The Long Beach Police Foundation hosted the 47th annual Police Awards Ceremony for the Long Beach Police Department (LBPD) Tuesday evening at the Carpenter Performing Arts Center at California State University, Long Beach.
About 200 people gathered inside the auditorium, including LBPD Chief Robert Luna, Mayor Robert Garcia and Rep. Alan Lowenthal (D-Long Beach), to celebrate the presentation of nearly a dozen different types of honors—including the inaugural Outstanding Community Partner Award.
“It’s important that we recognize—particularly at this difficult moment in history of law enforcement—the great work being done by our community, that’s being done by our officers, and is being done by all those who support law enforcement and public safety,” Garcia said.
The following individuals were honored:
Richard Donahue, for providing police with license plate information connected to two burglary suspects in his neighborhood.
Rav Holly, for restraining an armed burglary suspect with his martial arts skills until police arrived.
Alejandro Castenada, for helping an officer restrain a fleeing suspect by lying across the suspect’s legs.
Kevin Allison and Steve Brown, for assisting an officer in controlling a group of confrontational and combative juveniles until additional units arrived.
Ian Fennel and Larashanda Wheeler, for alerting the LBPD of a missing 10-year-old boy aboard Fennel’s Long Beach Transit bus.
Angela Allen and Jesus Santana, for communicating with the LBPD about a missing 17-year-old girl and 5-year-old boy aboard Allen’s Long Beach Transit bus.
Nanette West, for alerting Long Beach Transit Communications supervisors of a young man with mental disabilities on her bus who was reported missing.
Geneva Clayborne and Sixto Macias, for alerting LBPD of a missing 89-year-old man with a severe medical condition aboard Clayborne’s Long Beach Transit Communications supervisors of a young man with mental disabilities on her bus who was reported missing.
Outstanding Community Partner:
Pastor Gregory Sanders of The ROCK Christian Fellowship, for his leadership at town hall meetings and role with the Long Beach Ministers Alliance. This is the first time the award has been given out.
Michael Brown (1,930 hours), Mike Yoachum (1,549 hours), Frank Kuehn (1,120 hours), Isidro Lopez (733 hours), Jose Flores (725 hours), Paige White (684 hours), Ed Guerry (614 hours), Jesse Villa (601 hours), Kenia Duarte (582 hours), Alexis Miranda (574 hours), David Madigan (564 hours), Linda Penrod (552 hours), Samuel King (543 hours), Marshaun Scott (516 hours), Alan Feldman (504 hours), Maribel Castillo (503 hours).
North Division Directed Enforcement Team, for focus on violent crime, gang, drug activity and nuisance locations throughout North Long Beach. In 2014, they made 345 felony arrests, 60 misdemeanor arrests, 191 arrests of documented gang members, 125 arrests of probationers or parolees, 28 search warrants and confiscated 21 guns.
Crime Impact Motor Team, for utilizing traffic enforcement techniques and proactive gang enforcement to help reduce violent and gang-related criminal activity. It created more than 5,900 self-initiated calls, assisting in more than 3,900 other calls for service and issuing more than 3,300 moving violation citations and arresting 66 drivers who were under the influence.
Distinguished Service Award:
Public Safety Dispatcher Deborah Greene (and Richard Rupp who received a Community Service Award), for taking quick action and dispatching additional officers with limited information to help two officers struggling to restrain a suspect in the street. Richard Rupp helped redirect traffic and used a police radio on the ground to call dispatch.
Clerk Typist Jamie Wallace, for assisting detectives in obtaining files related to a church molestation case, such as old citations, accident reports, suspect fingerprint cards and arrest records.
Clerk Typist Silvia Medina, for her work with the Gang Enforcement Section and Gang and Violent Crimes Division, including submitting lab requests, compiling lab results and ensuring results were quickly matched so in-custody defendants would not be released.
Police Services Specialist Nancy Pratt, for spearheading the upgrade of the LBPD’s Community Room in addition to her responsibilities as a public information officer.
Lt. Michael Lewis, for filling in as the interim records division administrator where he managed 78 sworn and civilian employees and round-the-clock operations.
Detention officers Jose Escobar and Rogelio Martinez, for their quick actions to prevent a prisoner in Men’s Jail from committing suicide with a makeshift rope made out of a blanket.
Public Safety Dispatcher Jean Rhoads, for her work in collecting and disseminating accurate information during an incident where a motor vehicle was struck by a semi-truck while blocking traffic for police vehicles transporting narcotics slated for destruction.
Public Safety Dispatcher Shaina Blalock, for calming a hysterical woman reporting that her husband had just shot an intruder.
Detective Donald Collier, for coordinating robbery investigations with law enforcement in the city of Corona and counties of Los Angeles and Riverside. Six suspects connected with the violent robberies connected in all those areas were eventually found guilty.
Officer Oscar Dominguez, for creating a comprehensive security gap assessment and analysis of the 90-year-old Long Beach Airport, including identifying issues and providing fiscally responsible solutions.
Detective Adrian Garcia, for his thoroughness in two separate investigations involving street and motorcycle gangs.
Officers John Garry, John McVay and Christian Moody, for their planning and comprehensive investigation surrounding an East Long Beach residence allegedly involved in the sale of narcotics.
Detective Mark Steenhausen and Officer Tomas Diaz, for working together in capturing a man suspected of residential robbery and auto burglaries and arresting an unrelated suspect wanted for murder in Sacramento during a search warrant.
Sgt. Clint Grimes and officers Cris Costa, Sean Riordan and Carlos Sandoval, for successfully subduing and transporting a mentally disabled man tp a mental facility after he locked himself inside a trailer on his property with two propane tanks.
Officer Jorge Grajeda, for talking a man out of trying to injure himself with a large hunting knife outside of a convenience store.
Officers Brandon Mitchell and Guadalupe Villescas Payan, for applying pressure to the wounds of a victim stabbed by his brother during a fight. They also reassured the victim’s wife to calm the situation.
Meritorious Award for Bravery:
Officers David Ebell, Derek Ernest, Roque Foster, Jesus Hernandez, Patrick Lyon and Shawn Loughlin, for stopping an armed suspect from gaining entry into a residence through the use of force. The suspect had previously engaged in gunfire with police at a gas station and residential area when they were alerted by the suspect’s ex-girlfriend of threats made against her.
Officer Johnny Dodson, for controlling a suspect who was under the influence of an unknown drug, armed with a bat and uncooperative outside a business, by pulling his gun and holding his ground until help arrived. Dodson also faced more tension caused by an unruly group of citizens in the area.
Meritorious Award for Heroism:
Sgts. Christopher Bolt, Hector Nieves, Bruce Lee, Brian Tuliau and Officers Jonathan Cole, Mark Mesun, Stephan Ritchie and Jayson Torres, for rescuing an infant inside an apartment where his father was under the influence of methamphetamine and had previously discharged his weapon.
Chief’s Community Policing Award:
Officer Claudia Lopez, for creating more than 100 community watch groups, managing COPS projects and initiating quarterly community forums in Spanish in the East Division community.
Excellence in Leadership:
Cmdr. Lisa Lopez, for her work as Chief of Staff and overseeing the operations of the police chief and coordinating with the mayor and city council, city manager, department heads and community on matter relating to the police.
Civilian Employee of the Year:
Special Services Officer Jose Mata, for his work in the Marine Patrol Section, including managing multiple projects and increasing workloads, and helping improve the image of the LBPD.
The 2015 Daryle Black Memorial Scholarship essay winners include the following explorers:
Frankie McCoy, 1st place ($500)
Gracen Alvarez, 2nd place ($300)
Alan Feldman, 3rd place ($200)
Joseph Chavez, 3rd place ($200)
All photos by Stephanie Rivera.