Here in the San Fernando Valley, we have a long tradition of recognizing our public safety heroes for their extraordinary acts of bravery and service.
Every year for almost 40 years beginning under then Councilmember Hal Bernson, Councilmembers from the Valley have hosted a luncheon to recognize public safety personnel who have demonstrated an extraordinary commitment to service.
I continued the tradition during my initial tenure as Councilmember and it was subsequently taken up by Councilmember Dennis Zine and then my successor/predecessor Councilmember Mitchell Englander.
It’s undergone a few name changes as the Z- Awards and then the E-Awards. This year, we chose to call it simply the Public Safety Awards because ultimately that is what this is about: individuals who wake up every day with the mission of protecting our communities.
Every police officer, pilot, paramedic, and firefighter does extraordinary work on a daily basis. However this lunch recognized those whose work has gone beyond extraordinary. The individuals we honored this week have saved lives, maintained their composure despite dangerous and frightening circumstances, and shown a commitment to service that only a few have demonstrated.
In short, the individuals recognized represent the best in LAPD and LAFD personnel and while we can never fully repay them for their efforts, it is incumbent upon us to honor their dedication to service.
Not only, does this event recognize those who have performed admirably on the job, it looks to the future with the awarding of two scholarships to young cadets who demonstrate a dedication to their community and promoting public safety.
The luncheon itself attracted elected officials and dignitaries from all levels of government demonstrating the esteem in which these individuals are held. Thank you to everyone who attended and especially those public safety personnel who represent the finest in our ranks. The full list of honorees and scholarship winners is printed below.
Los Angeles Fire Department Honorees:
- Engineer Matthew Corral - Fire Station 39
- Paramedic Victor Villa - Fire Station 18
- Pilot Joel A. Smith - Fire Station 114
- Pilot Dave Nordquist - Fire Station 114
- Firefighter/Paramedic Elan Raber - Fire Station 83
- Captain Richard Diede - Fire Station 88
- Captain Denise Jones - Fires Station 28
Los Angeles Police Department Honorees :
- Senior Lead Officer Duc Dao - Topanga Division
- Police Officer Alexander Tan - Van Nuys Division
- Detective Jeffrey Waco - Devonshire Division
- Sergeant Marissa Frial - West Valley Division
- Police Officer Sarah Adams - West Valley Division
- Reserve Officer Jim Dellinger - Devonshire Division
Ricky Gelb Family Scholarship Awardees
- LAPD Cadet Lisette Avila
- LAPD Cadet Astrid Saenz