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Santa Barbara Sheriff’s Office’s annual awards honored exemplary service to the community


SANTA BARBARA, Calif. – The Santa Barbara County Sheriff's Office honored employees and members of the community at their Annual Recognition Awards Luncheon on Thursday at the Earl Warren Showgrounds.

The ceremony began with the presentation of service pins for those who have served within the Sheriffs Office for 25 years. This year's recipients were: Sheriff’s Sergeant Dustin Poquette, Sheriff’s Deputy Special Duty William Henslin, Sheriff’s Deputy Special Duty Douglas Jones, Custody Deputy Special Duty Anthony DeLira, Custody Deputy Sophia Bendele, Administrative Office Professional Senior Jennifer Tieso, Administrative Office Professional II Socorro Vargas, and Custodian Javier Hernandez.

The next award was the Sheriff's Office certificate of merit and the Emergency Medical Services Agency CPR Save award presented to community member Jeffrey Stark and Sheriff's Dispatcher Nichole Sagisi.

When Stark found someone having a heart attack, he provided life-saving CPR to the person while Sagisi dispatch first responders and provided CPR instructions over the phone. The person they saved joined the two on stage at the event.

The following 25 deputies received commendations for naloxone saves where they administered Narcan in a manner that resulted in the reversal of a suspected opioid overdose and prevented a death: Sheriff’s Deputy Special Duty Jose Alvarez, Sheriff’s Deputy Special Duty James Carovano, Sheriff’s Deputy Special Duty Thomas Green, Sheriff’s Deputy Special Duty Isaac Munoz, Sheriff’s Deputy Bruno Bertuzzi, Sheriff’s Deputy Christopher Brady, Sheriff’s Deputy Eduardo Cazarez, Sheriff’s Deputy Tyler Davis, Community Resource Deputy Bryan Dickey, Sheriff’s Deputy Torey Dunn, Sheriff’s Deputy Hartley Freedman, Sheriff’s Deputy Garrett Gish, Sheriff’s Deputy Jesus Gutierrez, Sheriff’s Deputy Jason Martinez, Sheriff’s Deputy Gregory Plett, Sheriff’s Deputy Christopher Portman, Sheriff’s Deputy Daniel Skall, Sheriff’s Deputy Dennis Thomas, Sheriff’s Deputy Garrett Weinreich, Sheriff’s Deputy Connor Worden, Custody Deputy Jose Alejo, Custody Deputy Cole Knapp, Custody Deputy Joel Mena, Custody Deputy Matthew Sua, and Custody Deputy Oswaldo Zacarias.

Next, the presentation for the Sheriff's Office highest civilian award, The Exceptional Civilian Award, was presented to Sharon Byrne, Executive Director of the Montecito Association for her dedication to the community and collaboration with the Sheriff's Office.

Additional Exceptional Civilian Awards were presented to the founding members of the group One 805: Eric Phillips, Nina Phillips, Kirsten Cavendish Weston-Smith, Richard Weston-Smith, and John Thyne III.

The Sheriff's Lifesaving Award, for Sheriff's employees, members of allied agencies, or civilians who performed CPR or other lifesaving first aid for ill or injured people resulting in their survival from their immediate injury or medical emergency was presented to the following people: Custody Deputy Mason Henslin, Custody Deputy Jose Miguel, Custody Deputy Paul Russ, Custody Deputy Jose Robledo, Custody Deputy Oswaldo Zacarias, Custody Deputy Jose Miguel, Custody Deputy Jasmin Cruz, Custody Deputy Tristin Fichtner, Custody Deputy Michael Halcomb, and Custody Deputy Blake Martinez.

Teams of Communications dispatchers alongside deputies that responded to calls for patients who were unconscious and/or not breathing were honored with the Emergency Medical Services Agency CPR Save award and Sheriff's Livesaving award for their preservation of lives. Honorees were this year were Communications Dispatcher Kelsey Gagen with Sheriff’s Deputy Tomas Brownlee, and Communications Dispatcher Daisy Cortez with Sheriff’s Deputy Eduardo Cazarez.

Sheriff Brown presented Sheriff's Sergeant Jarom Kemp and Los Angeles County Firefighter Jason Brody with the Sheriff's Lifesaving Award for their teamwork in response to a witnessed cardiac arrest. Their teamwork saved that person's life. The survivor joined the two on-stage during the ceremony.

Deputy Ignacio Rios Jr. was awarded the Sheriff's Lifesaving Award for his response to an overdose where he had to deploy two doses of Narcan and administered CPR saving that person's life.

Deputies Steven Martinez and Michael Reynoso were also awarded the Sheriff's Lifesaving Award for their response to a vehicle roll-over where they worked together to help trapped people including using a tourniquet to save one person's life.

Deputy Simon Trujillo was also awarded the Sheriff's Lifesaving Award for his response to an injured motorcyclist following a crash. His application of a tourniquet to the rider's leg ultimately saved their life.

Sheriff Brown presented two Sheriff's Unit Citations to organizational units for outstanding teamwork. The Sheriff's Special Operations Response Team and the Classification and Intelligence Unit were this year's recipeints.

Two recipients of this years' Meritorious Service Award for members of the Sheriff's Office whose accomplishments result in significant contributions to the Sheriff's Office operations. Community Resource Deputy Justin Schroeder was honored for his service to the Isla Vista community. Sheriff's Deputy Kody Kiesow was also honored for entering brackish waters in a rescue attempt of an occupant of a partially submerged vehicle. Kiesow administered CPR after removing the driver who later was pronounced dead at the scene despite his efforts.

Sheriff Brown ended the ceremony with presentations of the Distinguished Service Medal. The award is for members of the Sheriff's Office that have demonstrated exceptional achievement over a prolonged period. Sheriff's Deputy Leslie Avila (Retired) was honored for her education of over 10,000 students as the DARE manager and instructor. School Resource Deputy George "Meade" Hendricks was honored for his 11 years of service to the students and staff he serves at Dos Pueblos High School.

“Day after day you exhibit physical and moral courage, compassion, caring and dedication to duty," said Sheriff Brown. “Thank you again to our award recipients and to each and every one of you for all you do to make me proud to be your Sheriff, and to everyone who made this event possible today.”

Article Topic Follows: Community
community assistance
community service
law enforcement
life-saving measures
Santa Barbara
santa barbara county sheriff's office

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Andrew Gillies

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