The best part of being a chief officer is the pleasure of recognizing great police work. Wednesday afternoon we applauded heroes who performed admirably.
Rick Martinez was awarded the Life Saving Medal for talking a woman intent on killing herself off of a bridge. With traffic zooming by, Rick stayed focused, calm and compassionate. He leveraged her love of dogs to talk her off the ledge.
Dustin Ross was awarded the Chief Steve Belcher Community Policing award. Ross puts into practice the high ideals of retired Chief Steve Belcher. Chief Belcher was instrumental in bringing Community/Neighborhood Policing to Santa Cruz in the early ’90s. Officer Ross who has a tremendous sense of humor helped solve numerous community problems.
Brad Burruel was given an Exceptional Performance Citation for his work at creating a first of its kind Mass Casualty Prevention training and protocol. His efforts were recognized and picked up by numerous departments from around the Country, including the Police Executive Research Forum, Lexipol, and CalChiefs.
These three police officers embody excellence in policing. Through compassion, understanding, and innovation, they collectively demonstrate how policing can be performed at the highest level of this profession.