The Colusa Rotary Club named five officers as Peace Officer of the Year for 2015.
The Annual Police Officer of the Year Award was established to recognize the challenges police officers face and to say a public ‘thank you’ for a job well done.
“Peace officers in our nation are very special to our community,” said Colusa Rotary Member, Gary Teragawa, “Having worn the badge for 30-year I know of the impact the career can have on the officer but their families.”
The awards were given on, Tuesday, November 17, 2015, involves nominations from each department.
Key qualities for the award include courtesy, kindness, understanding, compassion, courage and devotion to their duty. Officers are also recognized for their involvement in a particular act, a series of acts or their continued demonstration of ongoing professionalism within their department.
Those officers recognized were: Supervising Deputy Probation Officer, Jamie Sachs; Williams Police Officer, Sandeep Grewal; California Highway Patrol Officer, Erick Girard; Colusa Police Officer, Jarrod Hughes; and Colusa County Deputy, Dean Pearson.
Colusa County Probation Department
Supervising Deputy Probation Officer, Jamie Sachs
“Supervising Deputy Probation Officer Jamie Sachs is more than deserving of special recognition as Peace Officer of the Year,” said Chief Probation Officer, Williams Fenton, “Her dedication and professionalism over the span of her 14-year career with the Colusa County Probation Department.”
Officer Sachs began her law enforcement career with the Colusa County Probation Department in 2001 when she was hired as a Deputy Probation Officer.
“Officer Sachs was first assigned to the Adult Unit, and her duties included writing adult sentencing reports, court officer, field supervision, and case management,” said Chief Fenton.
In 2006, Officer Sachs was promoted to Deputy Probation Officer II.
“With the promotion, Officer Sachs took on the several additional duties such as being assigned to the Colusa County Narcotics Enforcement Team, while having a high-risk drug offender caseload. She collaborated and assisted other agencies as a Task Force Agent,” Chief Fenton commented.
In 2012, Officer Sachs was promoted to Supervising Deputy Probation Officer.
“Officer Sachs was assigned as the Juvenile Unit Supervisor and is tasked with keeping the Juvenile unit in compliance with State mandates,” said Chief Fenton, “She developed and implemented the AB12 (Foster Care and Non-minor Dependents) protocol for the Colusa County Probation Department.”
Officer Sachs has pursued higher education by obtaining her Master’s Degree in Social Work and became a Licensed Clinical Social Worker in 2015. She is also a member of the Colusa County Child Abuse Council and serves as the department’s training officer.
Williams Police Department
Officer, Sandeep Grewal
Officer Grewal began his career in law enforcement after graduating from the Butte College Police Academy in December of 2013. He was hired by the Williams Police Department in October of 2014 as a patrol officer.
Since that time, Officer Grewal has led the Williams Police Department in citations issued and arrests made.
“He displays outstanding motivation, dedication and a love for serving the public,” said Williams Police Chief, John Osbourn, “He takes pride in every case he investigates and does it with outstanding professionalism.”
According to Chief Osbourn, Officer Grewal is very vigilant while on patrol, and his traffic stops have led to many felony arrests. One such traffic stop ended with Officer Grewal arresting a person for driving a stolen vehicle and further investigation of the arrested person linked him to unsolved burglaries in the Chico area. While another traffic stop and arrest linked the person, and others to a series of catalytic converter thefts in the city.
In addition to his patrol efforts, Officer Grewal has also stood out for his ability to speak Punjabi fluently.
“This skill has allowed him to make a special connection with the Punjabi-speaking members of the Williams community,” said Chief Osbourn.
Due to his translation abilities, Officer Grewal was able to assist the California Highway Patrol, Williams Area Office, with a quadruple fatal traffic collision investigation. Following the investigation, Williams Area CHP
Lieutenant Commander E.L. Walker stated in a letter to the department, “Officer Grewal’s assistance with the interviews of the victims’ families, surviving passenger, and other witnesses were invaluable. Also, it led to identifying a key witness and allowed us to complete our investigation promptly.”
“Officer Grewal has been an excellent addition to our department and our community. His work ethic, friendly demeanor, and ability to work well with other has allowed him to become and essential part of our department and law enforcement community,” said Chief Osbourn.
Colusa County Sheriff’s Office
Deputy Sheriff, Dean Pearson
With nearly 27 years of law enforcement service, Deputy Dean Pearson has served with the Colusa County Sheriff’s Department for 15 years. He is currently assigned to the Field Services Division as a patrol officer.
Most recently, Deputy Pearson stepped up and handled all supervisory duties as the Officer in Charge for several months while another department supervisor was attending training.
“Deputy Pearson has handled all duties assigned to him with confidence, perseverance and without complaint,” said Colusa County Sheriff, Joe Garofalo.
Deputy Pearson has also served as the departments SOAR Team Member, a Stonyford Resident Deputy, and on the Narcotics Task Force.
“It would be easy for someone with nearly 27-years of law enforcement service to be set in their ways, but Deputy Pearson’s professionalism and responsiveness to the needs of the community are remarkable,” said Sheriff Garofalo.
Deputy Pearson is respected by his coworkers and supervisors alike. “
“Deputy Pearson’s focus on quality service to the community is an asset to the Colusa County Sheriff’s Office and the citizens of Colusa County,” said Garofalo.
Colusa Police Department
Sergeant, Jarrod Hughes
Sgt. Hughes began his career in law enforcement after graduating from the Butte College Police Academy and went to work for the Glenn County Sheriff’s Department as a correctional deputy. In January 2007, Sgt. Hughes was hired as a police officer with the Colusa City Police Department.
Earlier this year, Sgt. Hughes was promoted to his current rank of patrol sergeant.
“Besides his regular patrol duties, which include being the weekend night supervisor, Sgt. Hughes is a Field Training Officer,” said Colusa Police Chief, Josh Fitch in his nomination letter, “This directly involves him with the hands-on training program to prepare newly hired officers for the department.”
“Sgt. Hughes has been selected and soon become the department range master overseeing firearms qualification,” Chief Fitch added.
According to Chief Fitch, Sgt. Hughes led the department in DUI and other alcohol-related arrests, as well as being the top officer in drug-related arrests within the past year.
“This has led him to become the official drug and alcohol expert as both junior and senior officers seek out his knowledge in these types of incidents. Sgt. Hughes is also in the upper half of the department with traffic citations issued,” said Chief Fitch.
Sgt. Hughes was also cited as being an instrumental component with the implementation of the departments body-worn cameras in September of 2015.
“Sgt. Hughes volunteered his time and wrote the body-worn camera policy,” said Chief Fitch, “The policy was approved, and then added to the department’s policies and procedures. His efforts into this policy have garnered strong support and praise as to the benefits of these body-worn cameras.”
Sgt. Hughes spends his off-duty time raising his two young children and has dedicated himself to keeping himself in shape through weight lifting
“Sgt. Hughes is a proactive and valuable member of the Colusa City Police Department,” said Chief Fitch, “he is dedicated to serving the public in which he works in and to top all of this off, he is well known for his great sense of humor and ability to make others laugh.”
Chief Fitch concluded, “He truly is an asset to the department and the community.”
California Highway Patrol
Officer, Erick Girard
Officer Erick Girard has served with the California Highway Patrol for eight years and has worked in Santa Fe Springs, Contra Costa, Solano, and Williams Commands.
“In each command, he has consistently performed his duties in a very professional manner,” said Williams Area CHP Commander, Lt. E.L. Walker, “He epitomizes the very essence of dedication, character, professionalism and integrity the Department strives to find in each officer it employs.”
Lt. Walker also commented that Girard peers and supervisors admire his work ethic and routinely rely on his experience for assistance and guidance.
“Officer Girard is a knowledgeable person who always strives to advance the safety of the community,” said Lt. Walker.
Before Officer Girard’s employment with the California Highway Patrol, he served in the United States Marine Corps for six years and was honorably discharged at the rank of Sergeant.
Born and raised in Colusa County, Officer Girard is married and has three children. He is also a member of the local Masonic Lodge.
“Officer Girard consistently leads the Williams command in enforcement activity,” said Lt. Walker, “He takes a great deal of pride in not only his work as shown through his outstanding work ethic, but his professional appearance by maintaining a high level of physical fitness and care for uniform and equipment.”
In addition to the Peace Officer of the Year Award, recipients were presented with joint resolutions by the members of the California State Senate and California State Assembly.