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Law enforcement honored with appreciation day


Last updated 9/20/2007 at Noon

The Eighth Annual Sheriff’s Appreciation Day was a vibrant and patriotic event held at the River Village Shopping Plaza in Bonsall on September 13. Hosted by the Bonsall Chamber of Commerce, the event set the stage in recognizing local law enforcement for their ceaseless dedication and service.

“Events like this send a real strong message,” said Detective Sgt. Dave Nemeth. “People out there care about what we do.”

This year, there were 13 law enforcement recipients who received awards for their notable service. Split into three categories, the Fallbrook Sheriff’s Station, Oceanside CHP and Sheriff’s Senior Volunteer Patrol made their honoree recognitions.

During the ceremony, located in the courtyard of the plaza, the representatives of state officials were present to distribute certificates of recognition. They included: US Congressman Darrell Issa, State Senator Mark Wyland, State Assemblyman Kevin Jeffries, State Senator Dennis Hollingsworth and San Diego Country Supervisor Bill Horn. Additionally, the Bonsall Rotary and Bonsall Woman’s Club handed out their certificates of appreciation.

Captain David Webb, Commander of the California Highway Patrol, Oceanside area, named Deputy Sheriff Wallace Henderson, CHP Officer Timothy Fenton and CHP Officer Levon Lanius his 2007 honorees.

Henderson received a special Auto Theft 10851 Award, recognizing his expertise in arresting car thieves and recovering stolen vehicles. “These auto thieves often have weapons and drugs,” said Webb. Since April, Henderson has recovered a total of 15 stolen/abandoned vehicles, three rollers (suspects in the vehicles) and made four arrests. This totals nearly $67,000 in theft-related vehicle incidents, helping make the community safer.

Fenton, known for his keenness as a Drug Recognition Expert and trainer, has successfully arrested drivers under the influence, making a positive impact in keeping the roads safer for drivers. “He loves to put bad guys in jail,” said Webb.

Lanius was identified for investigating 125 collisions in the past year and aiding in many more. Additionally, he underwent thorough mechanical inspections on some of these involved vehicles. Likewise, Lanius has made numerous DUI arrests. “Officer Lanius is a true professional,” shared Webb.

Lieutenant Alex Dominguez, Commander of the Fallbrook Sheriff’s Substation, awarded Reserve Lieutenant Kenneth Pipes for his dedication and service. Pipes agreed to accept this award with the condition that it was for all the members of his Reserve Unit. Hearty applause followed Dominguez’ statement that Pipes “is a remarkable man.”

Sergeant Joel Wigand recognized Deputy Dan Perkins for his swift and capable efforts in a 9-1-1 call received in April 2006. Perkins discovered a mother and daughter who were deceased in their Fallbrook home. A short time thereafter, Perkins took a suspect into custody. “We are proud to have him as a member of our team,” said Wigand.

For exemplary work in crime scene investigations, Sergeant Theresa Adams-Hayer awarded Deputy Paul Lacroix for his stellar performance. “He completes a thorough investigation,” she said, “and he really does care.”

Sergeant Ron McCracken gave an award of recognition to Deputy William McDaniel, whose paramount work involving several felon arrests resulted in penitentiary time for these felons. McDaniel’s recent arrest of Shirin Hezar for commercial burglary was commended by District Attorney Anna Winn.

Deputy Randy Wilkinson, cited for his “dedication to his duties to the citizens of the community on a daily basis,” was recognized by Sergeant Cliff Johnson. Wilkinson’s proactive demeanor in making a difference in the community radiates on a daily basis.

Sergeant Dave Nemeth awarded Detective Jeff Lauhon for his illustrious investigations, one of which recently resulted in the arrest of two perpetrators who carried out several armed robberies in North County. Lauhon has also mastered the new county-wide computer program and database, becoming the IT site administrator. Nemeth added, “[Lauhon] has become a ‘go-to’ person for the Fallbrook Substation and for the communities of Bonsall and Fallbrook.”

Manny Ortega, administrator of the Sheriff’s Senior Volunteer Patrol, recognized Ed Hills for being a tremendous asset; Fred Levan for his motivation and leadership; Richard Valved for his skills in emergency situations; and Sharon Differ for her professionalism at the front counter. Ortega thanked each and every one for a job well done.

Dominguez commended the 50 members of the Sheriff’s Senior Volunteer Patrol for the tremendous and important service they provide to the community.

Prior to the ceremony, guests enjoyed a scrumptious barbecue hosted by James and Rebecca Eastom, owners of ABS Copy Center, and Tony Flores, proprietor of Isagenix.

In addition, David Beshay, owner of the Fallbrook and Bonsall Jack-in-the-Box restaurants, gifted complimentary discount cards to all law enforcement and their family members in attendance.

The Sheriff’s Appreciation Day was a momentous occasion. “From the bottom of our hearts, thank you for keeping us safe,” said Bonsall Chamber of Commerce Chairman Mary Jane Poulter.


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