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Salt River Police Department Hosts Annual Awards Banquet

(L-R) SRPD Lt. Steve Larson, officers Forest Wood, Ryan McMorris and Chief Karl Auerbach at the October 27 awards banquet. The event celebrated department member service to the Community.

The many accomplishments of Salt River Police Department members over the past year were celebrated at the annual SRPD Awards Banquet on October 27.

The event, held at the Courtyard Marriott Scottsdale Salt River in the Salt River Pima-Maricopa Indian Community, included dinner, prize raffles and multiple awards and recognitions of SRPD sworn officers and staff members.

SRPMIC Council members Jenelle Howard and Thomas Largo attended, and Largo delivered the opening prayer. The SRPD Honor Guard posted the colors to start the banquet, followed by a welcome address by SRPD Chief Karl Auerbach.

SRPD Dispatcher of the year (Ms. Caroline Terry Award) winner Marlinda "Marcy" Thomas with Chief Auerbach.
“It is my enduring honor and distinct privilege to recognize the many Salt River Police Department team members who made extraordinary contributions toward the achievement of our Salt River Police Department’s vital law-enforcement and administrative mission,” Auerbach said. “Events of 2017 have presented many challenges to our Salt River Police Department, and I’m very proud of how all of our team members have responded to these issues, working through their actions with dedicated efforts to make a difference and working as one united team.”

Shortly before the start of the event, representatives of the Courtyard Marriott thanked the SRPD for its service and presented a special police-themed cake for the dinner.

(L-R) SRPD Chief Karl Auerbach accepts a cake from Courtyard Marriott staff. The cake had a special police theme.
SRPD Off. Robert Hall was 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 Det. Cenia Kila.

Ryan McMorris was named Officer of the Year and Steven Perkins was named Detective of the Year. Sgt. Ricky Gwaltney was named Supervisor of the Year.

SRPD Community Policing award winner Seth Graham and Chief Auerbach.

Chief’s Award of Excellence: Det. Cenia Kila

Lifesaving Awards (in separate incidents): Lt. Steve Larson, officers Forest Wood and Ryan McMorris; Lt. Steve Larson, officers Jose Aldaco and Lawrence DiCarlo; officers Ignacio Garcia, Ryan Gann and Jennifer Cathcart; Off. Brandon Lewis; Off. Robert Kuna

Meritorious Service Awards: Det. Adriel Pineda, Det. Delvin Duong, Traveleah Chavez and Lt. Michaela Sample

Community Policing Awards: Sgt. Jeremiah Rangel, Det. Orhan Jakupi and Det. Bradley Garrison. Bravo Squad: Sgt. Jared Leonard, officers Eric Mitchell, Clayton Townsend, Arix Medinaku, Dylan Walashek, Paul Huskey and Drew Musacchio. Off. Seth Graham. Sgt. Christopher Morin and Off. Robert Hall. Lt. Anthony Sandoval, Det. Adriel Pineda, Sgt. Jamie Lomay and Janaya Johnson

Sworn Supervisor of the Year: Sgt. Ricky Gwaltney

Civilian Supervisor of the Year: Kristen Hawee (Records Bureau)

Rookie Officer of the Year: Off. Orlando Calzadillas

Police Officer of the Year: Off. Ryan McMorris

Detective of the Year: Det. Steven Perkins

Dispatcher of the Year (Ms. Caroline Terry Award): Marlinda “Marcy” Thomas

Civilian Employee of the Year: Janaya Johnson

SRPD Police Explorer of the Year: Juan Medina

The Jair Cabrera Annual DUI/Traffic Enforcement Award: Off. Christopher Soltero

Certificate of Recognition of Exceptional Service: Gang Suppression Unit: Sgt. Maurice Hurd, Det. Cenia Kila, officers Dylan Walashek, Jose Tavena, Arix Medinaku, Derek Benally, Christopher Soltero, Kenneth Kelly and Jose Quintero

Certificates of Appreciation: Jeff Harmon and Alane Breland

Certificate of Appreciation: Nikki Bartram


SRPD Officer’s Wife Injured in Las Vegas Shooting

SRPD officer Francisco Calzadillas shares an update on his wife, Jovanna.

The Salt River Police Department’s awards banquet was not all smiles and cheers.

Off. Francisco Calzadillas shared a brief update on the condition of his wife, Jovanna Calzadillas, a victim of the October 1, Las Vegas mass shooting that left more than 50 dead and more than 500 injured at an outdoor concert.

The couple was in Las Vegas on vacation when the shooting happened.

Jovanna was shot in the head and initially required a machine to help her breathe. She remains in a coma but is now breathing on her own, Francisco said. She doesn’t respond to verbal or physical contact, and if she moves her body it’s likely just a reflex, the doctors told Francisco.

“It’s going to be a long road for us—it’s going to be a long road for her,” Francisco said. “We still don’t know if she’ll survive. She opens her eyes and we pray that she’ll be all right.

“I tell my mother-in-law that there are 58 other families out there that wish they were in the position that we are.”

Francisco thanked the department and others for their support.

To help the Calzadillas family with medical and travel expenses, visit