The Turlock Police Department recognized officers, employees and volunteers who significantly impacted the community in a positive way in 2019 during its annual awards ceremony on Thursday.
Looking back on 2019, Police Chief Nino Amirfar recognized the challenges the department faced through staffing shortages and applauded employees for “serving as if the challenges didn’t occur.”
The Excellence Award was presented to the Traffic Safety Unit, who despite being a small group made a big impact in 2019. The Traffic Safety Unit lowered the collision injury rate by 21 percent and handled several major collision investigations over the year.
A Special Commendation was presented to Captain Steven Williams. In 2019, Williams assumed two major challenges: spearheading the acquisition of a new radio system and computer aided dispatch and records management system.
“His ability to work through challenges, his organizational skills and his ability to stay on task and not falter has assisted this organization tremendously as he has worked through the challenges of working with various budgets, several agencies and several professional service providers to get Turlock Police into an updated technological state – 21st century,” said Chief Amirfar.
Officers Cody Lawrence and Hiram Duncan were awarded the Medal of Meritorious Service for their efforts in evacuating residents of a house fire. On July 14, 2019, Officers Lawrence and Duncan responded to a call of a house on fire on Olive Avenue. At the time, it was unknown if anyone was inside the residence. When they arrived, they saw the second story balcony of the house was on fire and immediately attempted to alert the residents inside. When people fleeing the home informed them that other individuals remained inside, they proceeded to methodically clear the first floor and navigate the interior of the residence “with precision and efficiency.” They successfully removed six people from the home, including an elderly male who was on the second floor.
With life having been protected, they then turned his efforts toward fire suppression and attempted to hold the fire at bay. They protected the remaining structure by utilizing limited equipment until the Fire Department arrived.
Chief Amifar praised the job done by both the officers, stating their actions went above and beyond duty and "are a tribute to the men and women of Law Enforcement and the Turlock Police Department’s commitment to the community and its citizens."
The 2019 Turlock Police Department Awards:
Employee of the Year — Dominique Sanchez
Volunteer of the Year — Linda Davis
Officer of the Year — Jacob Young
Excellence Award — Traffic Safety Unit
Special Commendation — Captain Steven Williams
Medal of Meritorious Service — Officer Cody Lawrence