The Westminster Police Department’s 2018 Awards Ceremony honored the wide-ranging accomplishments of department personnel involved in every facet of law enforcement, from seasoned investigators to rookie officers, from supervisors to volunteers.
Held May 23 at the Rose Center, awards were given to officers who saved lives by taking impaired drivers off the roads and to officers whose investigative efforts led to the recovery of more than 100 stolen vehicles along with 30 arrests.
Officer of the Year honors went to Officer Tim Walker, who’s been with the Westminster Police Department since 1999.
Walker has served as a gang investigator and is considered such a consummate expert on Asian gangs that he is sought throughout Southern California for his knowledge.
When he returned to patrol following his time in investigations, Walker assumed the role of mentor, regularly taking time to assist his fellow officers and share his expertise.
Walker has recently taken on an additional role as a field training officer and has been instrumental in teaching the next generation of Westminster police officers.
“Tim’s phenomenal work ethic, professionalism, and knowledge make him a vital member of this agency and the department is lucky to have an officer of his caliber,” Westminster Police Officers’ Association President Mike Ogawa said.
The Ron Weber Sr. Investigator of the Year award went to Det. Kyle Seasock.
The award is named for Lt. Ron Weber, a 27-year Westminster police officer who died in 2003 from cancer contracted years earlier while investigating methamphetamine labs.
One of the most tenured investigators at the Westminster Police Department, Seasock is assigned to the Narcotics/Special Investigations Unit; however, his duties go beyond that role, Ogawa said.
Seasock is relied upon as a resource in the detective bureau, providing his expertise on an array of investigative tasks.
“His work ethic is second to none and he is regularly the first one to volunteer to help his peers on major cases,” Ogawa said.
Life Saving Awards were given to Officers David Ramirez and Henry Tran for possibly saving the life of a suicidal man who was preparing to jump from the roof of a parking structure.
“Officers Ramirez and Tran were able to talk with the subject and convince him to sit down and speak with them,” Cmdr. Cameron Knauerhaze said. “Over the course of the next 30 minutes, Officers Ramirez and Tran were able to reason with the subject and convince him to voluntarily submit to a psychiatric evaluation.”
Dispatchers Linette McCain and Sara Velardo received Medal of Merit awards for their actions dealing with two homicides that occurred during a 24-hour period in August, one involving a body in a burning vehicle and the other involving a shooting victim.
“Dispatchers are the unsung heroes of law enforcement, represented by the Thin Gold Line,” Knauerhaze said. “Dispatchers must sort through the chaos and gather valuable information, all while trying to lend a compassionate ear to the victim or witness on the other side of the line. They are also a clearinghouse of information, providing officers the information they need to stay safe, alerting them to possible dangers as they respond to calls for service.”
Westminster Police Department 2018 Award recipients
Part Time Employee of the Year: Civilian Investigators Alejandra Toca and Peter Mach
Civilian Employee of the Year: Police Service Officer Cindy Gray
Volunteer of the Year: Don Schuler
Ron Weber Sr. Investigator of the Year: Det. Kyle Seasock
Rookie of the Year: Jonathan Figueroa
Officer of the Year: Tim Walker
Supervisor of the Year: Sonia Kelly
Top Shot Award: Officer Christian Hernandez
Mothers Against Drunk Driving Awards: Officer Claire Tran with 54 arrests, Officer Lawrence Kubota with 31 arrests, and Officer Nick Jezulin with 26 arrests
Auto Theft Advisory Committee (ATAC) Awards: Officer Sam Gradilla with 11 recovered vehicles, Officer Malcolm Pierson with 13 recovered vehicles, Officer Alejandro Lopez with 20 recovered vehicles, Officer Dan McCarthy with 22 recovered vehicles, and Officer Brian Cramer with 42 recovered vehicles.
Police Cross Award: Lt. Ron Weber Sr. and Sgt. Cliff Williams
Military Service Recognition: Sgt. Bill Drinnin, Cpl. Jeremy Fletcher, Det. Jim Wilson, Det. Jerad Kent, Det. Omar Ayala, Det. Andy Pinvidic, Det. Daniel Flynn, Officer Steve Eifert, Officer Jason Stouffer, Officer Roland Perez, Officer Christian Hernandez, Officer Stewart De Jong, Officer Michael Ogawa, Officer Jim Delk, Officer Waylon Pettengill, Police Service Officer Chris Duong, and Police Service Officer Cindy Moranville