By Mary O’KEEFE
Glendale police officers, volunteers and civilians were honored at the 17th Annual Police Appreciation and Awards Luncheon on Thursday.
The awards ranged from marksmanship ability to boots-on-the-ground police action.
Officer Frank Martinez was awarded a Divisional Commendation for his professionalism, calm and quick thinking when he faced a reportedly disturbed man with a knife. The award is presented for acts of bravery or where the performance of the officer deserves to be recognized.
In July 2011, GPD officers responded to Glendale Adventist Hospital regarding a concern about a patient that was under psychiatric care and was possibly suicidal. The man ran away from the hospital and the staff was concerned for his safety. As officers searched the area, the man’s wife contacted the department and reported her husband was at their home in Los Angeles. Martinez was one of the first officers to enter the home. He found the man in the bedroom armed with a knife. The officer began talking to the man, who continued threats of suicide. Martinez kept a calm, consistent tone and convinced the man to put down the knife and turn himself over to the officers.
Another officer that was awarded the Divisional Commendation had saved a 3-month-old baby after he found him not breathing in his home. Officer Cameron Sanchez found the baby on his grandfather’s lap, lifeless and not breathing. Sanchez immediately began “life saving measures” and saved the child.
Detectives Sean Riley and Jeff Davis were among those awarded the Distinguished Service Award. In July 2011, the two detectives were working the Glendale gang division in the area of Chevy Chase Park. They attempted to stop a man on a bicycle but he refused to stop. The man began to run on foot. Davis jumped into his patrol unit and gave chase while Riley followed on foot.
At one point Davis jumped out of his vehicle and joined his partner in the foot pursuit. The suspect removed a revolver form his waistband. He continued to run as the detectives continued the chase. The suspect threw the gun behind a parked car. Eventually the suspect, who was found to be a 17-year-old member of the Toonerville gang, surrendered and the handgun was found.
These are just some of the acts of bravery that were recognized. For a list of all those who received awards and their stories visit www.cvweekly.com.