By Mary O’KEEFE
Members of the Glendale Police Department, along with some dedicated civilians, were honored at the 15th Annual Glendale Police Awards Luncheon held at the Glendale Hilton Hotel on May 20.
The Glendale Police Foundation, the Kiwanis Club of Glendale and the Glendale Bar Association presented the event where several officers and volunteers were honored for their service to the community.
Among the audience of supporters were several dignitaries including Mayor Ara Najarian who read the proclamation from the city of Glendale declaring May 2010 as Blue Ribbon/ Police Appreciation Month.
Then the awards began which included the three top marksmen awards, divisional commendations and volunteer of the year. The Community Service Award went to Pete Rosenthal. For over 15 years Rosenthal has taken the war on graffiti to the streets. Before former L.A. Police Chief Bill Bratton brought his “broken window” theory to L.A. (The theory proposes that if police, and in turn the community, take the small crimes seriously like graffiti the more serious criminal activity will decrease) Rosenthal believed in cleaning the graffiti the minute it was seen. He was known throughout the Glendale, La Crescenta and La Cañada communities and kept those areas clean from graffiti.
“For his dedication to this community in wanting to keep Glendale beautiful, Peter Rosenthal is the recipient of the Community Service Award,” said David Ono from KNBC who was the afternoon’s master of ceremonies.
Two of the founding members of the Crescenta Valley Drug and Alcohol Prevention Coalition, Officers Joe Allen and Matt Zakarian received honors. Both officers are assigned to the North Command, Crescenta Valley area.
Allen has a strong background in Narcotics Enforcement and Education.
“[Allen] goes beyond his responsibilities as a police officer while on-duty, Joe has contributed by participating in various programs in the community,” Ono said. “Joe makes himself readily available to anyone, at just about every hour of the day, regardless if he is on the clock or not.”
Officer Allen received the Divisional Commendation. Officer Zakarian received the Distinguished Service Award.
Zakarian became the Community Police Officer in Montrose in 2008. He “hit the ground running,” Ono said.
The officer immediately began meeting with neighbors, business owners and
community members. He developed “Coffee with the COPPs” which gave the community an opportunity to meet him as well as other officers and city officials.
He is a strong proponent of National Night Out and the Neighborhood Watch programs.
“Last year, two parents came to Matt to address concerns about the escalating drug problem in the North Command,” Ono said.
Under his leadership the drug and alcohol coalition began.
Sgt. John Gilkerson is another familiar face to those in Crescenta Valley. He too is a strong proponent for National Night Out and developed and initiated the “APB Glendale” an email alert warning system that reaches out to the community.
“John’s hard work and determined efforts as the COPPS (COmmunity Police PartnerShip) supervisor has been invaluable,” Ono said.
The honors continued with recognition of officers who worked to control gang activity and the Purple Heart was awarded to retired officer Vic Gunderson.
Top Shooter Awards:
Third Place Overall Det. Toby Darby
Second Place Overall Officer Tim Lindner
First Place Overall Det. Danny Fernandez
No Second Chance Top Shooter Det. Danny Fernandenz
Community Service Award Peter Rosenthal
Divisional Commendations Community Service Officer Cyndi Linder, Officer Jim Trudeau, Officer Nelson Aguillon, Officer Joe Allen
Distinguished Service Awards Officer Sean McLaughlin, Officer Michael Woolner, Officer Matt Zakarian, Sgt. John Gilkerson, Det. Bob Zaun, Officer Shawn Sholtis, Sgt. Scott Bickle, Det. Rafael Quintero, Det. Eric Meyer, Det. Sean Riley, Assit. City Attorney Carmen Merino, Sgt. Jeff Newton, Det. Toby Darby.
Volunteer of the Year Nancy Michael
Civilian of the Year PC Specialist Supervisor Al Mendoza
Reserve Officer of the Year Officer John Dewell
Officer of the Year Det. Art Frank
Proclamations: Toonerville Homicide Investigation:
LAPD: Capt. William Murphy, Det. Chris Vaquez, Det. Brian Miyakawa
LASD: Det. Dwayne Bednar
District Attorney’s Office: Deputy District Attorney Mark Burnley, Deputy District Attorney Steve Dickman
LA-HIDTA Teams 51 and 52: Lt. Paul Torrence, Det. Jeff Chavez, Det. Frank Trujillo, Det. Brain Agnew
Ray Edwards Award: Jim Pietsch, Luisa Ashley, Marko Swan, Anna Del Rio
Purple Heart: Retired Officer Vic Gunderson