2012 MedalofValor w bios by ahyThG

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									             2012 SOUTH BAY MEDAL OF VALOR AWARDS LUNCHEON

                              (Listed in order of presentation)


Award:               Medal of Valor

Organization:        El Segundo Fire Department

Recipient:           Fire Engineer, Mitch Emerson

Presenter:           El Segundo Fire Chief, Kevin Smith

Award Story:

On August 17, 2011, Fire Engineer Mitch Emerson was off duty and visiting his parent’s
home in San Pedro. As Mitch was leaving, he witnessed suspicious behavior one block
away at a neighbor’s home. Being familiar with the residents of the home and knowing
that they were elderly with significant medical problems, he parked his vehicle nearby to
continue to observe the actions of these two individuals. When they disappeared down
the side of the house, Mitch parked in front of the driveway.

Two men came out of the home carrying multiple items and seemed surprised to see
Mitch and his vehicle parked in front of the driveway. Mitch summoned them over and
they told him they were helping Mrs. Olson. Mitch informed them that there was no Mrs.
Olson living there and one of the men immediately threatened Mitch with significant
bodily harm. Mitch calmly advised that he was on the phone with 9-1-1- and he began to
give a detailed description of each of the suspects. The suspects began to flee and split
up after a couple of blocks. Mitch finally caught up to one of the men and a skirmish
ensued with Mitch landing a solid punch and stunning the suspect.

During this apprehension, the man began to struggle again, first stabbing Mitch in the
abdomen with a sharp object and then grabbing his arm and gouging a bite into him.
Mitch struck again, landing multiple blows and placing a debilitating head lock on the
individual. Observing a fire engine in the parking lot, Mitch asked a nearby patron to
inform the firefighters of his situation. Two nearby undercover officers quickly arrived on
scene to take the suspect into custody. The elderly couple were not in the home at the
time of the burglary but did arrive home shortly thereafter. It is very probable that if Mitch
had not foiled the robbery, the couple might have walked in on the robbery in progress.

Mitch Emerson continued his courageous and exemplary actions as he later appeared in
court to testify against the individual. The only thing Mitch asked for in return was to have
the man who bit him tested for any communicable diseases. As you may expect, Mitch
was relieved to learn that the man tested negative and he was sentenced to six years in
prison.




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              2012 SOUTH BAY MEDAL OF VALOR AWARDS LUNCHEON


Award:                Sustained Superiority Award to Lieutenant Russ Temple

Organization:         Gardena Police Department

Recipient:            Lieutenant Russ Temple

Presenter:            Gardena Police Chief, Ed Medrano

Award Story:

There are officers who still hold to the old school mentality and romantic notion that you are called
to serve mankind by being a police officer. For the past 24 years, Russ Temple has served the
community of Gardena with the same zeal he had from the first day in a patrol car.

On March 13, 2004, the lives of an 11-year-old girl, her family and a Gardena Police Officer
changed forever. The girl was a victim of rape by a 33-year-old suspect, a neighbor, who was
immediately located and arrested for this atrocious crime and eventually sentenced to 75 years in
prison without the possibility of parole.

Juvenile sexual assault victims face challenges that make it difficult to have a normal childhood.
Normalcy and support are paramount during the recovery from such a heinous attack. Lieutenant
Temple acted as an advocate to ensure the victim was not taken away from her family and placed
in foster care and as she grew older, Lieutenant Temple was there to provide counsel and
direction. He encouraged the victim to join the Gardena Policy Department’s Explorer Program
and after three years of service, she has risen through the ranks to hold the rank of sergeant. In
June, 2011 (7 years after the horrific attack), she successfully graduated from high school.
Lieutenant Temple made such a lasting mark in the lives of this young woman’s family that they
named their second child, a son, after him.

During the 2009 Christmas season, Lieutenant Temple learned of a Gardena resident, Michael
Hensley, a Vietnam Veteran, and his very sick 4-year-old daughter, Michelle, who lost their home.
They were living out of his van or, when they could afford it, local cheap motels. Lieutenant
Temple was the GPOA President at the time the Hensley’s were recommended as the recipient
of the Gardena Police Officer’s Association annual “Needy Family” Christmas donation. After
further investigation, he learned that Mike lost his home due to job loss and caring for his ill
daughter who has a rare disease and has battled life-threatening problems for most of her life.
With the GPOA’s assistance, the Hensley’s were housed at a local motel and eventually received
Section 8 housing status, reinstatement of Veterans’ benefits and assistance with Michelle’s
medical needs and food. There were many organizations and private citizens who contributed to
restoring this family’s hopes and dreams but the driving force that worked tirelessly to make sure
his family was made whole was Lieutenant Russ Temple.

Russ has consistently demonstrated outstanding leadership, conscientiousness and dedication to
the well being of the Gardena Police Department—in addition to his dedication to victims and
those in need.




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             2012 SOUTH BAY MEDAL OF VALOR AWARDS LUNCHEON


Award:               Distinguished Service Award


Organization:        Gardena Police Department

Recipients:
   Lieutenant Vince Osorio                       Sergeant Brian Messina
   Detective Edgar Vargas                        Detective Brian Park
   Detective Hugo Gualotuna                      Detective Danny Guzzo
   Detective John Francis                        Detective Richard Reynaga
   Officer Louie Schwartz                        Officer Brian Hattingh

Presenter:           Gardena Police Chief Ed Medrano

Award Story:

On the morning of January 18, 2011, Gardena Police officers responded to an
emergency call of shots fired on the campus of Gardena High School. As officers
responded, a teacher called police dispatch stating that another student had shot two
students in a classroom.

At 10:44 a.m., Gardena Police officers arrived on scene and Lieutenant Osorio assessed
the situation and deemed this incident to be an active shooter event. He assembled two
Active Shooter Teams and prepared to enter the campus and rescue the victims.

Updated information received indicated that the male gunshot victim had safely made his
way to the school’s administrative office. The more critically wounded 15-year-old female
was still in the classroom where the shooting occurred. The Police Active Shooter Teams
assembled and entered the campus, ready for the possibility of confronting the
outstanding male suspect. After securing the classroom, the female victim was found
lying on the floor bleeding from a gunshot wound to the head. One Team escorted the
victim and fire personnel to the front of the school where rescue vehicles were waiting to
transport the victim to the hospital. The second Team remained on campus to secure the
weapon they located just outside the classroom.

Personnel from Harbor UCLA Medical Center were optimistic for the recovery of the
victims due in part to the quick response, rescue and transport of the victims. If not for
the quick response of the Gardena Police officers, the critically injured victim would not
have survived.

For their actions of entering a campus of 3,100 students with a suspected active shooter
situation and rescuing of the 15-year-old shooting victims, these Gardena Police
detectives and officers are recognized and appreciated as they exemplified the finest
standards of police department



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             2012 SOUTH BAY MEDAL OF VALOR AWARDS LUNCHEON


Award:              Medal of Valor Award

Organization:       Hawthorne Police Department

Recipient:          Detective Mark Kirunchyk

Presenter:          Hawthorne Police Chief, Robert Fager

Award Story:
On March 23, 2011, Hawthorne Police Detectives Mark Kirunchyk and Timothy Johnson
were working in a field enforcement capacity, assigned to our Special Operations
Bureau’s METRO Team. They noticed a subject standing in a nearby parking lot of a
strip mall and watched him commit a blatant littering violation and then proceed into an
adjacent restaurant. The detectives made contact with the subject and once outside of
the business, the subject broke away and fled westbound on foot.

Neither detective at this time realized that the subject they were pursuing was an active
gang member and a wanted “parolee-at-large”. The fleeing suspect was holding his right
waistband area, causing great alarm for the detectives. The suspect turned and ran
down an access way to a building complex. He then pulled a handgun from his
waistband area and began turning back toward the pursing detectives. Fearing deadly
fire upon his partner and himself, Detective Kirunchyk fired two rounds from his duty
weapon, striking the suspect. The suspect dropped his gun and ran into an underground
parking garage. The detectives followed and apprehended him without further incident.

The recovered weapon was a loaded 40-caliber Beretta. The suspect survived his
wound and was prosecuted for his deadly acts upon our officers.

While being treated by paramedics, the suspect made the unsolicited comment to
officers, “You shot me like before you even knew if my gun was real or fake.”
Thankfully, the officer did…




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             2012 SOUTH BAY MEDAL OF VALOR AWARDS LUNCHEON


Award:              Medal of Valor Award

Organization:       Hawthorne Police Department

Recipient:          Officer Wilbert Pereira

Presenter:          Hawthorne Police Chief, Robert Fager

Award Story:

On July 18, 2011, Hawthorne Police Officers Wilbert Pereira and Jerry Allison were
working uniform patrol duties. A sedan passed at a high rate of speed and officers began
following and eventually activated their lights and siren in an effort to stop the vehicle.
The pursuit lasted for several blocks in adjacent neighborhoods until an opportunity arose
for the officers to use a ramming intervention technique, causing the suspect vehicle to
stop in the middle of an access road.

Without warning, the passenger door opened and a suspect fled northbound on foot.
This posed an extra dangerous situation as there were still suspects in the vehicle and a
suspect on the loose who may be armed. Officer Allison held the occupants of the
vehicle at gunpoint as Officer Pereira gave foot chase.

Officer Pereira identified himself and ordered the suspect to stop. The suspect scaled a
10-foot metal gate which Officer Pereira approached, while peering into the alley where
the suspect was located. He observed the suspect take a few steps and turn back
toward the fence in the direction of Pereira. The suspect was holding a semi-automatic
handgun in Pereira’s direction and manipulating the slide in an effort to chamber a round.
Pereira fired three rounds from his duty weapon, striking the suspect and causing him to
drop his firearm. The suspect fled into an adjacent yard but was located and arrested.

The recovered weapon was found to be a loaded 40-caliber Desert Eagle. Also
recovered was the live round which the suspect had ejected when attempting to engage
Officer Pereira. The suspect survived his wounds and was prosecuted for his deadly act
upon our officer.




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              2012 SOUTH BAY MEDAL OF VALOR AWARDS LUNCHEON


Award:                Sustained Superiority Award

Organization:         Hawthorne Police Department

Recipients:           Detective, Mark Kirunchyk
                      Detective, Timothy Johnson

Presenter:            Hawthorne Police Chief, Robert Fager

Award Story:

In January, 2011, a significant internal reconfiguration was implemented within the Hawthorne
Police Department. Amongst changes, a new small but specialized investigative unit was
configured—the METRO Team. Comprised of four Detectives and a Sergeant, this unit’s
responsibility is to impact gang-based and general crime-based problem areas and perpetrators
plaguing the city.

Two newly assigned detectives—Timothy Johnson and Mark Kirunchyk—embodied staff who
were exceedingly proficient, experienced, independent and self-motivating. Exceptional
accomplishments yielded in merely the first 11 months of work (February through December,
2011) by these two men include:

       ●   196 felony arrests
       ●   250 misdemeanor arrests
       ●   689 citations written
       ●   130 parole/probation searches conducted
       ●   6 stolen vehicles recovered
       ●   8 guns recovered
       ●   Confiscation of 245 pounds of marijuana, 10 pounds of methamphetamines
           and half a pound of cocaine

Some of their more notable arrests consist of:

       ● A wanted kidnapping suspect
       ● A wanted “Assault with a Deadly Weapon” suspect and the recovery of a loaded AK-47
         assault rifle
       ● 10 separate arrests for possession of pirated DVD’s for sale
       ● Numerous arrests for fraud, one of which involved $250,000 in losses in a
         neighboring city.
       ● Leading a “Prostitution” sting which netted 13 arrests
       ● 4 vehicle pursuits, leading to the arrest of suspects for crimes such as
         narcotics, loaded firearms and fraud.

Detectives Johnson and Kirunchyk are to be commended for their continual enthusiasm, diligence
and the role model they set for our other officers in their dedication for surpassing normal duties
and advancing our Department’s success.




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             2012 SOUTH BAY MEDAL OF VALOR AWARDS LUNCHEON

Award:                Medal of Valor

Organization:         Inglewood Police Department

Recipients:
   Detectives Jack Aranda and Will Salmon
   Officers Adam Butler, Cesare Jurado, Frederick Osorio, Neurit Yanez

Award:                Distinguished Service Award

Organization:         Inglewood Police Department

Recipients:
   Officers Jose Barragan, Brett Birkbeck, Aaron Escobedo, Marcco Ware

Presenter:            Inglewood Police Chief Jacqueline Seabrooks

Awards Story:

On September 21st, 2011, at approximately 10:52 a.m., Detectives Salmon and Aranda and
Officers Jurado, Osorio and Yanez responded to the Inglewood Optometric Center regarding a
shooting victim. The Detectives were approximately two blocks away when they heard the radio
broadcast and quickly drove to the location to render assistance. Shortly thereafter, Officers
Jurado, Osorio and Yanez arrived.

Numerous people were streaming from the business; clearly upset and some were yelling.
Several of these individuals informed the assembled officers that there was a gunshot victim
inside of the business and the suspect, who was said to be armed with a gun, was still inside.

The officers quickly formulated a plan and entered the building in order to save the gunshot
victim, as well as any other innocent people who may have been trapped inside. Even though the
two Detectives did not have their safety equipment, they disregarded their own safety for the
purpose of helping any potential victims and entered along with Officers Jurado, Osorio and
Yanez. They could hear someone yelling for help in the back of the office. They were joined by
Officers Barragan, Birkbeck, Butler, Escobedo and Ware. Utilizing active shooter tactics honed
during training, the officers moved toward the yelling and located two people giving aid to a
woman who had been shot in the head. The officers were given information that the male
suspect had barricaded himself inside of a restroom.

Officers Osorio and Butler then took the severely injured victim out of the business to receive
further aid and be transported to a hospital. Other officers contained the bathroom pending the
arrival of the Inglewood Police Department SWAT Team which later determined that the suspect
had taken his own life.

Although the victim ultimately succumbed to her wounds, the officers who responded to the
incident made bold and decisive decisions which saved the lives of the employees and customers
of the business. The officers recognized the need to make rapid entry to save those who were
inside; they did so without hesitation.


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              2012 SOUTH BAY MEDAL OF VALOR AWARDS LUNCHEON


Award:               Medal of Valor

Organization:        Inglewood Police Department

Recipients:          Officer Gerardo Aceves              Officer Hector Villavicencio

Presenter:           Inglewood Police Chief, Jacqueline Seabrooks

Award Story:

On January 14th, 2011, Inglewood Police Officers Gerardo Aceves and Hector
Villavicencio were dispatched to a radio call of a traffic collision with injuries. Inglewood
Communications dispatchers advised the officers that there was a man trapped in a car
which was now on fire.

Upon arriving on the scene, they discovered a Pontiac Firebird wrapped around a utility
pole and on fire. A 47-year-old Gardena resident lay unconscious inside the burning
vehicle. Two private ambulance attendants were trying to extinguish the fire but the small
extinguisher they were using proved insufficient to handle the fire.

The vehicle was so severely mangled that the Officers were forced to crawl into the back
in order to free the occupant. As Officers were attempting to pull the man from the
burning wreckage, his shoe and pant leg began to catch fire. After cutting the seatbelts
and removing debris from his lap, they pulled the man out through the driver’s door
window. The Officers quickly smothered the flames that were burning the unconscious
man, who was transported to a trauma center where efforts continued to save his life;
unfortunately, he succumbed to his injures over a week later. Both Officers suffered from
smoke inhalation.

Officers Aceves and Villavicencio are commended for their heroic actions which placed
them in imminent danger in order to save the life of another human being.




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             2012 SOUTH BAY MEDAL OF VALOR AWARDS LUNCHEON


Award:               Distinguished Service Award

Organization:        Torrance Fire Department

Recipients:
   Captain Michael Simmons
   Captain James Strock
   Engineer Michael Enfield
   Firefighter/Paramedic, Tad Friedman
   Firefighter/Paramedic, Jody Radtke


Presenter:           Torrance Deputy Fire Chief, Dave Dumais

Award Story:

On July 27th, 2011, a group of off-duty Torrance firefighters and their families were on a
hike while on vacation in the Eastern Sierras. The group encountered a party of senior
citizen hikers who were in need of assistance. One of their party had collapsed, was
without a pulse and was not breathing. Torrance Fire personnel immediately jumped into
action to care for the unconscious victim by performing CPR. Captains Simmons and
Strock, Engineer Enfield and Firefighter/Paramedics Radtke and Friedman took turns
performing CPR while attempting to make cell phone contact with the US Forest Service.

The female victim’s husband then collapsed at the sight of his wife’s condition. There
were now two patients in need of care and an immediate need to obtain assistance and
evacuation by the US Forest Service. The firefighters then divided their duties into three
parts: CPR was being performed on the female patient in cardiac arrest, the husband
was being treated for mental and physical shock, and others attempted to make contact
with the Forest Service by foot and cell phone.

Once on scene, the Forest Service crew requested a helicopter evacuation. Torrance
Fire personnel took turns performing CPR and care for the female patient for over an
hour while waiting for the helicopter. Upon its arrival, she was then carried 100 yards to
the rescue helicopter.

Captain Simmons donned protective gear and continued CPR in the helicopter for
another 20 minutes while in route to the hospital. Despite all the efforts of those involved,
the female patient was unable to be revived and died at the hospital. Simmons then
requested a second helicopter mission to evacuate the second patient due to his
worsening condition and the remote location on the mountain.




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             2012 SOUTH BAY MEDAL OF VALOR AWARDS LUNCHEON


Award:              Sustained Superiority Award

Organization:       Torrance Police Department

Recipient:          Cold Case Homicide Detective, James Wallace

Presenter:          Torrance Police Chief, John Neu

Award Story:

Homicide cases that are not solved within a reasonable amount of time after the crime
occurs and lack further leads for investigators to follow-up remain open and are referred
to as “cold cases”. In 2007, Detective Wallace began examining “cold case” homicide
investigations, some of which had been dormant for 30 years. He successfully
investigated and obtained convictions on four “cold case” homicides that occurred in the
City of Torrance. These cases have resulted in three life sentences. He also has two
additional “cold case” homicide cases set for trial in 2012.

Specifically, Detective Wallace’s investigations led to convictions in the 1988 murder of
Barbara Bradford, the 1988 murder of Joan Brooks, the 1985 murder of Archie
McFarland, and the 1984 murder of Robin Hoynes. Trial is pending for the 1979 murder
of Lynne Knight and the case of Carol Luban whose husband was arrested in April, 2011
and is currently awaiting trial for the murder of his wife.

Due to Detective Wallace’s success, three of the murder cases he investigated have
been chronicled on the criminal investigative television show Dateline. A fourth case was
chronicled on Court TV.

Detective Wallace’s commitment to the mission of the Torrance Police Department and
his relentless investigations have led to multiple “cold case” homicides being solved and
successfully prosecuted, bringing closure for many family members of the victims and the
placing of murderers in prison for life.




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              2012 SOUTH BAY MEDAL OF VALOR AWARDS LUNCHEON


Award:                 Sustained Superiority Award

Organization:          Inglewood Police Department

Recipient:             Lieutenant Mike Marshall

Presenter:             Inglewood Police Chief, Jacqueline Seabrooks

Award Story:


In Policing, legends are born in the memories of partners and others who witnessed heroic,
surreal experiences. Reputations follow the same path in that our own memories are confirmed
every time we hear about an incident involving the same person. Stories about Lieutenant
Marshall’s are legendary.

At age 19, Lieutenant Marshall entered the Police Academy as a police officer for the City of
Vernon. One cold night, while working a radio car all alone, Lieutenant Marshall was faced with a
set of challenging circumstances. The reporting party telephoned dispatch to say his bull broke
free from his corral and was running wildly through the streets of Vernon. Without backup, he
located the bull in a populated area, where it posed a hazard to the general welfare of the public.
Armed with his shotgun and duty revolver, Lieutenant Marshall waited for the bull to make his
move. As if the bull knew the Lieutenants thoughts, he turned and charged towards Lieutenant
Marshall. Two shotgun shots later, the bull lay on the ground and succumbed to the gunshot
wounds. The courage in the face of danger was a mere foreshadowing of Lieutenant Marshall’s
legendary career.

On January 9, 1984, the Inglewood Police Department hired lieutenant Marshall as a police
officer. From the beginning, Lieutenant Marshall’s supervisors recognized his special insight
related to narcotics enforcement.

In 1993, Lieutenant Marshall was assigned to the Transit Safety team. Freed from the tether of
handling radio calls, Lieutenant Marshall was now free to focus on gang activity. His greatest tool
turned out to be narcotics enforcement. In 1994, Lieutenant Marshall was solely responsible for
50% of all the narcotics-related arrests in the entire police department. Not believing this statistic
to be valid, the Chief of Police, at the time, wrote that he had his staff verify assertion. The
results confirmed that Lieutenant Marshall was responsible for half the narcotics arrests that year
with an above average conviction rate. No other police officer in the history of the Police
Department had achieved this prolific arrest statistic.

These phenomenal statistics pushed Lieutenant Marshall into the newly formed Anti Crime/ Street
Narcotics Team. In this capacity, Lieutenant Marshall continued his drive to rid the streets of
gang activity.

In 1996, the Police Department assigned the Office of Criminal Investigations to execute a gang
member association search warrant specifically focused on a high profile gang operating in
Inglewood. Within three weeks of the target date, the Police Department experienced budgetary
shortfalls and reassigned the team working on the association warrant except for Lieutenant


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Marshall. The Police Department assigned the entire undertaking to him as the case agent.
Assisted by 136 police officers and various local, Federal, State and County agencies, Lieutenant
Marshall executed all 22 search warrants over a three day period. To date, this operation was
the most complex investigation in the Inglewood Police Departments history.

During this period, Lieutenant Marshall broke another statistical record. He was responsible for
recovering 50% of all narcotics by the Police Department. Lieutenant Marshall’s work ethic and
accomplishments were unparalleled by his contemporaries and his legacy has been unmatched
to date.

Lieutenant Marshall was promoted to the rank of Police Sergeant and returned to Patrol Division
as a supervisor. He did not rest on his laurels and transformed his tireless energy into that of a
teacher and instructor. In 2000, he was assigned to supervise three police officers in a 21-week
Federal task force operation. Once again, Lieutenant Marshall approached his mission with
100% of his effort. Lieutenant Marshall worked through others to accomplish his mission. The
results of the operation were clear: 88 felony arrests, 39 gang members arrested, 8 guns
recovered, 75 criminal cases filed with the Los Angeles County District Attorney, 2 criminal cases
filed with the United States Attorney, 910 grams of Cocaine recovered, 2570 grams of Heroin
recovered, 474 grams of Methamphetamine recovered, 2 pounds of Marijuana recovered, and 4
ounces of PCP recovered.

During a time of reduction in staffing, Lieutenant Marshall and his four assigned Narcotics
Investigators increased production by the following percentages: Arrests up 116%, Cocaine
recovery up 212%, Methamphetamine recovery up 822%, Marijuana recovery up 1270%, and
Heroin recovery up 69%.

In addition to his enforcement legacy, Lieutenant Marshall has also participated as an Ethics
instructor since 2008. He is the South Bay Regional Explorer Academy Coordinator and he sits
on the Inglewood Police Activity League’s Board of Directors.

Lieutenant Marshall has officially announced his service retirement effective April 2012. His
career has been a remarkable display of professionalism, expertise, and above all a mastery of
policing.




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