The Colusa Rotary Club named six county law enforcement officers as Peace Officers of the Year for 2016.
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.
The awards were presented at a special Rotary luncheon held Tuesday, Nov 15. Officers recognized include CHP Officer Shane Roach; Colusa Police Officer David Jackson; Colusa County Deputy Sheriff Mathew Purcell; Supervising Deputy Probation Officer Kristen Simmons; Colusa County District Attorney Welfare Fraud Investigator Renea Garcia; and Williams Police Officer Daniel Mata.
Key qualities for the award include courtesy, kindness, understanding, compassion, courage, and devotion to 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.
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.
“This is a great way to show how much we appreciate our law enforcement and especially during this time when we are hearing some real unwarranted dangerous rhetoric, it’s all more important that we come together as a community and show that we support our men and women in blue,” said Assembly Member James Gallagher while congratulating the six officers on their honors. “We appreciate what you do.”
Senator Jim Nielsen commented he was deeply saddened by the recent loss of peace officers in Modoc and Stanislaus County. “It appears there is an open season on our law enforcement officers,” said Senator Nielsen. “I don’t know what is going on in our country right now, but these are some bad times. The American people have forgotten just how thin that blue line is and that these ladies and gentlemen are protecting their lives, property, and their children.”
Senator Nielsen added he was disappointed in California voters for “yet again allowing un-rehabilitated criminals back out onto the streets.”
“I am astounded. But these are now the ones that have to deal with it, and we have made their jobs harder,” Senator Nielsen.
“I would like to thank the Colusa Rotary Club for doing this every year. Rotary clubs do good things; however, you are steadfast in recognizing your law enforcement professionals here in Colusa County,” said Senator Nielsen in closing. “Remember they are putting their lives on the line for you. I ask you now to stand up for law enforcement. Folks, we are losing the battle with crime. The criminals have the money. Now with marijuana legalized they will have a lot of it and that won’t go towards protecting public safety. We must rise to the occasion. They have risen to the occasion for us, now it’s our turn to rise to the occasion for them.”
Ron Turner, Senior Field Representative for Assemblymember Dodd’s Office, said, “Law enforcement is extremely important to us. We work to take that extra step to support the men and women that protect us. To get them the training, the tools, and equipment to keep us safe. But to keep themselves safe, so they return home safe.” Turner noted he is a retired law enforcement officer.