Officers, professional civilian staff and volunteers honored March 2 at AJPD Awards Ceremony
Last week, the Apache Junction Police Department announced the honorees recognized at the 2017 Awards Ceremony for Police Officers, professional civilian staff and volunteers.
On Friday, March 2 at the Dolce Vita ballroom, approximately 160 attendees heard Chief Thomas E. Kelly and the other members of the command staff praise all of the men and women of the organization, who were thanked for their superior service to the community.
Chief Kelly commended members of the department’s three divisions Patrol, Support Services and Criminal Investigations by stating in part, “Tonight, we will recognize some of those special, recognized acts brought to the attention of command staff. Your enforcement efforts this year effected over 2,500 arrests and responded to over 51,400 calls for police service to our community. On behalf of the city, myself and, more importantly, all the people you serve daily, I truly thank you for your professionalism and dedication to our sworn duty: Public Safety.”
Detective Steven Jeansonne was recognized as Police Officer of the Year for his dedication to the task of examining and recovering digital evidence from electronic devices used in criminal offenses. Jeansonne has received praise from peers and outside law enforcement agencies that he has assisted. Jeansonne has been a member of the Police Department since 2006.
A Unit Citation Award was given to the Police Records Section, consisting of Jacklynn Beausoleil, Margaret Montano, Christina Penneman and David Williams for their dedication to the continuous flow of paperwork and data entry, telephone calls and walk-in contacts with the public.
The 2017 Volunteer of the Year is Frieda Hamilton, for serving Paws and Claws Care Center through 700 hours of service.
Top Volunteer Hours for the Year was awarded to Larry Kincaid, Anne Zika, Judith Luby, Larry Bookhamer, Vickie Sullivan, Barbara Titus, Will Haynes, Thomas Becker and Aubrey Keck. They were recognized for their dedicated volunteer service.
A Significant Operation Service Award went to Sergeant Eric Goodwyn, Sergeant Matthew Painter, Officer Kenneth Eshenbaugh, Officer Cameron Kellogg, Officer Duane Tuohy, Officer Pedro Valdez and Officer Alec Wimbley for locating and arresting a violent offender for another agency, and a Police Chief’s Medal of Commendation was given to Sergeant David James for the coordination.
Officer Marshall Harshman was awarded a Commendation Medal for demonstrating continued and sustained outstanding work ethic and dedication to children in our community. Harshman oversees the DARE/Explorer programs as the department’s school resource officer. He also covered the duties for the Community Resource Coordinator during the vacancy of the position.
Also receiving Commendation Medals were Corporal Eric Reimann, Officer Keith Gabriel and Officer Breck Tripp for arresting three suspects at a residential burglary in progress and the subsequent recovery of significant property.
Commendation Medals were also awarded to Officer Timothy Gearhart, Officer Brian Brugman and Detective Adam Barnes, who searched for and safely recovered a small child who had been made a ward of the court.
Animal Control Officer KC Sheahan was awarded a Medal of Excellence for his outstanding commitment to department operations and exemplary service for his investigation of an illegal puppy farm, animal abuse case and coordination with federal authorities.
A Life Saving Award was presented to Officer Joseph Lucero who went to a report of a home on fire, entered the residence, placing himself in jeopardy, and brought the woman out safely.
Officer Kenneth Eshenbaugh and Officer Pedro Valdez also received a Life Saving Award. When they were sent to the home of an unconscious man, the officers administered first aid, including CPR and Narcan Naxolone, as he appeared to have overdosed on opiates. The man survived.
A Life Saving Award was presented to Officer Cameron Kellogg, who saved a young suicidal man by cutting him down from attempting to hang by a rope on a tree. The man survived.
The Medal of Valor was presented to Officer Kenneth Eshenbaugh and Detective Peter Tejeda, and a Medal of Commendation was awarded to Officer Richard Rivera for their bravery and exceptional performance in the arrest of an aggravated assault suspect in a domestic case.
The Civilian Employee of the Year was presented to Animal Control Officer KC Sheahan, for his steady, professional performance in handling the variety of animal-related calls for service and helping the Paws and Claws Care Center to find permanent homes for animals. Sheahan has been with the Police Department since 2015.
Police Telecommunications Officer of the Year is Janine Samara, for continuously providing exceptional service, maintaining a new dispatcher training manual and working to train new employees. Janine also participated in Special Olympics fundraisers and the Holiday Toy Drive. Samara has been with the Police Department since 2013.