OCSD honors 48 for lifesaving, courage and more at annual Medal of Valor luncheon

By Greg Hardesty

From pulling a 20-month-old baby out of a pool and performing lifesaving CPR, to bolstering the agency’s chaplain program and to serving with distinction for nearly 50 years at the agency, the Orange County Sheriff’s Department honored 48 of its own at the 29th Medal of Valor luncheon March 23.

2016 Medal of Valor winners. OCSD photo

In a ceremony that brought nearly 1,000 attendees to the Anaheim Hilton, Sheriff Sandra Hutchens talked about the importance of recognizing outstanding work as well as the need for law enforcement agencies nationwide to continue to work to improve police/community relations.

“We know that to be successful in our public safety efforts, we need strong community partnerships and trust,” Hutchens told attendees, who included current and past members of the OCSD command staff, current and retired chiefs from numerous agencies, and civic and other political leaders.

Said Hutchens: “I stand up here feeling such pride for this wonderful department. Today’s recipients have repeatedly proven no matter the time of day or night, whether on or off-duty, the women and men of this department and its law enforcement partners are prepared to do whatever is necessary to get the job done…

“Their actions resulted in lives being saved and safer communities in Orange County…It is what we do, and we are proud to do it.”

The event was sponsored by the Orange County Sheriff’s Advisory Council.

“All blue lives matter,” OCSAC President Michael Sweig said.

Sheriff Sandra Hutchens and Terry Smith, who received a surprise “Sheriff’s Award.” OCSD photo

At the end of the ceremony, a surprise “Sheriff’s Award” was presented to Terry Smith, 74, who in 1967 began working at Harbors, Beaches and Parks and still is with the OCSD, which in 1975 took over law enforcement of O.C.’s harbors.

Here are the OCSD’s Medal of Valor winners for work performed in 2016:

LIFESAVING

Timothy J. Ott. OCSD photo

Deputy Timothy J. Ott, for saving a choking woman while off duty

Sheriff’s Special Officers Spencer Sheflin and Rafael Ojeda. OCSD photo

Sheriff’s Special Officer Carlos Castro, Sheriff’s Special Officer Rafael Ojeda and Sheriff’s Special Officer Spencer Sheflin, for reviving an unresponsive man who suffered a heart attack at John Wayne Airport

Deputy Lawrence Mitchell and Investigator Rachelle Shane Ellis. OCSD photo

Investigator Rachelle Shane Ellis and Deputy Lawrence Mitchell, for reviving a 20-month-old who fell in a pool. They performed CPR on the toddler for 10 minutes.

Deputy Marco Munguia and Investigator Victor Contreras. OCSD photo

Investigator Victor Contreras and Deputy Marco Munguia, for saving the life of a 15-year-old who hung himself in his bedroom.

Deputy Jason Doherty and Deputy Paulino Chavez. OCSD photo

Deputy Paulino Chavez and Deputy Jason Doherty, for reviving a heart attack victim.

Deputy Craig Sanders and Deputy Daniel Packham

Deputy Daniel Packham and Deputy Craig Sanders, for performing CPR on a 54-year-old heart attack victim.

Deputy Brandon Koenig and Deputy Jeremy Buraglia. OCSD photo

Deputy Jeremy Buraglia and Deputy Brandon Koenig, for rendering aid to a man who had collapsed in a hot tub. They performed CPR for more than 20 minutes.

Deputy Bryce Simpson and Deputy Juan J. Lopez. OCSD photo

Deputy Juan J. Lopez and Deputy Bryce Simpson, for saving the life of a 45-year-old woman who was found at home not breathing.

Investigator Adam Koliha. OCSD photo

Investigator Adam Koliha, for saving a man suffering a possible heart attack and showing his son how and when to give rescue breaths.

Deputy Ashley Reyes, Deputy Jonathan Nehrig, Deputy Amanda Ketring and Deputy Terra Carrillo. OCSD photo

Deputy Terra Carrillo, Deputy Amanda Ketring, Deputy Jonathan Nehrig and Deputy Ashley Reyes, for saving the life of a female inmate at the Intake/Release Center in Santa Ana who had hung herself.

Deputy Gregory Berry. OCSD photo

Deputy Gregory Berry, who stopped a suicidal inmate at the Theo Lacy Facility from killing himself.

Sgt. Joseph Sandoval. OCSD photo

Sgt. Joseph Sandoval, who while off duty fishing on the Colorado River rendered life-saving aid to two people ejected from an ATV, and who assisted two others injured in the crash.

Professional Service Responder Jim Slikker, Deputy Brian Stockbridge, Deputy Drew McMillan, Deputy Erik Baum. OCSD photo

Deputy Erik Baum, Deputy Drew McMillan, Deputy Brian Stockbridge and Professional Service Responder Jim Slikker, for rendering aid to a female hiker who suffered a serious head injury after being struck by a mountain biker.

Deputy Chris Quenault. OCSD photo

Deputy Chris Quenault, for firing a bean bag at a woman who put a gun to her head, preventing her from killing herself.

MERIT

Chief Senior Chaplain Kathleen Kooiman. OCSD photo

Chief Senior Chaplain Kathleen Kooiman, for forming new organizations and expanding existing roles across many aspects of the local law enforcement community and the community as a whole.

Professional Service Responder Michael De Laby. OCSD photo

Professional Service Responder Michael De Laby, for spearheading the creation of the OCSD’s Air Rescue Medical Team.

Deputy David Wise. OCSD photo

Deputy David Wise, for his work on the North Investigations Detail in cracking a major fraud case involving thousands of victims and a criminal gang organization.

Deputy Calvin Silva. OCSD photo

Deputy Calvin Silva, for restoring a vandalized pumpkin patch for special-needs kids at Rancho Santa Margarita Elementary School.

Deputy Gino Rodriguez, for his drug-trafficking interdiction skills.

MEDAL OF COURAGE AND MEDAL FOR LIFESAVING/MEDAL FOR LIFESAVING

Deputy Travis Krudwig and Deputy Steve Hortz. OCSD photo

Deputy Steve Hortz (Medal of Courage and Medal for Lifesaving) and Deputy Travis Krudwig (Medal for Lifesaving), for saving the life of a man who had crawled onto a ledge 80 feet high at a shopping center.

Deputy Apryl Soapes, Deputy Mark Dent, Sgt. Paul Rowe. OCSD photo

Sgt. Paul Rowe (Medal for Lifesaving, Medal of Courage) and Deputy Mark Dent and Deputy Apryl Soapes (Medal of Courage and Medal for Lifesaving), for using less-lethal means to take into custody a bloody, knife-wielding man who was threatening to kill himself inside a convenience store.

COURAGE

Deputy Randy Morphew. OCSD photo

Deputy Randy Morphew, for getting a gun-toting man who attempted a carjacking to surrender with no shots having to be fired, and no one getting injured.

Dispatcher Wendy Vanover, Dispatcher Jena Nally, Deputy Juan D. Lopez, Deputy Anthony Franco and Deputy Keith Chacon. OCSD photo

Deputy Keith Chacon, Deputy Anthony Franco and Deputy Juan D. Lopez, who were ambushed by a man who shot dozens of rounds at them from his garage. Also receiving the Medal of Merit for this incident were Dispatcher Jena Nally and Dispatcher Wendy Vanover.

DISTINGUISHED DEPUTY

Investigator Bill Beeman, for outstanding career achievement, notably his work involving jail gangs and organized criminal activity.

OCSD photo

Some OCSD employees. OCSD photo

Sheriff Sandra Hutchens and Marilyn MacDougall, executive administrator of the Orange County Sheriff’s Advisory Council. OCSD photo