Sheriff’s employees and community members were honored Oct. 13 at the Earl Warren Showgrounds.
The Santa Barbara County Sheriff’s Benevolent Posse provided lunch and has consistently hosted the Santa Barbara event, where award recipients were recognized for their exemplary service during 2020.
The presentation began with Julia Rhodes, 14, who received a Certificate of Merit. Julia had the idea to create autism sensory bags for those with special needs as part of a school project.
Julia assembled six of these bags, and they were presented to officers during a daily briefing at the Solvang station, where Julia explained how to use the bags on calls, involving children on the autism spectrum. One of these bags was even successfully used by a deputy during a call involving an autistic child.
Sheriff Bill Brown thanked Julia for her concern, generosity and innovative contribution to not only the Sheriff’s Office but the citizens of Santa Barbara County.
David Sparer, a community member, also received a Certificate of Merit for his donation of personal protective equipment to first responders during the onset of the COVID pandemic.
U.S. Marine Corp Forces Reserve Brigadier General Fred Lopez (ret.) presented Sheriff’s Sgt. Jarrett Morris with the Military Order of the World Wars Law and Order Individual Award. Sgt. Morris was honored for his distinguished career and his leadership this past year, which included his supervision of the Sheriff’s Office K9 Unit, and his role as the coroner’s sergeant during the Montecito debris flow and later the Conception boat fire. He also led the Sheriff’s Office Mobile Field Force team.
Fifteen Sheriff’s deputies received a commendation for administering Narcan in a manner that reversed suspected opioid overdoses and prevented victims from dying. These deputies were Sheriff Sgt. Edward Moss, Sheriff’s Deputy Bruno Bertuzzi, Sheriff’s Deputy Matthew Cianciarulo, Sheriff’s Deputy Joshua Elizalde, Sheriff’s Deputy Hartley Freedman, Sheriff’s Deputy Garrett Gish, Sheriff’s Deputy John Heil, Sheriff’s Deputy Kody Kiesow, Sheriff’s Deputy Damien Marquez, Sheriff’s Deputy Justin Oropeza, Sheriff’s Deputy Mark Riggar, Sheriff’s Deputy Robert Samaniego, Sheriff’s Deputy Ben Sandu, Sheriff’s Deputy Daniel Skall and Sheriff’s Deputy John Valenti.
Sheriff’s Senior Deputy Mattew West received the Life Saving award for his response to a call involving a 26-year-old man who was not breathing and non-responsive.
Sheriff’s Senior Deputy David Frawley, Sheriff’s Deputies Nicholas Adomaitis and Gregory Plett, and Melissa Miller, a Behavioral Wellness marriage and family therapist, received the Life Saving award for their response to a call for a suicidal subject, who ultimately was transported to Santa Barbara Cottage Hospital and recovered.
Sheriff’s Senior Deputy Patrick Hayes and Sheriff’s Deputy Christopher Morales received the Lifesaving Award along with community members Beth Couba, Tess Edwards, Laura Morales and Melissa Reiman, who were awarded Certificates of Merit, for saving the life of a 70-year-old man who appeared to have suffered a heart attack and collapsed on the boardwalk near Linden Avenue in Carpinteria. Ultimately, the patient was transported to Santa Barbara Cottage Hospital, where he received advanced medical treatment and made a full recovery.
The Sheriff’s Office has been unable to contact Ms. Couba, Ms. Morales and Ms. Reiman to thank them for their life saving actions and would like to encourage them to contact us at firstname.lastname@example.org.
Sheriff’s Cmdr. Darin Fotheringham received the Meritorious Service Medal for his work on a project that will save the Sheriff’s Office over $240,000 in the first year, and in excess of $1.5 million over 10 years.
Due to Cmdr. Fotheringham’s extensive research, the Sheriff’s Office decided to contract with Enterprise for the use of more than 100 vehicles, which will result in a better product and service for the Sheriff’s office, as well as saving hundreds of thousands of dollars which could be directed towards other needs.
The Sheriff’s Office Mobile Field Force team was awarded a unit citation for its tireless efforts, adaptability and performance during their deployments to outside counties.
The Sheriff’s Office Custody Branch was also awarded a Unit Citation for its tireless efforts, courage and resilience during difficult and unprecedented times.