There are several citizens on patrol who have hit hour milestones.
The following Citizens on Patrol have logged volunteer hours assisting with Blue Santa, traffic control, and various other events. The following COPs are recognized for reaching their 200-hour milestone: Edward “Sandy” Erwin, Linda Erwin, Regina Greene, Blake Krass, Donna Merchant.
2,000 hours - Wow, yes 2000 hours. Thank you to Ingrid Friedman who is recognized for reaching the 2,000 hour milestone as a COP.
2. Citizen on Patrol of the Year
COP of the Year: This Citizen on Patrol graduated from Class 23 and has helped with many Office of Community Liaison projects by providing office support. She has assisted in traffic control, taking photographs, and manning the OCL table for events. She volunteered 171 hours in 2018. This year’s COP of the Year is Donna Merchant.
3. Victim services volunteer of the year
This volunteer completed her training in November 2017 and covers an average of 15 shifts per month, days, evenings and nights. She has donated over 575 hours per year to being on call since she graduated. She has assisted the Blue Santa Program by taking applications and victims describe her as nice, helpful, compassionate, and not judging. She truly cares about people and wants to help them. The 2018 Victim Services Volunteer of the Year is Kim Merriweather.
4. Community service bars
Community Service Bar:
This dynamic duo facilitated the Department’s first Public Safety Day, continued the Department's success in National Night Out, helped complete the NNO state submission and assisted 150 families with the Blue Santa program. They have facilitated many tours and community presentations on a part-time schedule. For all their efforts Ingrid Friedman and Rosie Salinas are being presented with the Community Service Bar.
Community Service Bar:
This officer and his partner can often be seen at many community events. They participate in K9 demonstrations and reading programs. This past Christmas this officer took the lead in collecting resources so that five families could have a Christmas dinner. He purchased the food, separated it into meals, and helped deliver the food to the five families because he sincerely wanted to help make Christmas better for these five families. For his efforts, Officer Ramon Garcia is award the Community Service Bar.
Community Service Bar:
The Department launched a series of videos highlighting the Department’s programs and work within the community. Whenever there is a fresh idea of publishing a video to promote a program or display the Department’s servant heart, this person is always there to capture the footage and edit so that our best is projected to the public. He has assisted in the Department’s Recruiting video, Critical Conversations video, and Blue Santa video edits just to highlight a few things that he has helped accomplish. Wade Maness is being presented with the Community Service Bar for his efforts with helping us get the word out to the community we serve.
Certificate of Merit:
This person invests time to know her job in and out so she can perform at the highest level possible. She conducts research on her own to make sure she stays on top of new training and advances. When she became certified as a Communications Training Officer she saw the need for a training manual for the division and took it upon herself to research and create one. For her constant drive to do a thorough job and her work in creating a communications training manual, Ashley Arnold is presented the Certificate of Merit.
Certificate of Merit:
This officer routinely steps up to assist with high priority calls for service even though this officer is assigned to a specialized unit. This officer spent extensive time receiving specialized training and conducting the needed inspections to become a Certified DOT Department of Transportation officer. This officer has assisted with a multitude of special events and was instrumental in facilitating the Fill the Car food and toy drives at HEB. As an Accident Investigator, this officer is available even when not on call and has responded to every major collision involving serious bodily injury or death. This officer’s dedication, compassion, and willingness to help anyone with a task is an asset to the Department and to her unit. Officer Catrina Cosman is presented with the Certificate of Merit.
Certificate of Merit:
This next employee was assigned the daunting task of tracking Police equipment and making sure the Department’s fleet of vehicles are well maintained. He understands the responsibility and oversees that new equipment is received, installed in the new vehicles, and works to ensure this process is as efficient as possible. He can easily identify process improvements for efficiency. He deals with all the equipment headaches with a smile and pleasant demeanor. For this, Henry Grobert is award the Certificate of Merit.
Certificate of Merit:
These two employees work diligently to maintain and keep computers and operating systems up and running. Whether it’s resetting a password for an officer or helping with connection issues, they assist in a quick manner to reduce downtime and get officers back in service. Their efforts add to the efficiency of the Department. For their efforts Brandon Bennight and Kurt Widdows are presented with the Certificate of Merit.
In May, officers responded to Lake Pflugerville in reference to an active drowning. When they arrived, they were told the victim had been underwater approximately ten minutes. They immediately removed their gear and entered the water in search of the victim. They remained in the water along with Fire personnel an additional twenty minutes until the incident moved from search to recovery. Officers Cory Jester and Brandon Woodard are awarded the Police Commendation Bar for their efforts during a hazardous drowning situation.
In January, officers responded to a residence in Pflugerville in reference to a Check Welfare as a man on had threatened to kill himself and threatened family members before barricading himself in a bedroom. Officers created a reaction team in case the volatile situation evolved. Officers maintained contact with the subject through the door while SWAT response was arranged. While awaiting SWAT, the subject presented himself in the doorway holding a knife to his throat, presenting an imminent threat to himself. The reaction team deployed less lethal devices and used a shield to get the subject detained. A tourniquet was applied to the subject’s leg due to trauma he received. The following officers are presented with the Police Commendation Bar for their actions during this incident: Sgt.Gordon McKissack, Cpl. John Yurcina, Cpl. Alex Grana, and Officer Kyle Dimmit.
Police Commendation Bar:
In spring of 2018, the Austin Metro area experienced several package-related bombings and calls of suspicious packages increased greatly. This officer, who had just completed K9 handler school, and his partner were called upon to assist in clearing multiple packages in Pflugerville and to assist other agencies with the clearing of suspicious packages. This was a great asset that allowed for the quick clearance of these calls. This officer made himself available at all hours to assist in these potentially-complicated and dangerous calls. His assistance contributed to a high degree of call success. The Police Commendation Bar is presented to Officer Robert “Bobby” Wilson for his actions during these calls.
In March officers responded to a call in reference to two subjects shooting at each other. One officer arrived and located a suspect vehicle at the Pflugerville Rec Center. The vehicle was unoccupied, but there was blood leading into the Rec Center. The officer suspected the suspect had suffered an arterial bleed from his leg and quickly applied a tourniquet which stopped the bleeding, ultimately saving his life. (Tyler Schafer)
Three other officers responded to the nearby, related second scene where a victim was located with gunshot wounds to the chest and lower abdomen. Three officers worked together providing care until EMS arrived. The teamwork and care these officers provided allowed time for EMS to arrive and transport the female to the hospital. Lifesaving bars go to Sgt. James Colligan, Cpl. John Yurcina, Catrina Cosman.
Life Saving Bar:
In May, this officer assigned to Pflugerville Middle School was made aware that a student had left campus and had been seen trying to harm herself. The student took off on W. Pecan St. when staff intervened. Despite traffic in this area travels at or near 50 MPH, this student verbalized that she wanted to get hit by a car. This officer responded quickly by grabbing the female before she could reach the roadway. This officer’s quick reaction prevented the female student for suffering serious bodily injury or death. The life-saving bar goes to Robert Kauff.
Life Saving Bar:
In October, this officer responded at the request of Travis County Sheriff’s Office to assist on a shots fired call. The officer located a shooting victim with a gunshot wound to the upper left chest and an exit wound to the left armpit. The officer used items in his aid kit to fashion a field-expedient seal to the potentially deadly chest wound. This officer provided aid until EMS arrived increasing the victim’s survivability. – A second life-saving bar goes to Tyler Schaefer.
Life Saving Bar
In October, police responded to a call in reference to an Assist EMS. The caller advised her 13-year-old son was not breathing. This officer arrived and took over CPR from the mother and continued CPR until relieved by EMS. EMS was able to reestablish a pulse and transport the child. This was this officer’s first attempt at CPR. This officer’s actions increased this child’s chances of survival. A life-saving bar goes to Mohammed Kurugu.
In August, Pflugerville PD 911 received numerous calls in regards to shots fired. The two communications staff members on duty gave callers specific instructions to keep the callers safe. In addition to handling the 911 calls, they managed radio traffic from officers on scene and numerous requests for information related to the call. The radio traffic evolved to additional agencies being patched in to Pflugerville Police radio channels. The two dispatchers maintained their poise and control in a very difficult situation. They were also able to handle the routine calls that came into 911. The Meritorious Conduct award goes to Belinda Alexander and Mitchum Chauvin.
Police Medal of Valor
In August officers responded to a shots fired call. Upon arrival, they soon learned that there was a person still actively shooting from an apartment. Officers worked quickly to contain the apartment and keep other residents safe while placing themselves in the line of fire. They held a close perimeter until relieved some time later by Travis County SWAT. These officers maintained active roles throughout the duration of the call with over 100 rounds fired. The Police Medal of Valor goes to:
Lt. Makeba Lewis; Sgt. Stephen Lozano; Cpl. Robert Faust; Officer Brandon Hershman; David Hailes; Matthew Condreay
Civilian of the Year
In the past year, this employee played a key role in the implementation of the software conversation from Tyler to FileOnQ. Attention to detail led her into a role of being a central and key part of the transfer. She took on the role of Field Training Officer (FTO) for training and guiding a new crime scene and property room practitioner. She took on a leadership role in the absence of her supervisor. She led the unit in the day to day operations and implemented pending unit changes. She organized and shipped 60 SANE kits to the FBI for analysis to fulfill SB1686 requirements. These are just a glimpse of the positive impacts she has had in the unit. This year’s Civilian of the Year is Bethany Harman.
Supervisor of the Year
The Pflugerville ISD Police Department has undergone a number of significant changes over the past few years with new Chiefs, new Superintendents, officers, policy changes, personnel re-organizations…. Throughout this uncertainty, there has been one constant and unmoving supervisor who has helped steady the course. This Lieutenant has anticipated needs and difficulties, resolved conflicts, passed along information, and maintained order and focus on mission despite serious staffing shortages. He can be found covering down on a campus, defusing angry parents, fixing scheduling issues, revising policy, reviewing response to resistance packets, and any other number of duties required from all levels of rank. He is also over Internal Affairs if that was not enough.
He leads by example, manages many different aspects of the department and has continuously supported his officers both on and off duty. In part of his outstanding service, he was officially promoted to Lieutenant on February 15th, 2018. He has continued to fulfill the role with the heart of a servant. His influence in the department as Lieutenant has been felt and appreciated by all. I am proud and honored to recognize Lt. Colin Sacksteder as Supervisor of the year.
Officer of the Year
This officer is described as dependable and always ready to work. He works diligently to maintain his physical fitness so he is able to perform his job at an optimal level. He shows concern and compassion and often digs down to the root of a call to get a lasting solution and not just place a bandage on the problem. For example, he took extra care to get a family linked into resources for someone in a mental health crisis. He is proficient with our RMS and freely shares his knowledge to help other officers. He volunteers to take calls so officers can finish paperwork and has come in on his days off to help fill shortages. On one specific call where a mother was being arrested on traffic warrants, this officer, with the permission of the mother, spoke with the children to help them understand that mom is not a bad person. These are just a few examples of this seasoned officer’s dedication. This year’s Officer of the Year is Dennis King.
Andrew Hoskings Award
The Andrew Hoskings Award has many requirements including overall excellence in job performance throughout the year, respectful and courteous whether at work or off; not afraid to show compassion or empathy; displaying a harmonious, cheerful and pleasant disposition and possessing a cooperative spirit just to name a few.
As you can tell, this person truly must have a “servant’s heart”. He is a team player, ready to serve, always involved in the pursuit of truth, and justice. He thinks of other people and not himself. She is a worthy recipient of the Andrew Hoskings Award. The Award goes to Tonya Reed.
When this officer helped another transition to SRO, this PfISD Officer was described by peers as “one of the most influential people in regard to the kind of officer I want to be.” He is patient but firm; He is also strong and gentle. While he is physically intimidating, and a giant of a man, the kids flock to him because they see him as a fair, trustworthy protector. He puts his money where his mouth is, literally out of his own pocket, meeting the physical needs of students who are from economically disadvantaged situations. There would have been several hungry kids if not for him, and more, including a child who would not have had shoes. He can de-escalate and calm high-risk students and parents like no one else. This officer never brags and goes out of his way to make sure he doesn't get noticed because it embarrasses him to get attention. The PFISD PD officer of the year is Corey Shaum.
PfISD Officer of the Year
When this officer helped another transition to SRO, this PfISD Officer was described by peers as “one of the most influential people in regard to the kind of officer I want to be” He is patient but firm; He is also strong and gentle. While he is physically intimidating, and a giant of a man, the kids flock to him because they see him as a fair, trustworthy protector. He puts his money where his mouth is, literally out of his own pocket, meeting physical needs of students who are from economically disadvantaged situations. There would have been several hungry kids if not for him, and more, including a child who would not have had shoes. He can de-escalate and calm high-risk students and parents like no one else. This officer never brags and goes out of his way to make sure he doesn't get noticed because it embarrasses him to get attention. Forgive us if we embarrass you tonight, but we want to thank you for what you do - The PFISD PD officer of the year is Corey Shaum.