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Beaumont, CA – The Beaumont Police Department held an awards ceremony, recognizing sworn and support staff for valiant efforts within the community over the years between 2007 to 2017. The awards ceremony was held in the Board Room of the Beaumont-Cherry Valley Water District at 6:00pm, on Monday, September 24, 2018.

The following individuals were recognized during the ceremony:

2017 Explorer of the Year – Brooke Kohrell, Beaumont Police Explorer (Not Pictured)

Volunteer of the Year – George Diggs, Citizen Volunteer Patrol

Civilian Employee of the Year – Roxann Sherwood, Records Specialist

Dispatcher of the Year – Gretchen Nyman, Public Safety Dispatcher II

Police Officer of the Year – Christopher Crews, Police Officer

 

Chief’s CommendationThe Chief’s Commendation is awarded to Department and/or community members solely at the discretion of the Chief of Police. This award is presented in recognition of exemplary and/or exceptional service to the Department or community.

Awardees: Gretchen Nyman, Public Safety Dispatcher II and Jennifer Ruvalcava, Public Safety Dispatcher II.

 On the morning of May 4th, 2012, Gretchen Nyman received a 9-1-1 call from a residence located in the 900 block of 11th Street. The line was silent except for a female crying. Nyman directed the female to answer a series of questions by using buttons on the telephone to communicate.

While that was occurring, Jennifer Ruvalcava was working to determine history and contacts at the location. Ruvalcava located several names associated with the residence in question and passed that information to Nyman who was able to determine the identity of the female and the suspect through their limited communication. Ruvalcava ran a records check on the male suspect listed at the location and discovered he was a wanted felon, considered “Armed and Dangerous.” As Officers approached the residence, the suspect fled the residence on foot and was quickly apprehended without incident. Officers discovered that the victim had been hiding in a closet, fearing that the suspect would harm her with a gun he had in his possession.

 

Chief’s CommendationThe Chief’s Commendation is awarded to Department and/or community members solely at the discretion of the Chief of Police. This award is presented in recognition of exemplary and/or exceptional service to the Department or community.

Awardees: Frederick Steward, Detective; Brian Ford, Detective; Toshia Wells, Corporal; Randall Marsh, Officer; Ryan Brieda, Officer; Alejandro Marquez, Officer; Randall Casey, Officer; Robert Galletta, Sergeant.

On the morning of March 4, 2017, Jasmine Zuniga was found slumped behind the wheel of her pickup truck. To the untrained eye, she appeared to be unconscious and unresponsive, but in reality she had lost a tremendous amount of blood from a gunshot wound in her left torso. Jasmine was transported to the hospital where she was later pronounced dead. The circumstances surrounding Jasmine’s death were unknown, but it appeared suspicious nonetheless.

Based on findings at the scene, Detectives theorized that Jasmine had been shot at a different location and later moved to the spot where she had been found. They located evidence in the front yard of a second scene and penned a search warrant which ultimately uncovered additional evidence.

From that evidence Detectives were able to identified two extremely violent members of a local street gang and determined that they had laid in wait for Jasmine to arrive at the scene before they shot and killed her with an AK-47 type rifle. Detectives scoured the area and later located a surveillance video showing a third gang member driving Jasmine to the spot where she was later found and leaving her to die alone in her truck.

The Detectives utilized an array of interview techniques to stimulate dialogue with neighbors.  Their efforts paid dividends when their questioning of one individual exposed inconsistencies in his statements.  As he became a person of interest, physical evidence recovered from his residence through search warrants and scientific evidence recovered from Jasmine’s vehicle began to shed light on an elaborate effort to commit premeditated murder.

Through a multitude of interviews over the ensuing days, random incidents and names began to intertwine.  Detectives were able to determine Jasmine’s murder was a message and an act of retribution for a theft against a notorious South Side Beaumont gang member.  Investigators had the motive, but still had the daunting task of proving who committed the heinous crime.  Detectives interviewed and interrogated people throughout the Pass region and followed up on hundreds of potential leads.

Numerous search warrants were written and served.  Every item of evidence was examined and reexamined. Detectives worked day and night for several weeks to find Jasmine’s murderers.

The Investigative group successfully orchestrated a complex tactical operation involving ten simultaneous SWAT operations. They not only coordinated police resources, but also coordinated fire/EMS, Child Protective Services, Animal Control, and other resources needed for the success of the operation. Ultimately, the four suspects in the case were apprehended and each gave admissions/confessions tying them to Jasmine’s murder.

Based upon the exceptional execution of their investigative responsibilities, Detective Sergeant Robert Galletta, Detectives Fredrick Steward, Brian Ford, and Toshia Wells demonstrated outstanding investigative and interrogative techniques in the course of the Jasmine Zuniga murder.  They are commended for applying their collective investigative and interview/interrogation training, experience, and skills to obtain justice for Jasmine and ultimately, closure for the Zuniga family.

 

Life Saving AwardsThe Life Saving Award is awarded to employees or citizens that give first aid, rescue, or demonstrate other abilities to save an individual that would have likely died if not attended to.

Awardees: Vonsavahn Sananikone, Sergeant and Miguel Macias, Sergeant

In the early morning hours of November 23rd, 2015, the Beaumont Police Department received a 9-1-1 call regarding a suicidal subject threatening to jump from the overpass at Beaumont Avenue and Interstate 10. Sergeant Sananikone arrived at the location and observed a male subject straddling the overpass railing, threatening to jump to certain death.

Sergeant Sananikone attempted to speak with the subject in an effort to calm him down and prevent him from jumping onto the busy freeway below however; the subject attempted to jump just as Sergeant Sananikone grabbed onto him. The subject fell from the railing, pulling Sgt. Sananikone partially over the railing with him. Fortunately, Corporal Macias arrived and was able to pull both the subject and Sergeant Sananikone onto the overpass and back to safety.

Awardee: Gregory Adams, Officer

In the early evening hours of May 27th, 2017, the Beaumont Police Department received a 911 call regarding a subject that had been stabbed multiple times. Officer Greg Adams responded and was first on scene. Adams coordinated resources and secured the scene while rendering aid to the victim who had been stabbed five times in the upper torso. The victim suffered severe blood loss and a sucking chest wound.

Adams utilized his own first aid kit which included trauma bandages and a chest seal. Cal-Fire personnel later commented that if it were not for the actions of Adams the victim would have died.

Awardee: Toshia Wells, Corporal

On November 25th, 2015, the Beaumont Police Department received a 9-1-1 call regarding a suicidal subject who had initially been armed with a knife. Officer Toshia Wells responded to the scene during which time callers stated that the subject was now in a tree, attempting to hang herself with a rope.

Officer Wells arrived to find the distraught woman hanging by her neck from a rope in the front yard of the residence. Officer Wells quickly exited her vehicle, climbed the tree and cut the rope, saving the victim from certain death.

Awardee: Craig Hooper, Officer

On June 5th, 2011, the Beaumont Police Department received a 9-1-1 call regarding a subject having difficulty breathing. Officer Craig Hooper responded to the scene and arrived to find the victim in cardiac arrest. He immediately initiated CPR, which he performed for approximately 15 minutes. The victim was transported to the hospital where he later recovered and was discharged home.

 

 Medal of Merit – The Police Medal of Merit is awarded to employees who make a significant contribution to the mission of the Department beyond the ordinary call of duty. It recognizes those incidents wherein the member’s courage, resourcefulness, tenacity, and/or perseverance in the performance of the employee’s duties resulted in the protection of life or property, the   prevention of a major crime, or the apprehension of an armed and dangerous criminal.

Awardee: Gretchen Nyman, Public Safety Dispatcher II

On September 7th, 2017, the Beaumont Police Department received a 9-1-1 call regarding a domestic violence incident between a male and a female. Sergeant Jeremy Harris and Officer David Lynn arrived at the scene and confronted the suspect who was armed with a handgun.

Public Safety Dispatcher II-Gretchen Nyman was in Dispatch alone at the time and effectively and efficiently handled the critical incident; coordinating with personnel in the field, other shifts, supervisors, administrators, and allied agencies. Nyman did all this while fielding additional calls for police service and a nearby wild land fire. Consequently, a lethal force encounter occurred.

 

Police Cross – The Police Cross requires the recipient to, “distinguish themselves by bravery or heroism while engaged in personal combat with an armed adversary at imminent personal hazard to life, above and beyond the normal demands of duty.”

Awardees: Jeremy Harris, Sergeant and David Lynn, Officer

On September 9th, 2017, Beaumont Police Department received a

9-1-1 call regarding a domestic violence incident between a male and a female. Sergeant Harris and Officer Lynn arrived on scene and confronted a suspect with a loaded handgun. Ultimately, a lethal force encounter occurred.

Harris and Lynn’s bravery and decisive action during the chaotic event ensured that the victim, her family and members of the public were not injured or killed.

For more information about this event you can contact Marcedes Cashmer, Public Information Officer at 951-769-8500.

 

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