For Immediate Release
For more information, media representatives should contact:
Sgt. Susan West, Greeley Police Department, Public Information Officer
Desk: 970-351-5383 Cell: firstname.lastname@example.org
Subject: Greeley Police Department Annual Awards Ceremony
Each year the Greeley Police Department recognizes individuals for outstanding accomplishments, and with the start of the New Year the time is upon us again. This year’s ceremony is January 15, 2014 beginning at 5:30 p.m. in the Monfort Concert Hall at the Union Colony Civic Center, 701 10th Avenue, Greeley.
The Citizen’s Certificate of Merit is awarded to individuals whose actions exemplify excellence in performance of civic responsibilities; show unselfish devotion to their fellow man and the community in which they live; or whose actions bring honor to him/herself and recognition to the City.
The Citizen’s Certificate of Merit will be awarded to Ararso Kemer and Mike Mangelluzzi for the assistance they provided police officers in the apprehension of a “Weld’s Most Wanted” fugitive on November 5, 2013. Mr. Mangelluzzi chased the suspect who entered the apartment of Mr. Kemer. Mr. Kemer, in turn, grabbed the suspect, opened the door for police and the suspect was taken into custody. Neither the suspect, the police nor any citizens were harmed during the arrest of an extremely dangerous felon.
The Life Saving Award is awarded to any police employee or citizen for the saving of a human life.
Officers Brown and Romero will receive the award for their efforts in rescuing a woman hanging over the guardrail at the Highway 85 overpass over 8th Ave on March 12, 2013. The officers discovered the woman was committed to taking her own life, but were able through good verbal skills, patience and rapport building to prevent her from jumping from the overpass.
On August 13, 2013, Officer Justin Whipple responded to a medical call of a thirty-three year old female experiencing cardiac arrest. Upon his arrival he immediately began CPR, and due to his immediate actions the female began talking and breathing on her own.
Officer Novar Garcia is receiving the Life Saving Award for providing immediate medical attention to a stabbing victim on July 2, 2013. Officer Garcia found the victim bleeding and losing consciousness. He began applying direct pressure to the wound, accompanied her to the hospital, and medical personnel indicated his immediate actions directly impacted her ability to survive.
On the cold, fifteen degree night of February 19, 2013, Officer Tim Young was dispatched to a report of a male party sleeping in the area of 14th Avenue and 9th Street. Both officers and medical personnel searched for approximately 15 minutes, locating no one. Officer Young diligently continued to search for the male and finding him thirteen blocks away with minimal covering, suffering from hypothermia and barely alive. His core temperature at the hospital was 74 degrees which normally results in death. This man ended up making a full recovery.
Sergeant Aaron Carmichael was enjoying a family gathering at Old Chicago on his day off, December 15, 2013. A man entered the restaurant and was approaching a table when he collapsed to the floor. He went into cardiac arrest, did not have a pulse and was not breathing. Sgt. Carmichael immediately began CPR, the man was transported to the hospital and is recovering. Sgt. Carmichael’s quick action clearly saved the life of this citizen.
The Certificate of Merit will be awarded to several individuals for excellence in police work or support activities.
Officers Elizabeth Finch and Doug Steinhour worked in conjunction with the Department of Homeland Security in June to arrest an individual who was looking for families who would provide young children for sexual encounters. Through their investigative efforts the suspect came to Greeley and was arrested without incident, most certainly saving young children from being victims of sexual assault.
On August 24th, 2013, Officers Rebecca Ries and Jackson Brunmeier, and Sergeant Todd Finch responded to a robbery call in the parking lot of an apartment complex. The suspect tried to assault the victim with a beer bottle, taking an ipad and flight manual from him. The suspect was located in the area and began running, being chased for several minutes by Officer Brunmeier. He was eventually taken into custody by Officers Brunmeier, Ries and Sgt. Finch. Upon his arrest the suspect admitted to having a gun during the incident.
On September 7, 2013, Greeley police investigated the stabbing of a female victim. The suspect was determined to be her common law husband. Officer Wes Doney familiarized himself with the suspect and began surveillance in several locations. On September 9th, his day off, Officer Doney was driving in south Greeley when he saw the suspect in the parking lot of a local business. Officer Doney contacted dispatch, kept the suspect in view and provided updates to responding officers. The suspect was arrested and charged with Attempted Murder.
In the spring of 2013, Officer John McNerney opened a problem oriented policing project on a local bar after several major incidents occurred there. Through his presence and perseverance the bar and its staff received two citations. The incidents were thoroughly documented and ultimately resulted in the bar shutting down, removing a problem establishment from the City of Greeley.
In yet another liquor investigation, Officer Brian Hunziker contacted a visibly intoxicated person in a local bar. In this investigation, Officer Hunziker went above and beyond and put together a comprehensive investigation, resulting in the suspension of the establishment’s liquor license for a period of time. The City Attorney’s Office commented that Officer Hunziker’s investigation and testimony were instrumental in proving the case.
In early summer, Lt. Brad Goldschmidt retired from the police department leaving a vacancy on A platoon for a watch commander. As candidates applied and tested, Sgt. Bill West was approached by command staff and asked to become the acting lieutenant and watch commander until a replacement could be selected. Sgt. West accepted without hesitation; accepting responsibility for two entire shifts of officers, in addition to his regular assignment as the Special Enforcement Team supervisor and direct supervisor of several patrol officers. Sgt. West instantly became accountable for the performance of 29 employees. Acting Lieutenant West performed his duties exceptionally well and managed resources to ensure the Police Department accomplished it mission.
The Police Commendation Bar is awarded to any police employee for outstanding contributions to law enforcement through the success of difficult police projects, programs, or situations with such contributions being made in a highly professional degree of accomplishment.
Beginning in March 2008 and lasting through November 2012, several police officers, sergeants and lieutenants worked in conjunction with the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives to investigate the armed drug trafficking and violent criminal activity of a local street gang. Their efforts resulted in the arrest of 31 people, with 145 federal indictments. Officers Craig Bollig, Jason Edwards, Michael Prill, Robert Cash, Zach St. Aubyn, Dan Frazen, Jeff Smith, Josh Dice, Sergeants Todd Finch and Roy Smith, and Lieutenant Adam Turk will receive the Police Commendation Bar for their roles in this extensive investigation.
The Federal Government has a program, DRMO – Defense Reutilization and Marketing Office, which makes government surplus items available to local law enforcement and public service agencies. Officer Andy Gilmore offered to be the liaison with this office to assist the police department in obtaining equipment for which monies had not been budgeted. Officer Gilmore committed himself to the assignment and his continued involvement has resulted in the receipt of equipment well over several thousand dollars.
Sergeant Jim Blush is receiving the Police Commendation Bar in recognition of his service to the Weld County Drug Task Force. Sgt. Blush is returning to patrol after five and one-half years as the sergeant of the task force. The task force sergeant has a unique assignment as he is required to supervise investigators from other agencies and he must coordinate investigations with other task forces and federal agencies. Sergeant Blush has gone out of his way to provide excellent service to the task force and the investigators he supervises.
In April 2012, the Weld County Drug Task Force became involved in a large scale drug trafficking investigation. Officer Doug Steinhour was assigned as the lead investigator. The complex investigation resulted in the seizure of well over half a million dollars in cash and vehicles, sixteen pounds of cocaine, five pounds of methamphetamine, and the arrest of twenty high level dealers throughout the country, but all with ties to Weld County. Officer Steinhour is being awarded the Police Commendation Bar, and the Certificate of Merit is being awarded to Greeley Police Officers Mike Moran, Tanya Gutierrez, Theodore Ryan, Sergeant James Blush, Weld County Sheriff’s Deputies John Tucker and Mark Geyer, Federal Bureau of Investigations Special Agent Chris Calarco and Homeland Security Investigations Special Agent Rich Ojala.
The Meritorious Conduct Bar is to be awarded for heroic deed and exceptional meritorious conduct involving exemplary courage, risk and danger to personal safety.
On April 7, 2013, the communications center received a disturbance call. While officers were enroute, the dispatcher could hear a female saying “put the knife down” and could hear a struggle. Upon arrival the officers – Bryan Self, Novar Garcia, James Coggswell, Alex Cowan and Jerry Burroughs – learned a male had been stabbed and the suspect was still in the apartment with the victim’s adult daughter. The officers knew they must make immediate entry as any delay could result in additional injuries or loss of life. The officers entered, confronted the suspect in a small bathroom in close proximity to the daughter. She was ultimately rescued and the suspect taken into custody. A ten-inch butcher knife was found in the bathroom.
An officer was investigating a domestic violence situation on April 30, 2013. The suspect was determined to be living under a bridge on 11th Avenue, and Officers Annette Holloway and Chris Huet went there to locate him. The suspect was hiding from them, and when ordered to come out he produced a hatchet and knife, menacing the officers, telling them to shoot him. Officers Kyle Peltz, Bryan Self, and Alex Cowan arrived to assist, eventually taking the suspect into custody without the use of deadly force. For their efforts in this extremely volatile situation Officers Holloway and Huet will be awarded the Meritorious Conduct Bar. Officers Peltz, Self and Cowan will be awarded the Certificate of Merit.
Civilian Employee of the Year – JoAnn Castle
JoAnn is a forty-three year employee and is one of the greatest resources for the police department. She helps with Spanish interpretation, manages the department cell phones and department keys, and is responsible for paying the department’s vendors correctly and efficiently. She has been instrumental in the implementation of the Department’s new time keeping system, insuring that everyone in the department is paid correctly and on time.
Officer of the Year – Brian Hunziker
Officer Hunziker is a five year veteran of the Greeley Police Department. He has earned the admiration of his fellow officers, supervisors, and surrounding agencies for his strong work, passion for justice and diligent approach to police work. He is not content with mediocrity and sets high standards for himself which in turn is an inspiration to those around him. Officer Hunziker has arrested numerous DUI drivers over the course of the year, and is diligent in traffic enforcement, exemplifying the Department’s goal of improving traffic safety. Officer Hunziker is dedicated to the law enforcement profession and specifically, to the Greeley Police Department. Officer Hunziker, quiet and soft spoken, is a silent leader and is always the first to help and last to go home. He places organizational interests ahead of personal convenience. His commitment, proactive approach and extreme dedication to the police profession speak volumes.
Awards will also be presented for years of service, years of safe driving and marksmanship.
There are numerous officers receiving these awards, but there are a few worthy of individual mention.
For safe driving – 20 years – Officer Alden Hill
25 years – Sergeant Bill West
30 years – Sergeant James McEachron
For Years of Service – 20 years – Officer Steve Perkins
25 years – Sergeants Bill West and Kell Hulsey, Dispatcher Lena
30 years – Officers Keith Andersen, Stacy Clinton, Novar Garcia
35 years – Sergeant James McEachron, Lieutenant Steve Nelson
Retiree – Lieutenant Brad Goldschmidt – 32 Years of Service