commitment to the Anaheim community by working hard to establish long-term relationships with stakeholders throughout the city. His personal desire to help others has allowed him to make an impact on the community he serves.
During his interactions with the community, Eric saw the poor conditions of the La Palma Little League’s baseball fields and took it upon himself to take action. Using his personal and professional resources, Eric secured donated material to completely refurbish the baseball fields. In addition, he organized a large group of volunteers on his day off to do the work needed to make the fields playable in time for the little league season.
But that’s not all. As a member of the Mounted Unit, Officer Anderson and his mounted partners visit children at CHOC Children’s hospital and Eric organized a successful car show fundraiser with the proceeds benefiting CHOC Children’s.
Rocio Burress, Central District crime prevention specialist — Employee of the Year
In 2015, Rocio organized and attended over 150 community meetings and events in her effort to build relationships between the police department and the community.
Reserve Officer of the Year
Mike’s co-workers have included George Clooney, Jim Carrey, Michelle Pfeifer and recently Justin Timberlake.
A talented screen and voice actor, Mike has appeared in several major motion pictures, including “Dreamgirls,” “Man on the Moon” and “Bruce Almighty.” Mike has also starred on several TV Shows, including, “CSI,” “Criminal Minds,” “Hill Street Blues,” and “Magnum P.I.”
For over 30 years Mike has lent his talents to the Anaheim Police Department. He has emceed the PD’s annual awards banquet since the very first luncheon program held in the back lot of the police department. He’s provided narration for department training videos and public service announcements. In addition, Mike has emceed promotional and retirement ceremonies and many special events, including the APD’s successful “Make a Wish” event in 2013.
While Mike doesn’t have police officer status, many years ago, Chief Joe Molloy acknowledged Mike’s contributions to the Police Department by appointing him as a “Technical Reserve Officer.” Since then, Mike has continued to provide his talent and friendship to support the Anaheim Police Department each year.
Meritorious Service Award
With the advancement of technology and the reliance on computers at the police department, some of the APD’s most unsung heroes are the folks working in the I.T. Bureau. Julie is certainly a familiar and friendly face to anyone who has ever needed help with their computer or a software program. Because of her dedication, she does not hesitate to answer e-mails or to troubleshoot a problem during her off-duty time from home.
Steven Querry, dispatch supervisor
Steven holds the official title of Dispatch Supervisor, but since April 2013, he has been assigned as the Systems and Training Supervisor. This role within the Communications Bureau requires Steven to wear many hats and work with many different people within the police department and the city itself.
He has successfully managed several large-scale projects that were carried out seamlessly due to his attention to detail and communication skills. As an example, in 2014 he was the project manager for an upgrade to the 911 system. This was a large undertaking that required Steven to work with the State 911 office, the city phone vendor, the PD’s 911 phone system vendor, and the city’s IT and phone system staff. Steven was credited with making the upgrade the easiest systems transition in many years.
As the Training Supervisor, Steven has taken a hands-on approach with each new dispatcher hired by the police department. He has a great sense for what future technology will bring to law enforcement and works with many different people in the department to make sure the police department and its capabilities are on the cutting edge and up to date in the area of GIS mapping and Computer Aided Dispatching.
His reputation as a team player with a positive attitude extends throughout the police department and his advice and assistance are sought on many different projects. Steven challenges himself every day and as a result, he inspires those who work with and around him.
UNIT OF THE YEAR
The Traffic Section was selected for this award based on its commitment to traffic safety and a new approach to reduce the number of traffic collisions resulting in major injuries and fatalities.
In January 2015, Motor Officer Pat Bradley spearheaded a program that focused on bicycle, pedestrian and automobile safety. By working with the APD Safe Schools Detail, the various school districts in Anaheim, the non-profit organization Coast to Coast and the City of Anaheim Public Works Department, the traffic section developed a comprehensive educational program to instruct members of all ages in the community on basic traffic safety.
The program kicked off at Patrick Henry Elementary School with motor officers using a combination of “trick” riding and interactive participation with the kids to reinforce a traffic safety message.
Since then, the program has reached over 22,000 elementary, junior high and high school students and over 1,200 adults through community events, PTA meetings and homeless outreach efforts. By the end of 2015, there was a 27 percent reduction in fatal traffic accidents and none of the fatal accidents involved a minor.
Officer Matt Budds
Det. Kerry Condon
Investigator Dave Cyprien
Sgt. Ed DeLeon
Officer Ty Hagenson
Office Specialist Evelyna Lazo
Sgt. Jim Reed
Sgt. Mike Zigmund
Joseph T. Molloy Career Achievement Award
Mark Sveinson, Supervisor of the Forensics Detail
Mark joined the Anaheim Police Explorer Post in 1976 and volunteered countless hours as he rose to the rank of Post Captain. A graduate of Loara High School, Mark was hired as an Anaheim Police Cadet in 1979. In 1980, Mark transitioned to become a Traffic Control Assistant and ultimately in 1985, he was promoted to TCA Supervisor.
As a TCA, Mark received several commendations for his willingness to help others and his commitment to the Traffic Bureau.
In 1991, Mark decided to continue on a different career path and was hired as a Forensic Specialist in the ID Bureau. In 1993, Mark received a Chief’s Commendation for his work on a violent rape investigation. The tremendous amount of evidence he diligently collected was successfully used to put the suspect in prison for many years.
As a forensic specialist, Mark never hesitated to help anyone despite the high volume of work waiting for him back in the office. Whether it was taking a few photos for a patrol officer or processing a homicide scene, Mark always had a smile on his face and completed the task as though it was the only thing he had to do that day.
In 2014, Mark was promoted to his current assignment as the Supervisor of the Forensics Detail. His leadership and professionalism has continued the fine reputation of the Forensics Detail and the reputation of the Anaheim Police Department.
Officer Erik Degn
In July 2015 in the early evening hours, Officer Degn and several other officers responded to a residence regarding a possible assault that had just occurred. When the officers arrived, they knocked on the front door repeatedly with no response from anyone inside.
Officer Degn walked to the backyard of the residence to check if maybe he could see anything. Once in the backyard of the residence, Officer Degn found an open door that allowed the officers to enter the residence and check on the welfare of the occupants.
Inside a bedroom, Officer Degn found a young man bleeding profusely from a severe laceration to his arm.
As the other officers continued checking the residence, Officer Degn realized the man’s injury was life threatening and immediately began to take the appropriate steps to save his life.
This involved the use of a tourniquet applied to the man’s arm above his injury. The man was rushed to UCI Medical Center, where doctors praised Officer Degn’s decision to utilize the tourniquet.
The medical staff credited Officer Degn with not only saving the man’s life, but also saving his arm from potentially being amputated.
Officer Eric Anderson
In the morning hours of June 16, 2015 Officer Anderson was at Horace Mann Elementary School just finishing the “Coffee with a Cop” program when he heard an emergency radio call of a medical aid in a nearby neighborhood.
Eric rushed to the scene with lights and siren to the 1700 block of west Glen Avenue. Officer Anderson arrived within a couple of minutes and before the paramedics. As Eric ran into the courtyard, he saw a man seated in a chair in obvious distress, holding his throat and unable to breath. Eric quickly assessed that the man was choking. Although there were several people around the man, everyone was frantic and scared, and no one was giving any type of aid.
Officer Anderson quickly grabbed the man around the sternum and began performing the Heimlich maneuver. After several attempts, he was able to dislodge a piece of bread that was blocking the victim’s throat, and the man began to breathe again. When the paramedics arrived, they found that the man was still had some other food lodged that created some breathing difficulty. The man was transported to the hospital, where he was treated and released.
After the incident, paramedics explained that they were delayed in their response due to the distance of a previous emergency call outside of their boundaries. They went on to explain that the man was in very bad shape, and that Officer Anderson’s action saved the man’s life in opening up the airway enough to allow him to resume breathing.
Had Officer Anderson not arrived so quickly and taken immediate action, the victim would likely have been unresponsive by the time of the paramedics arrival.
(In addition to Officer Steve Anderson, Officer Yesenia Escobar was awarded the Distinguished Service Award for her involvement in the following incident. She could was not able to attend the ceremony but she will receive her medal in the near future.)
On June 8, 2015 in the afternoon hours, Officer Anderson was working traffic enforcement on his police motorcycle near Harbor Boulevard and Wilhelmina Street.
A speeding vehicle caught the attention of Officer Anderson and he stopped the vehicle on Helena Street just south of La Palma Avenue, right across the street from La Palma Park.
As Officer Anderson was filling out the citation, a black pick-up truck stopped next to Officer Anderson, who was now standing next his motorcycle. The driver of the pick-up suddenly exited his truck, and for no apparent reason exited his vehicle and began yelling profanities at Officer Anderson. While the man yelled at Officer Anderson, he suddenly produced a large knife and pointed it at Officer Anderson.
As the man walked to the rear of his pick-up truck, he placed the knife behind his back and walked towards Officer Anderson on the sidewalk. Officer Anderson left his position behind his motorcycle and started backing away from the suspect to give himself more distance.
Unfortunately, the suspect continued to advance on Officer Anderson, who fired his duty weapon at the suspect.
At about this same time, Officer Yesenia Escobar had been across the street conducting enforcement inside La Palma Park. As she wrapped up her activity and drove out of the park, she saw Officer Anderson on his car stop. As she made her way to him, she heard gunshots and activated her lights and siren.
As Officer Escobar arrived and began to exit her vehicle, the suspect turned his attention toward her and began to approach her with the knife held above his shoulder in a stabbing position.
Due to the immediate threat to her life, Officer Escobar also fired her weapon at the suspect, who fell to the ground. The suspect was taken into custody and later died from his injuries.
Due to the courageous actions of Officer Anderson and Officer Escobar, the armed and dangerous suspect’s attack against them ended.
Their bravery in the face of imminent danger is certainly deserving of this recognition.