The South Pas Police Department held its awards ceremony on Wednesday — usually an annual event, but this year recognizing those who went above and beyond in both 2018 and 2019, last year’s ceremony not having taken place.
The ceremonies, presided over by Chief Joe Ortiz, took place at the War Memorial building.
Here’s are highlights of the winners:
2018 PART-TIME EMPLOYEES OF THE YEAR: Cadets Ricky and Gary Sze. They have been with the department since May 2014. Currently Gary is staff support for the Detective Bureau and Ricky has been assigned temporarily to the Records Bureau as Interim Clerk.
2019 PART-TIME EMPLOYEE OF THE YEAR: Cadet Nicholas Godoy. He has been with the department since July 2018. While working as a cadet, he is also enrolled at California State-Los Angeles as a full-time student, majoring in criminal justice.
2018 CIVILIAN OF THE YEAR: Police Assistant Catalina Valdez. In 2012, Valdez was chosen to become a communications training officer, while dreaming of becoming a police officer. In December 2018, she fulfilled that dream, graduating from the Los Angeles County Sheriff’s Academy in May and getting her South Pas badge.
2019 CIVILIAN OF THE YEAR: Police Assistant Cynthia Pacheco. She has been with the department for eight years. She was promoted to full-time police assistant in December 2012 and is part of the communications training program for dispatch.
2018 OFFICER OF THE YEAR: Detective Arthur Burgos. The 18-year veteran started with the department as a records clerk for just under two years before becoming a police dispatcher. He is now one of the department’s arrest and control instructors as well as one of its defensive tactics instructors.
2019 OFFICER OF THE YEAR: Detective Richard Lee. He has been with the department since 1987, when he was hired as a reserve police officer. In 1994, he was hired as a full-time officer. Currently, Lee is assigned as a detective, the crime prevention officer and crime analyst, among other roles.
2018 SERGEANT OF THE YEAR: Lieut. Shannon Robledo. The recently promoted Robledo has been with the department for over 28 years and started as a Police Explorer. On Nov. 25, 2019, he was promoted to lieutenant.
2019 SERGEANT OF THE YEAR: Lieut. Tom Jacobs. Recently promoted, Jacobs has been with the department since 1999, when he was hired as a reserve officer. He became a full-time in 2002, was promoted to corporal in 2008, sergeant in 2016 and to acting captain in February 2019. On Nov. 25, 2019, he was promoted to lieutenant. He has a supervisory role on the Special Enforcement Team and is a member of the firearms range staff and the defensive tactics instructor, among other roles.
MERITORIOUS SERVICE AWARD: Lieut. Shannon Robledo. He was nominated for his valuable work with the homeless community for the last two years.
DISTINGUISHED SERVICE MEDAL: Officers Daren Wong and Detective Richard Lee. They have been organizing department and SPPOA programs and events for over 20 years, including the DARE program and the Crime Prevention Unit, the safety fair and Kidprints.
LIFESAVING AWARD: Officer Daren Wong, Officer Christopher Perez, Detective Arthur Burgos. Incident Date: May 25, 2019. They used the drug Narcan to save a man lying on the ground and not breathing.
LIFESAVING AWARD: Officer Randy Wise. Incident Date: Oct. 4, 2019. Used Narcan to revive a man who had overdosed.