Surprise Police host annual employee appreciation awards banquet
Surprise, AZ (April 20, 2016) On Friday, April 15, 2016, the Surprise Police Department hosted the 2016 Employee Appreciation Awards Bonanza at the Surprise Stadium. The master of ceremonies for the event was Rick D’amico, an Emmy Award winning television newscaster. During the awards ceremony, Rick, currently a host on FOX 10’s “Morning Show”, entertained the crowd with his normal witty banter and repertoire of jokes.
During the award ceremony, Chief Terry Young presented Mr. Michael Walker, a cab driver for West Valley Cab Company, with a Certificate of Appreciation. A Certificate of Appreciation is presented to a citizen who takes it upon themselves to “get involved” when many would not.
In January of 2015, Mr. Walker contacted the police. He provided information on how to locate a residence, where he dropped off a female fare. As the woman exited the cab, she told Mr. Walker she was in fear for her life. Once officers arrived at the residence, they heard a female screaming inside, entered the home and found the husband strangling the victim to the point where she could no longer breathe.
In special recognition, Chief Young formally recognized several employees, both sworn and civilian, and several other volunteers, for their personal dedication, professionalism and commitment to excellence. At the top of that list, Officer Ray Johnson was bestowed with the department’s highest honor, the Medal of Valor. To be awarded the Medal of Valor, an individual must have performed an act displaying extreme courage while consciously facing imminent peril.
Highlighting some other achievements, Detective Antonio Martinez was awarded the Medal of Merit. Additionally, Officer Matthew Barker, Officer Craig Scartozzi, Officer Joanna Massimillo-Vallet, and Detective Joshua Waldeck were each presented with a Life Saving Award. Officer Jason Lewis received a Department Commendation and the Training and Recruitment Unit was recognized as the Unit of the Year.
Several annual awards were also presented including the following; Officer of the Year – Officer James Jennings, Rookie of the Year – Officer Morgan Williams, Detective of the Year – Detective Michael Forbrook, Civilian of the Year – Kim Davies, Volunteer of the Year – Barbara Jones, Citizen Patrol Member of the Year – Jim Gearns, and the Supervisor of the Year – Public Safety Communication Supervisor Emily Pepe.
The Surprise Police want to send a special thanks to Native Grill & Wings for catering the event, Shari & Ryan Manley for their “Snowie” treats, Frank Guzman with Parties R Us for the tables and chairs – bounce houses – cotton candy machine and popcorn machine, Mr. Cory Missall with Superhero Rental of Arizona, our magician for the evening (Mr. Craig Davis from Davis Magic), our face painter for the evening (Hailey Vincent), Gamez On Wheelz for the “Photo Booth Experience”, Surprise’s Community Recreation Services Department for use of the facility, the Annual Awards Banquet committee for the countless hours spent planning and preparing for the event, the Surprise Police Department’s Explorer Post #2236 for their assistance in manning the kids’ entertainment areas, the Citizen’s Patrol for all their assistance, the Surprise Police Department Honor Guard and Officer Jason Washburn’s “Quartet”.