Since 1982, the Salt River Police Department (SRPD) has annually recognized the achievement of those who protect, serve and make a difference in the Salt River Pima-Maricopa Indian Community. On November 5, SRPD employees, officers and others were acknowledged and honored for their efforts in achieving excellence, as well as for valor and meritorious conduct.
Retired SRPD Civilian Employee: Denise Card
Denise Card worked for the SRPD for 16 years as a Records Bureau clerk, processing thousands of records. She retired on June 21, 2010.
Civilian Employee of the Year: Debra Terry
Among her many duties, Debra Terry maintains all of the SRPD’s office supplies, requisitions, travel claims and P-Card statements. She accepts new assignments, which often involve time constraints, and she completes them with ease.
Dispatcher of the Year: Marlinda Thomas
Dispatcher Marlinda Thomas was recently recognized for her outstanding communication skills while calmly handling an emergency call involving a child victim. She also has demonstrated good teamwork by assisting officers in the field with numerous questions regarding the department’s Aegis computer-aided dispatch system.
Civilian Supervisor of the Year: Kristen Hawee
Kristen Hawee always has a cheerful disposition, provides very efficient and timely customer service, and trains new Records Bureau team members to do the same.
Community-Based Policing Award: Detective Mathew Hilsabeck
In addition to making gang-awareness presentations to SRPMIC departments, Detective Hilsabeck, with a few Community members, developed and launched a “Neighbors Against Violence” meeting, which resulted in eradicating gang activity in that neighborhood and making the Community safer. He also has been instrumental in the Community’s graffiti-abatement program.
Rookie Officer of the Year: Officer David Pew
Officer Pew follows our SRPD “Golden Rule” of customer service and treating everyone with dignity and respect, including showing compassion and empathy to those who have experienced a loss or tragedy.
Police Officer of the Year: Officer Jeffrey Ferrell
Officer Ferrell led the way in arrests for three consecutive months: June (17 arrests), July (22 arrests) and August (16 arrests). Although the number of arrests is not the sole indicator of an officer’s productivity, it is a performance indicator of initiative in serving and protecting the Community, and Ferrell’s actions have clearly resulted in making the Community safer.
Meritorious Service Award: Lieutenant Wilfred Charlie, Lieutenant James Sutphen and Sergeant Ronald Honyumptewa
While out in the field, these three officers observed a suspect discharge a firearm toward a residence and a subject. Lt. Charlie responded to the scene, determined no one was injured, made contact and stabilized that scene. Lieutenant Sutphen and Sergeant Honyumptewa followed and apprehended the fleeing suspect. Later, numerous weapons were seized from the suspect’s residence and two gang members were arrested and charged.
Meritorious Service Award: Detective John Wyant
Recently, Detective Wyant investigated a large theft case in which approximately $500,000 worth of copper wire and other construction materials was taken. His numerous hours of follow-up resulted in the recovery of a significant portion of the stolen property.
Detective of the Year: Detective Kevin Westberg
Among Detective Westberg’s accomplishments are getting three successful grand jury indictments in federal court on recent cases. Also, he has made 12 felony arrests, 13 warrant arrests, seven drug arrests, 16 gang-related and drive-by shooting arrests, and three weapons arrests, and recovered five firearms. He developed SharePoint files to track all documented gang members, and developed a policy for a Gang Liaison Officer Program.
Sworn Supervisor of the Year: Corporal Elvin Velez
Due to a supervisory shortage, Corporal Velez worked supervising a patrol squad for a little over four months without the assistance of a sergeant. He continued to work on numerous projects and provide leadership and direction to his squad and others.
Livesaving Award: SRPD Officer Brandon Anderson and SRDOC Sergeant John Kimble
On July 14, 2010, Officer Anderson responded to the Salt River Department of Corrections parking lot on a call regarding a possible heart attack. Upon Officer Anderson’s arrival, the adult male subject, who was inside a car, was in obvious physical distress and probably suffering a heart attack. Officer Anderson was assisted by SRDOC Sergeant John Kimble, and together they initiated CPR until the Salt River Fire Department’s arrival. The victim was transported to a hospital for treatment. The quick action of these two officers ultimately saved this citizen’s life.
Outstanding Contributions: Steven Adams, Isasias Apodaca, Sam Carter, Charles Sears, Shana Wauneka and Wi-Bwa Williams
The Salt River High School Security Team works hard to keep our schools safe. Their actions have prevented fights, drug transactions and gang retaliations while protecting our schools, students and faculty. They provide one-on-one mentoring with the youth as needed, and are themselves teachers and coaches in football, cheerleading, weightlifting and JROTC. At school they have assisted the SRPD with cases regarding runaways, assaults and drug activity, and many others.