San Luis Obispo County Sheriff Ian Parkinson publicly honored nearly 50 members of the department and other local agencies during a special awards ceremony held Wednesday morning.
“It doesn’t get any better than this,” said Parkinson. “This was an all encompassing event that occurred that day that brought in fire, dispatch, all personnel across the board from this department, and they performed exactly the way publicly we’d want them, and professionally the way we’d want them.”
The incident Parkinson was referring to happened Nov. 15, 2015 at a residence in rural Paso Robles.
“It was quite chaotic,” said Sgt. Steve Odom, San Luis Obispo County Sheriff’s Office. “There was a lot of chemical munitions deployed. It was dark, it was freezing cold. We were out there for about 10 hours, it was just a very chaotic situation.”
On the day of call, Sheriff Deputies, as well as members of the Special Enforcement Detail (SED) responded to a barricade situation involving 61-year-old Nicole Honait Luxor of Paso Robles. The initial call was due to a report of an assault with a deadly weapon. During the response, members of the SED entered the home and discovered a deceased male victim.
Luxor retreated to the upper portion of the house and fired a shot at Deputies. Members of the SED withheld firing back at the suspect and decided to exit the residence.
Later, a fire broke out inside the home, which was quickly extinguished by Cal Fire, which also responded to the call.
Eventually, Luxor surrendered before midnight, ending the tense standoff, which lasted nearly 10 hours. No one was injured during the call.
“For them to show restrain is amazing,” said Parkinson. “For those who were inside and outside to show restraint for all the right reasons is phenomenal.”
To recognize their courageous performance under dangerous and potentially deadly circumstances, Parkinson handed out numerous awards during the hour-long ceremony. Among the awards included Commendations, Outstanding Service, Distinguish Service and Medals of Valor. The Medal of Valor is the highest individual award that can be bestowed by the Sheriff’s Office.
“To win a Medal of Valor reflects recognition for the years of hard work and training and the opportunity to prove that the training and hard word pays off when you’re in that moment when you need it the most,” said Sgt. Nate Paul, San Luis Obispo County Sheriff’s Department.
Other medal recipients included Det. Matt Aanerud (Atascadero Police Dept.), DA Investigator Hank Abbas (County District Attorney’s Office), Cdr. Ken Conway (SLO Co. Sheriff’s Office), Sgt. Brian Beetham (SLO Co. Sheriff’s Office), Sgt. Steve Odom (SLO Co. Sheriff’s Office), Senior Deputy Justin Nelson (SLO Co. Sheriff’s Office), Senior Deputy Chad Nicholson (SLO Co. Sheriff’s Office), Deputy Luke Weimer (SLO Co. Sheriff’s Office), Deputy Clayton Kemp (SLO Co. Sheriff’s Office) and Deputy Joshua Peet and K-9 DJ (SLO Co. Sheriff’s Office).
In addition to Sheriff’s Office employees, Parkinson also honored members of Cal Fire, Paso Robles Fire Department and Atascadero Police Department.
Those who were honored noted their performance was a direct result of the countless hours of training they continuously perform during the course of their career in public safety.
“We get one chance to do it right, like the situation in this call out, and that’s when it’s time to go to work,” said Paul. “I’m very proud of the team, very proud of my co-workers, just very proud to be an SED member.”