Dispatcher Anna Laguna is being recognized for five years of service with the City of Orange and the Orange Police Department.
Anna joined the police department in 2005, after working at the Montebello Police Department.
Anna is a reliable, competent and successful dispatcher, handling several critical incidents in the varied work assignments of call-taker, primary and secondary radio. She is a fluent and native Spanish Speaker, called upon to assist her peers in translation numerous times each day. Her supervisors note that her greatest assets include her teamwork, positive attitude and adaptability.
Because of her strength in communications skills and positive attitude, Anna was selected to represent the department in a recruiting presentation at the basic dispatcher course at Golden West Academy.
She was selected in 2006 to be a Communications Training Officer. She has participated in the training of several new dispatchers since that time.
Anna Laguna has received several commendations for her teamwork, professionalism and handling of stressful situations and critical incidents. Her contributions and dedication are greatly appreciated.
Officer Trevor Cullen
Canine Officer Trevor Cullen is being recognized for his five years of service with the Orange Police Department. Trevor was hired by the Orange Police Department in January 2005, as a lateral police officer from the City of Costa Mesa.
In reality, Trevor was just returning home, since he served as an Orange Police Department Explorer, Cadet and Reserve Police Officer before becoming a full-time police officer.
Trevor worked as a patrol officer and sought out additional responsibilities as a Crime Scene Investigator. His diligent work ethic, professionalism and reliability led to his selection for the DUI Team in 2006. During that time, he was awarded a triple century award by M.A.D.D. for making more than 300 DUI arrests in a single year. During one DUI trial, the Deputy District Attorney and judge were so impressed with Trevor's testimony, they approached him to make a training video for other police officers.
In December 2007, Trevor was chosen for the position of canine handler. Trevor is currently assigned as a Canine Officer with his partner, "Argo" in the Patrol Division.
Officer Cullen is best known for his friendly demeanor, teamwork, reliability, and professionalism. During his tenure, Trevor has earned the respect of his peers, supervisors and citizens.
In each of his assignments, Officer Cullen has been tireless in his personal and professional development. Officer Cullen has demonstrated a commitment to excellence and is an outstanding ambassador for the City of Orange. Officer Cullen is commended for his five years of service.
Crossing Guard Supervisor
Jim began his career with the Orange Police Department as a part-time crossing guard in January 2000. As a crossing guard, Jim took great pride in his daily duties of guarding elementary and middle-school-aged children as they crossed the streets while walking to and from school. As a result of Jim's exemplary service to the community, Jim was promoted to Crossing Guard Supervisor in 2001.
Since his promotion, Jim has displayed outstanding leadership as he directly supervises over forty part-time crossing guards. Jim ensures that all crossing guards are at their respective posts and routinely evaluates their performance. Without hesitation, Jim also fills-in at a post vacated by an employee who is sick or on vacation. Jim frequently communicates with the Traffic Sergeant and provides updates on the day-to-day operations of the crossing guard program. In addition, Jim successfully manages an annual budget of over $250,000.00. Just last month, Jim was awarded the police department's Medal of Distinction for his leadership, initiative and dedication to the crossing guard program.
Officer Randy Houston
Officer Randy Houston is being recognized for completing fifteen years of service with the City of Orange Police Department. Randy came to the Orange Police Department with prior law enforcement experience and a Bachelor of Arts Degree in Business Administration. Randy began his career as a reserve police officer working in the patrol division with the Irvine Police Department. After four years of service, Randy made the wise decision to come to the City of Orange.
Randy is currently assigned to Patrol with the Field Services Division. His ancillary assignments have included Field Training Officer, Crime Scene Investigator, Drug Influence Evaluator, SWAT Team Member, Color Guard and Assistant Reserve Coordinator.
In 1998, Randy was one of the initial full-time officers selected to work "The Block at Orange." Randy was tasked with coordinating several training seminars with professional speakers to presenting information to management and merchants at The Block which helped the merchants better protect themselves and their businesses. Over the years, Randy has received numerous commendations from members of our community and the police department for his professionalism and compassionate nature.
Randy is a valued employee of the Orange Police Department. His dedication and commitment to the department and the department and the city is truly appreciated.
EMPLOYEE OF THE QUARTER - FIRST QUARTER 2009
Detective Phil McMullin
During the latter months of 2008, the city of Orange had experience an increase in property crimes. Although similar increases had been experienced throughout the county, this pattern was common to the nations, partially due to the failing economy. The swiftness by which theses acts are committed and a lack of investigative leads often make it difficult to apprehend those who are responsible. However, Detective McMullin's initiative and investigative ability played an integral role, not only in meeting agency objectives, but bringing those responsible to justice.
Detective McMullin's investigations are thorough, well organized, and often drafted without error. Phil's interpersonal skills are one of this strongest assets. His relationship with both his peers and supervisors reflect his commitment to the team concept. Phil is unselfish with his time, always willing to help others, and he is known as an absolute team player. Detective McMullin consistently demonstrates this concept by assisting others within the bureau. Most recently, Detective McMullin assisted the CAP Unit on a number of occasions during the investigation of several high profile cases. His analytical and multi-lingual skills proved to be beneficial during the course of those investigations, which contributed to the success of each case.
Lastly, Detective McMullin always presents a positive attitude. Detective McMullin's work ethic is excellent. He personally seeks opportunities which challenge his investigative skills, and he never hesitates to seek input from more experienced investigators or supervisors. He puts his cases together in a consistent manner that accurately conveys his analysis of the investigation. All of the aforementioned qualities not only contribute to Phil's success as an investigator but as a valued employee of this organization.
2010 EMPLOYEE OF THE YEAR RECOGNITIONS
Non-sworn Employee of the Year - Civilian Investigative Officer Cathy Meyer
Cathy Meyer began working for the City of Orange in 1991 as a Police Services Officer (PSO) in the Police Department. She was later assigned as a Police Clerk in the Traffic Unit responsible for processing citations and handling citizen contacts from 1992 through 1995. In 1995, Cathy returned to the assignment of PSO, working in Patrol as a field report writer and desk officer. Cathy continually displayed a genuine concern for the public when handling calls for service. Her commitment to teamwork was frequently acknowledged by providing unsolicited assistance to other Department personnel.
In 1997, Cathy was recognized for her hard work and dedication to the citizens of our community when she was selected for a newly developed special assignment in the agency. Cathy transferred to the Investigative Services Division as the PSO assigned to investigate misdemeanor domestic violence related issues. Currently she is assigned to the Youth Services Bureau. She has been recognized numerous times for a variety of accomplishments reflecting her dedication to the organization.
In April 2004, Cathy was one of two individuals selected to facilitate a pilot program called "The Parent Project". This program is a ten-week course designed to provide parents with the tools to effectively deal with children who have destructive behavioral issues. The program was a proven success.
Cathy is highly talented and consistently works toward improving the effectiveness of her unit and the Department as a whole. She is respected by her peers and supervisors, as evidenced by her selections the 2010 "Non-Sworn Employee of the Year." Her hard work continues to have a positive impact on her co-workers, the Department, and the citizens of the City of Orange.
Patrol Officer of the Year - Corporal Dave O'Keefe
Corporal David O'Keefe began his career with the Orange Police Department as a Police Explorer and became a Police Cadet in 1991. In 1993, he successfully earned a position as a Reserve Police Officer with the intent of pursuing a career as a full-time Police Officer. Three years later, he realized his goal and attended the Orange County Sheriff's Academy.
Since that time, Corporal O'Keefe has served in Patrol and the Gang Unit. He has served many years as an Explorer Advisor and member of the SWAT Team. David is also a member of the department's Force Tactics Staff and instructs officers in the proper use of arrest and control techniques. Corporal O'Keefe has twice responded to calls of a child not breathing. In each case, he appropriately performed CPR, saving two young lives. He was also credited with convincing a man to not jump from a bridge in a effort to commit suicide. For these efforts, he received an Award of Valor and an Award of Merit.
David has received numerous commendations from citizens, supervisors and other agencies for his hard work, professionalism, compassion, and customer service. Corporal O'Keefe is a valued employee who contributes to the successes of the Orange Police Department. He is commended for his many years of dedicated service to the citizens of Orange.
Supervisor of the Year - Sergeant Dave Nichols
Sergeant David Nichols began his career with the Orange Police Department in July 1988 as a Police Cadet. In just over a year, he was promoted to Police Clerk. This was just the first of many promotions to follow. In 1991, he became a Reserve Officer with the plan of becoming a regular full-time police officer. In 1994, he achieved his goal and was sent to the Orange County Sheriff's Academy. He was President of his class and graduated #1. His high level of performance continued as a Police Officer, serving as a Crime Scene Investigator, Field Training Officer, and member of the department's HS 11550 Team (a team of officers with expertise in drug influence). In 1998, Officer Nichols was promoted to Detective where he held assignments in Domestic Violence, Narcotics and Robbery/Homicide. In 2004, Dave was promoted to Sergeant, serving in Patrol, the Gang Unit and now in Personnel and Training.
While Sergeant Nichols was assigned to the Gang Unit, his team was responsible for the execution of Orange's first gang injunction and the beginning of its second. His leadership played a significant role in the successful implementation of this valuable tool for combating gang activity.
Over the years, Sergeant Nichols has received numerous commendation from citizens, supervisors and other agencies for his hard work, tenacity, dedication and commitment of the City of Orange. He is an example of professionalism and the ideals of law enforcement. His many years of quality and selfless service to the City of Orange are commendable and worthy of recognition.
Reserve Officer of the Year - Miguel Zamora
Miguel began his career with the City of Orange as a police explorer. In July 2005, Miguel was employed as Police Cadet and in November 2006, he graduated from the Orange County Sheriff's Reserve Academy and was hired as a Reserve Officer.
As a Police Reserve Officer he performs a variety of tasks including the processing and transporting of arrestees and working with the DUI Task Force.
Miguel is a dedicated, diligent, dependable and reliable member of the Reserve Team. Officer Zamora is known for his reputation for getting things done. He has demonstrated a willingness to accept assignments with a moment's notice.
He continues to pursue his goal of becoming a full-time Police Officer for the City of Orange and is currently enrolled at Santiago College, majoring in Sociology.
Miguel is an asset to the department and we are proud to recognize him as Reserve Officer of the Year.
Volunteer of the Year - Irene Sharpe
Deborah Klein, Volunteer Coordinator for the Orange Police Department, in her recommendation for Volunteer of the Year writes; to volunteer is one of life's greatest gifts we can give to one's self and community. This quote comes directly from Police Department Volunteers who give of their valued time, skills and more importantly, joyous smiles and laughter. Speaking on behalf of our staff, they are our greatest gifts; individuals from every walk of life and varied backgrounds whose services augment those of the paid staff.
Irene was born and raised in a small log cabin in Alberta, Canada and after high school became a teacher at Sawyer School of Business. She is the mother of two and the grandmother of six and an active member of the Orange Sister City Association for 32+ years. This is where she heard about the Orange Police Department Volunteer Program and began her volunteerism at our information booth on 8/21/2007.
Irene along with her fellow Information Booth Volunteers is the welcoming "HELLO" the citizen's of Orange receive upon entering our front doors. She is the reason the Orange Police Department Volunteer Program is such a success and it is our sincere privilege to acknowledge her at this year's Rotary Police and Fire Awards.
Explorer of the Year - Jose Ruelas
In 2005 Jose Ruelas joined Orange Police Department's Explorer Post #266. He excelled as a police explorer and assumed a leadership role by becoming a sergeant within the explorer ranks. He was then promoted to Captain and is currently the leader of the Orange Police Department's Explorer Program.
Jose has accumulated over 1500 hours of volunteer time, demonstrating his commitment to serving the citizens of Orange. Every year since joining the post, he has demonstrated strong leadership skills by organizing and guiding his fellow explorers working the Orange Street Fair, the Garden Grove Strawberry Festival and several other events. Jose also volunteers his time helping the elderly in a program that assists them to safely cross the streets. He participates in two annual police explorer competitions. Due in part to Jose's efforts and leadership, the Orange Police Explorers consistently perform at a high level during these police-related competitions.
In addition to his dedication and commitment to the Orange Explorer Program, Jose currently attends Rancho Santiago College in Santa Ana and is majoring in Criminal Justice. He has a lifelong goal of some day becoming a police officer and is to be commended for his exemplary level of commitment, dedication and leadership.