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Local law enforcement officers honored during H. Thomas Guerry Awards

SANTA BARBARA, Calif. - A dozen local law enforcement officers received special recognition and honors Wednesday during the 52nd annual H. Thomas Guerry Awards.

Guerry was a Santa Barbara police officer who was killed in the line of duty in 1970.

The annual awards recognize excellence in Santa Barbara County law enforcement, including for valor and superior performance.

The ceremony was held Wednesday afternoon in the Santa Barbara County Administration building and put on by the Santa Barbara Citizens Council on Crime.

Santa Barbara police officers Adrian Gutierrez, Christina Ortega and Davina Valerio received the H. Thomas Guerry Award for Valor. They were recognized for saving a man who was trapped inside a house fire in November 2021.

"This was my first call for service that I was driving to. Definitely had adrenaline rushing through my body. Somebody was trapped inside the house. So as soon as I parked, I ran down the block and we didn't hesitate to break down the window and move over the furniture to pull the man out," said Officer Valerio.

Lompoc police officers David Magana and Gabriel Molina and Santa Barbara County sheriff's deputies David Ashley and Rockwell Ellis also received the award for valor.

Santa Barbara County Sheriff's Pilot Loren Courtney, Lompoc police officer David Garza, Santa Barbara County Probation officer Joseph Contreras, Santa Barbara County District Attorney's Office Chief Investigator Kristina Perkins, and CHP officer Tyler Kelly received awards for superior performance.

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