The 50th Annual Police Appreciation Breakfast was held last month at VEA Newport Beach (a Marriott Resort & Spa). The event was hosted by the Newport Beach Chamber of Commerce and the Commodores Club, and sponsored by Hoag Memorial Hospital Presbyterian, the Chase-Fainbarg and Feuerstein families, and Newport Beach & Company.
Members of the Police Department were honored at the breakfast, which was attended by city staff, community leaders, and members of the local business community.
Nominations for the Police Department Annual Awards are collected by committees for each award category. Members of the Police Department who receive award nominations are discussed by those committees and then recommendations are submitted to the Chief of Police for consideration.
The following members of the Police Department received recognition in the listed categories:
- Officer Joseph De Julio: 2022 Officer of the Year
- Sergeant Tracy McKenzie: 2022 Sworn Supervisor of the Year
- Records Supervisor Matthew Fear: 2022 Civilian Supervisor of the Year
- School Resource Specialist Erica Bloom: 2022 Civilian of the Year
- Volunteer Rodica Iova: 2022 Volunteer of the Year
Additional awards were presented to officers and staff who went above and beyond the call of duty.
Lifesaving Award presented to Officers Jeremy Dutton, Anthony Olivas, and Jacob Surber
On June 10, 2022, Officers Dutton and Olivas responded to a traffic collision involving a vehicle and a bicyclist. When they arrived at the scene, they found that the bicyclist was unconscious, with visible injuries to his head, and profusely bleeding from an open wound on his leg. Immediately recognizing that the leg wound—and the loss of blood from it—were potentially life-threatening, the officers worked together to apply a tourniquet to the man’s leg. Officer Surber arrived at the scene and applied a second tourniquet, which finally stopped the loss of blood. All three officers continued to perform lifesaving measures until Newport Beach Fire Department personnel arrived and transported the man to a trauma center, where he received additional treatment and recovered from his injuries. Officers Dutton, Olivas, and Surber are commended for their quick response, recognition of the severity of the medical emergency, and effective application of two tourniquets, which undoubtedly saved the man’s life.
Lifesaving Award presented to Officers Daniel Chavez and Robert Hufford
On February 21, 2022, a man was sitting on his couch at home when he suddenly stopped breathing and lost consciousness. Officers Chavez and Hufford responded to the request for medical aid and immediately began to perform CPR for several minutes in an attempt to save the man’s life. They continued lifesaving measures until Newport Beach Fire Department personnel arrived to transport the man to a local hospital, where he made a full recovery. (Just two weeks ago, the man and his family shared a heartwarming reunion with the Police and Fire personnel who helped save his life.) Officers Chavez and Hufford are commended for their quick assessment and team effort to render aid, which undoubtedly helped this father of three survive a potentially-fatal cardiac event.
Lifesaving Award presented to Officers Jamison Hughes, Christine Maroney, and Anthony Olivas
On May 4, 2022, the Police Department received a 911 call reporting that an elderly woman had become trapped under her car, and that she was unable to breathe. Officers Hughes, Maroney, and Olivas responded to assist and recognized that they would have to act immediately and could not wait for additional assistance. Officers Hughes and Olivas moved to the rear of the car and together they lifted the vehicle up and off the trapped woman as Officer Maroney manipulated the steering wheel and guided the car forward to a stop a safe distance away. All three then worked together to render aid to the woman until Newport Beach Fire Department personnel arrived to transport her to a hospital. Although she suffered multiple injuries to her head, torso, and hip and her care team was unsure if she would survive, we are pleased to report that the woman recovered from her injuries. Officers Hughes, Maroney, and Olivas are commended for their quick response, teamwork, and extraordinary actions to save this woman’s life.
Lifesaving Award presented to Officer Connor Miller
On September 11, 2022, Officer Miller responded to a medical aid for a one-month-old baby who had stopped breathing. As he entered the neighborhood, he saw the terrified parents running towards him, carrying their unresponsive child in their arms. The father quickly gave the infant to Officer Miller, who confirmed that the baby was not breathing and immediately began CPR. He was able to open the infant’s airway and—shortly thereafter—the baby gave out two tiny coughs and started to squirm and cry in Officer Miller’s arms. The officer continued to monitor the child’s vital signs until Newport Beach Fire Department personnel arrived to transport the baby to a local hospital. Officer Miller’s training and professionalism allowed him to quickly assess the situation and his actions undoubtedly saved the life of a young child that day.
Award of Merit presented to Lieutenant Peter Carpentieri
When Peter Carpentieri was promoted to the rank of Lieutenant on January 2, 2022, he was immediately given an array of ancillary assignments, including: the Area 1 Commander (with responsibility for the Balboa Peninsula), the Field Training Program supervisor (overseeing the on-the-streets training for new police officers), and the Homeless Liaison Program supervisor (coordinating the department’s efforts to address homelessness in Newport Beach). Though these are commonly believed to be three of the most challenging assignments for a lieutenant to take on, Lieutenant Carpentieri excelled in each endeavor, all while providing unparalleled leadership, commitment, and dedication to the members of the department and community. He also had many significant accomplishments in this role, including the development of the Boardwalk Ambassador Program, implementing a 12-hour comprehensive training day for new officers, and coordinating two large-scale Active Shooter Response training exercises. He is commended for his selfless work ethic, compassion, and unparalleled commitment to his profession.
Award of Merit presented to Sergeants Sabrina Fabbri and Christopher Phelan; Officers Shay Brackett, Kyle Cameron, Daniel Chavez, Jared Edwards, Dallas Lopez, Tyler Machado, Kyle Ramseyer, and Lina You; Sr. Dispatcher Brandy Banks; and Dispatchers Sequoia Gaines and Timothy Langham
On December 23, 2022, a caller reported that a man was driving through Newport Beach, with a loaded rifle on the front seat of his car, while experiencing a mental health crisis. Dispatchers discovered that the man was livestreaming his behavior on Instagram. They obtained photos of his rifle and high-capacity drum magazines, which they shared with responding officers. The listed sergeants and officers located the man in a busy parking lot on the Balboa Peninsula and worked together to contain the area. After immobilizing his car and negotiating with him, they were able to de-escalate the situation and the man surrendered peacefully. All involved personnel are commended for their teamwork, their professionalism, and for ensuring the safety of the community.
Award of Merit presented to Lieutenant Eric Little; Sergeant Sabrina Fabbri; Officers Benjamin Arnett, Joseph De Julio, Kelsey Parrish, and Heather Thomson; Sr. Dispatcher Brandy Banks; and Dispatchers Laura Aguilar, Sequoia Gaines, and Chelsea Luitwieler
On the evening of February 19, 2022, the Huntington Beach Police Department helicopter (HB-1) was in Newport Beach to assist NBPD officers with a call on the Balboa Peninsula. During their orbit, the helicopter staff broadcast that they were having mechanical issues and the aircraft crashed-landed in the Newport Harbor. Officers Thomson, Arnett, and Parrish were first to find the crash location. Officer Thomson jumped into the dark and freezing water and swam towards the submerged helicopter as Officer Arnett assisted from a boat and Officer Parrish monitored them both from a dry dock. The pilot of the helicopter was able to escape and was taken to the shore; he has made a full recovery. Tragically, Tactical Flight Officer Nicholas Vella did not survive.
Throughout the incident, the Dispatch staff demonstrated unquestionable dedication to duty, coordinating much-needed communications between multiple agencies. Officer De Julio acted as the initial Incident Commander and did an excellent job in a role that is usually filled by a supervisor. His coordination of the initial minutes of the rescue helped to direct incoming resources and maintain a unified focus in a chaotic scene. He was relieved by Sergeant Fabbri as the scale of the incident and response continued to grow. She, in turn, was relieved by Lieutenant Little, who managed the incident until its conclusion, many hours after the initial crash. The lieutenant and other members of the department continued a close relationship of care and support with their partners at the Huntington Beach Police Department, extending through Officer Vella’s funeral on March 8, 2022 and the unveiling of the memorial plaque in his honor at Marina Park last month.
Medal of Valor presented to Sergeant Michael Striek and Officers Kyle Bean, Travis Cooke, Sean Esswein, and Mark Fasano
On February 1, 2022, Newport Beach Police Department detectives were notified that a man (with extensive criminal history) was on his way to his ex-girlfriend’s house in Newport Beach with the intent to murder her. Sergeant Striek and Officers Bean, Cooke, Esswein, and Fasano responded and heard sounds of a struggle coming from inside the home. A detective called the woman on her cell phone but, when he asked if the suspect was inside her home, her cell phone disconnected. The officers on scene saw that a man and a woman were involved in a physical fight, and they knew that this was a potentially-deadly encounter and that they had to intervene. They broke through the front door with a battering ram and were immediately confronted by the suspect, who was armed with a handgun. Sergeant Striek and Detectives Cooke and Fasano struggled with the man to disarm him while Officers Bean and Esswein used their bodies to shield the woman. Ultimately, the suspect was safely taken into custody and the woman was rescued from the home. The sergeant and officers are commended for their courageous and selfless actions, and for placing the woman’s life and safety ahead of their own.
(It should be noted that the Medal of Valor had not been bestowed upon anyone in the department since 2017)
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Source: Newport Beach Independent