By Off. Joseph Orozco
Salt River Police Department
The many accomplishments of the Salt River Police Department over the past year were celebrated at the annual SRPD Awards Ceremony, held on Friday, January 24, at the Talking Stick Resort in the Salt River Pima-Maricopa Indian Community.
The event recognized various SRPD sworn officers and professional staff members and included dinner, prize raffles and several special guests.
The SRPD Honor Guard posted the colors to start the dinner, followed by a welcome address from SRPD Chief Karl Auerbach.
“It is my enduring honor and distinct privilege tonight to recognize the many Salt River Police Department Team Members who have made extraordinary contributions toward the achievements of the Salt River Police Department’s vital law enforcement and administrative mission. Events of 2019 presented many challenges to the Salt River Police Department, and I am very proud of how all Team Members responded to these issues through their actions, dedication, and efforts to make a difference by working as a united team.”
Radio and TV personality Mike Broomhead was the master of ceremonies. He read the names of the award winners and provided a brief description of each honoree. He introduced all of the winners except for one: the winner of the prestigious Chief’s Award of Excellence, which Chief Auerbach presented to Sgt. Maurice Hurd.
Obed Rodriguez was named Police Officer of the Year. Dariusz Gruna was named Detective of the Year. Sgt. Ignacio Garcia was named Supervisor of the Year.
The award recipients and categories are:
Chief’s Award of Excellence: Sgt. Maurice Hurd
Medal of Honor: Off. Clayton Townsend (awarded posthumously)
Lifesaving Awards (in separate incidents): Off. Aaron Visconti, Off. Matthew Cobb, Off. Edgar Caraveo, Off. Edward Trigloff and Off. Brandon Harline. Dispatchers Chaela Jepsen, Idalas Castro and Regina Cruz.
Meritorious Service Awards: Sgt. Ignacio Garcia and Sgt. Travis Mathews
Community Policing Award: Off. Nikki Limon
Sworn Supervisor of the Year: Sgt. Ignacio Garcia Civilian
Supervisor of the Year: Kimberly Clark of the Public Safety Communications Division
Rookie Officer of the Year: Off. Edgar Caraveo
Police Officer of the Year: Off. Obed Rodriguez
Detective of the Year: Det. Dariusz Gruna
Dispatcher of the Year: Idalas Castro
Certificate of Recognition: Off. Orhan Jakupi Civilian
Employee of the Year: Janaya Johnson
Civilian Lifesaving Award: Explorer Juan Medina
The Jair Cabrera Annual DUI/Traffic Enforcement Award: Off. Christopher Soltero
Chief’s Unit Award: Crisis Intervention and Stress Management Team (CISM Unit), consisting of Cpl. Spencer Stant, Off. Christopher Valencia, Det. Lisa Whitaker, Off. Michael Stahl, Off. Jared Kosina, Off. Jennifer Cathcart, CSS Rachelle Marquez and Records Clerk Nikki Benally