Last weekend the Colton Police Department, under the leadership of Chief Henry Dominguez, took a well-deserved pause from their daily duties to recognize a few select individuals for their outstanding service to the Department, and to the City of Colton.
This annual event, held at the Colton First Assembly Church, has grown in popularity over the last few years, and this year included a delicious buffet-style reception, sponsored by El Rey Del Pollo, a new restaurant on Mt. Vernon Avenue.
The men and women who were recognized are not only “hometown heroes” for protecting our streets, neighborhoods, and facilities, they are also citizens, residents, spouses, parents, and even sons and daughters of our older population. They have a difficult job and put their lives and well-being on the line each and every day. Their goal is “to serve and to protect,” says Chief Dominguez, who along with Lt Raymond Mendez, did not hesitate to mention specific accomplishments and heroic actions taken by these individuals.
In addition to the principal awards listed below, seven officers were presented a Chief’s Award of Distinction, for actions taken that went above and beyond the call of duty on a difficult high-level armed robbery case. These individuals were Sergeant Shawn McFarland, Officer Klevis Buzi, Officer Ruben Muro, Officer Miguel Gonzalez, Officer Daniel Chavez, Officer Marissa Martinez, and Officer Martine Rodriguez.
The final recognition was the GTA Pin Presentation (Grand Theft Auto) that was awarded to Officers Klevis Buzi, Daniel Chavez, Marisa Martinez, and Ruben Muro, who was awarded the “Master” pin.
The event was well-attended and included an opening welcome by Chief Dominguez, an Invocation by Chaplain Eric Strutz, the Pledge of Allegiance by Captain Timothy Heusterberg, and the swearing-in of two new officers, Lorenzo Morgan and David Perez.
The award presentations were conducted by Lieutenant Ray Mendez and assisted by Chief Dominguez and Captain Heusterberg. The award recipients were;
Michael Brunelle; Volunteer of the Year
We have an amazing group of Citizen Volunteers who have chosen to dedicate their free time to making this community safer and a better place to live and work. Giving back to one’s community and the police department is admirable and deserving of recognition. This year’s Citizen Volunteer, Michael Brunelle, is being recognized for his dedication and selflessness, not only to the Colton Police Department but to the Citizens of Colton. In 2021, Mike volunteered approximately 300 hours of time for the police department. Mike can be relied upon to assist with community events, proactive enforcement, critical incidents, and welfare checks; freeing patrol officers to respond to emergency calls. The Colton Police Department is proud to announce Michael Brunelle as Volunteer of the Year for 2021.
Records Clerk Alise Smith; Professional Staff Employee of the Year
Alise first started her career with the Colton Police Department in 2004 as a part-time Stenographer. In 2018, Alise was promoted to the position of full-time Records Clerk. Alise is currently assigned to the Records Division, where she exuberantly carries out her duties as a Records Clerk and ensures that all In-Custody reports dictated by officers are typed and prepared to be filed with the District Attorney’s Office. Alise has an upbeat attitude and is ever willing to help out her fellow Department employees. For her professionalism, positive outlook, and outstanding work ethic, the Colton Police Department is pleased to present Alise Smith as Non-Sworn Employee of the Year for 2021.
Dispatcher Cheryl Evans; Dispatcher of the Year
Dispatcher Cheryl Evans was assigned to the Dispatch Center for Platoon Two in 2021. Cheryl is an exceptional and skilled member of the dispatch team. Her positive attitude and extraordinary expertise as a part of the communications division have recently earned her a promotion to Senior Dispatcher. Over this past year, Cheryl has filled in for several shifts due to low staffing levels. Her willingness to help others is admirable. In 2021 Cheryl held the following collateral duty assignments:
- Scheduling for Dispatch,
- ESRI ArcGIS Administrator,
- Motorola Contact for FLEX,
- Eventide Administrator
- VESTA Administrator
- Rapid Deploy/ Rapid SOS Administrator
- NLETS Flying Armed Liaison
- DROS Teletypes.
The Colton Police Department is proud to announce Cheryl Evans as Dispatcher of the Year for 2021.
Officer Anthony Barron; Officer of the Year
Officer Anthony Barron was assigned to the Colton Police Department’s Multiple Enforcement Team during the 2021 year. He is a highly motivated officer, who works diligently with members of both the department and the community to accomplish common goals. As a MET Officer, Anthony has gone above and beyond in his duties. He has conducted numerous physical clean-ups of transient encampments. He has cultivated a relationship with the San Bernardino County Sheriff’s Department homeless outreach team known as HOPE, with whom he meets on a weekly basis to bring resources to the homeless residents of Colton. Officer Barron was instrumental in helping to bring the San Bernardino County’s Department of Mental Health (TEST) to the department, which will become a future resource, reducing mental health calls within the city. Officer Barron has been steadfast in his duties, never complaining and always doing what was asked of him. Over the past year, Officer Barron has assisted the Detective Division with multiple investigations, writing search warrants, and interviewing suspects. He has assisted the Range Staff with helping to maintain department weapons, assisting staff during range days, helping to demolish the armory, and installing new cabinets and flooring. Officer Barron was temporarily reassigned to work the Platoon One Patrol Shift due to low staffing levels, all while working as the sole Homeless Liaison Officer for the department. Over the year, Officer Barron made approximately 50 arrests ranging from trespassing to grand theft. For his professionalism, exceptionally positive attitude, and willingness to assist his fellow officers, the Colton Police Department is proud to present Officer Anthony Barron as Officer of the Year for 2021.
Officer Marisa Martinez; MADD Award
The Mothers Against Drunk Driving (MADD) Award is awarded to an officer who has made a difference in the last year by going above and beyond in the area(s) of education, prevention, policy, or enforcement and whose efforts are making an impact in reducing alcohol-related death and injury. The Colton Police Department nominates an officer based on the significant and consistent effort on the Officer’s part to combat impaired driving during the period of October 1st until September 30th. During that period 25 officers from the Colton Police Department made a total of 95 arrests for Driving Under the Influence (DUI). The Colton Police Department is proud to announce Officer Marisa Martinez as being nominated for the MADD Award. Officer Martinez made 14 DUI-related arrests during the aforementioned period. Her efforts in combating impaired driving-related incidents are commendable.
For more information about CITY TALK, various community groups, Colton history, the trash clean-up, prayer list, Veteran Spotlight, Church Spotlight, Business Spotlight, community projects and events, neighborhood meetings, or the online live-stream programs, text or call Dr. G @ 909-213-3730. Dr. G is the founder of CITY TALK, a City Council Member and well-known community advocate. Questions and comments are always welcome.