2011 Award Winners
2011 Individual Achievement
Lieutenant Chris J. Perez, Los Angeles County Sheriff’s Department (LACSD), was assigned as a Sergeant to the Pitchess Detention Center Range from July 2009 to March 2011 when he was promoted to Lieutenant. While there, he became the catalyst for changing the manner in which firearms training is taught and learned by law enforcement students. From his analysis of officer-involved shootings, he identified the essential skill sets needed to be successful in deadly encounters and then put in place the training that would effectively teach those skills. Lieutenant Perez developed an instructor guide and standardized drills that still stressed accuracy, but emphasized response under combat situations. While in this assignment, Lieutenant Perez developed the three-phase plan that: 1) Implemented a mandated instructor update training and competency program, 2) changed all firearms courses to closely enact the actual skills and mind-set to prepare for combat situations, and 3) redesigned obsolete ranges to facilitate the new training paradigm.
Runner-up: Debbie Eglin, Corporal, San Diego Miramar College, School of Public Safety is the runner-up for the 2011 POST Excellence in Training Award for Individual Achievement.
2011 Organizational Achievement
The Alameda County Sheriff’s Office has been in the forefront of training excellence for several years. An example of this valuable and effective training is “Urban Shield” created in 2006. “Urban Shield” is a 48-hour continuous exercise that is highly interactive, challenging and task driven. It provides first responders from all disciplines, public and private, to train together in a real-life setting to obtain the knowledge, skills, and abilities needed to the perform key tasks required in large-scale disasters. It is designed to identify and stretch regional resources to their limits, while expanding regional collaboration and building positive relationships. Urban Shield challenges the skills, knowledge, and abilities of all who participate, and has received national and international recognition. This award was accepted on behalf of the Alameda County Sheriff’s Office by Commander Donald M. Buchanan.
Runner-up: Criminal Justice Institute (CJI) is the runner-up for the 2011 POST Excellence in Training Award for Organizational Achievement.
Honorable Mention: Los Angeles County Sheriff’s Department, Muslim Community Affairs Unit – Sergeant Mike Abdeen and Deputy Sherif Morsi received Honorable Mention for the 2011 POST Excellence in Training Award for Organizational Achievement.
2011 Lifetime Achievement
Executive Director Michael Gray of the San Diego Regional Training Center is responsible for managing a number of POST legacy training programs such as the Instructor Development Institute (IDI) and the Robert Presley Institute of Criminal Investigation’s (ICI). Mr. Gray began his law enforcement career in 1984 with the Los Angeles County Sheriff’s Department. He began his training career as a department Field Training Officer in 1989. In 1993, while working LASD’s Auto Theft Taskforce, he became the administrator and instructor for the ICI Vehicle Theft Investigations Course, training more than 300 investigators during this assignment. After retiring from the Sheriff’s Department, he continued to pursue his passion of training law enforcement personnel. In 1997, Mr. Gray graduated from Class 6 of the POST Master Instructor Development Program and was later selected to be a co-facilitator in this program from 2007-2011. One of Mr. Gray’s most significant accomplishments was overseeing the initial design and development of the annual POST Instructor Symposium which has received outstanding acclaim. In recognition for his contributions, he was awarded the ICI Excellence in Instruction Award in 2006 and the Robert Presley ICI Founder’s Award in 2009.
Runner-up: Robert Schirn, Head Deputy District Attorney (Retired), Los Angeles County District Attorney’s Office is the runner-up for the 2011 POST Excellence in Training Award for Lifetime Achievement.
2010 Award Winners
2010 Individual Achievement
Detective Teresa L. Irvin, Los Angeles Police Department (LAPD), Detective Support and Vice Division, is recognized for her extensive research into critical incidents involving barricaded suspects, hostage standoffs, and attempted suicides. Detective Irvin identified an increase in critical incidents involving returning veterans who had experienced combat during deployment. She learned about ways that responding officers could better handle critical incidents involving veterans with minimal risk to the individuals and the first responders. She incorporated the information she gained from her research into the LAPD’s Crisis Communications Course and provided training regarding Post Traumatic Stress Disorder to countless first responders and crisis negotiators to help them to effectively de-escalate a crisis. Because of the studies she has completed, regarding critical incidents, the LAPD Mental Evaluation Training Unit has been selected as a Specialized Response Law Enforcement/Mental Health Learning Site by the Council of State Governments Justice Center and the Bureau of Justice Assistance.
Runner-up: Dawewon Kim, Acting Supervising Investigator, and Britton Schaefer, Senior Investigator, Los Angeles County District Attorney, Bureau of Investigation are the runners-ups for the 2010 POST Excellence in Training Award for Individual Achievement.
2010 Organizational Achievement
The California Narcotic Officers’ Association (CNOA) is recognized for the development and presentation of innovative training that has been recognized within and outside of California. The CNOA has had a statewide and national impact through its offerings of unique, specialized law enforcement training. The CNOA has presented over 1,400 classes to over 110,000 officers, and offers 43 POST-certified courses. The CNOA is a not-for-profit professional training organization that conducts “training needs assessments” for law enforcement agencies throughout the state. The CNOA manages the Narcotic Educational Foundation of America, a non-profit outreach program that provides no-cost training materials and instructors to community groups, schools, and partners in anti-drug organizations. In 1994, CNOA created the Survivors Memorial Fund that provides immediate cash assistance to families of California peace officers killed in the line of duty. This award was accepted on behalf of the California Narcotic Officers’ Association by Director of Training Jim Aumond.
Runner-up: The Los Angeles Police Department for development of the Multiple Assault Counter-Terrorism Action Capabilities (MACTAC) is the runner-up for the 2010 POST Excellence in Training Award for Organizational Achievement.
2010 Lifetime Achievement
Captain Richard Wemmer retired from the Los Angeles Police Department (LAPD), has over 38 years of law enforcement teaching experience and has been an instructor at Golden West College, Regional Criminal Justice Training Center for 32 years. He has frequently been recognized for his work in officer safety and tactics training. He has authored several articles related to the killing of peace officers and has received commendations throughout the United States for his training in preventing peace officer deaths and injuries. Presently, Captain Wemmer is the Coordinator of the Officer Safety Tactics (OST) program at Golden West College, Criminal Justice Training Center. He has tailored the OST program to minimize downtime and maximize the training experience for the students. He has played a vital role in the development of officer survival skills training and offered it to hundreds of basic academy recruits and in-service officers.
Runner-up: Jody Buna, Senior Law Enforcement Consultant (Retired), Commission on Peace Officer Standards and Training (POST) and Lieutenant (Retired), Oakland Police Department is the runner-up for the 2010 POST Excellence in Training Award for Lifetime Achievement.
2009 Award Winners
2009 Individual Achievement
Captain Tony Farrar, Rialto Police Department, is recognized for his 27 years of continuously seeking ways of improving the working environment within his department, regionally and nationally. Tony has consistently developed and implemented training in several critical areas of law enforcement. He developed a comprehensive supervisory leadership development program that incorporated a “360-degree” evaluation system. He has had numerous articles published in several major law enforcement journals. He has developed several tactical courses, including an Advanced SWAT Commanders Course. He has also provided training on many subjects throughout California and nationally, including Citizen Emergency Response Team (CERT) Courses. Tony has taught for the National Tactical Officers Association, the California Association of Tactical Officers, the California Tactical Dispatchers Association, and the California Narcotics Officers Association and holds membership in such organizations.
Runner-up: Officer Sandra Terhune-Bickler, Ph.D., Santa Monica Police Department
2009 Organizational Achievement
The San Bernardino County Sheriff’s Department, Emergency Vehicle Operations Center (EVOC) is recognized for consistently providing exceptional driver training for 13 law enforcement basic academies and for providing highly sought in-service driver training for law enforcement, fire, ambulance, public utilities, federal and state agencies, and private citizen groups. The facility sits on 80 acres of land that is dedicated to a full array of driving experiences. Additionally, the facility provides Driver Awareness Instructor and Driver Training Instructor training and in-service instruction to law enforcement personnel from not only California, but nationally and internationally. The emphasis of defensive driving by staff of the EVOC, not only in the Basic Academy but also in perishable skills training, has resulted in a reduction in officer/deputy involved collisions, deaths and injuries, and has reduced liability. Accepting the award on behalf of the San Bernardino County Sheriff’s Department was the EVOC Facility Manager John Migaiolo.
2009 Lifetime Achievement
Devallis Rutledge, Special Counsel to the Los Angeles County District Attorney, is recognized for being consistently on the leading-edge of using technologies to deliver training. From 1979 to the present, Devallis has written 12 law enforcement text books, published 182 articles, presented 1,182 roll call video training sessions and written 1,040 training bulletins. He is highly regarded by law enforcement officers and prosecutors for his training on such subjects as interview and interrogation and search and seizure. He was instrumental in the effort to convert California police reports to the first-person, active voice and composed the standardized DUI arrest report form used by most law enforcement agencies. He has been recognized and received many awards for his contributions to law enforcement training from the California District Attorneys Association, National College of District Attorneys, Orange County District Attorney’s Office, and the San Bernardino County Sheriff’s Department.
Runner-up: Rosanna McKinney, Dispatch Training Coordinator/POST Master Instructor, State Center Regional Training Facility, Fresno
2008 Award Winners
2008 Individual Achievement
Gail Jones, Senior Community Services Liaison for College Hospital, was recognized for the innovation she continues to show in developing and delivering issue-oriented training about mental illness and suicide by cop. Her work has focused on the need for better training of first responders in identifying and safely addressing the immediate needs of persons with mental illness. Since 1997, Ms. Jones has coordinated conferences, held seminars, and developed partnerships to serve the needs of first responders and mental health professionals throughout Los Angeles and Orange Counties.
Runner-up: Tony Farrar, Captain (Rialto Police Department)
2008 Organizational Achievement
The Rio Hondo College Regional Law Enforcement Training Center was recognized for continually offering up-to-date, contemporary training through continuous collaboration with regional users of the Center. The Center provides basic and advanced courses to a variety of law enforcement officers from numerous counties. It has an excellent reputation and history of providing effective training programs. The Center continually strives to remain state-of-the-art in meeting the needs of its stakeholders. Accepting the award on behalf of the Rio Hondo College Regional Law Enforcement Training Center was Dean of Public Safety Joseph Santoro.
Runner-up: Fairfield Police Department
2008 Lifetime Achievement
Captain Gordon Graham, California Highway Patrol (Retired), was recognized for providing solid, realistic, ongoing and verifiable training to thousands of law enforcement officers. He was also recognized for creating and maintaining a website to provide law enforcement training. In retirement, he has affiliated with Cavenaugh and Associates in order to provide standardized training nationwide. He is nationally and internationally acknowledged as one of the top trainers and contributors to law enforcement.
Runner-up: Sergeant Alan Green (Los Angeles Police Department)
2007 Individual Achievement
Left to right: Commission Chairman Ron Lowenberg, POST Executive Director Paul Cappitelli, Captain David C. Bertini, Advisory Committee Chairman Mario Casas.
Captain David C. Bertini from the Pacifica Police Department was recognized for his ongoing work as an innovative and creative instructor, a subject matter expert in several areas of law enforcement training and for his work in developing and delivering high-quality training courses in several areas (e.g., laws of arrest, search and seizure, psychological challenges faced by law enforcement officers, and ethics in law enforcement).
Jim Gordon (Stanislaus County Sheriff’s Department)
2007 Lifetime Achievement
Left to right: Commission Chairman Ron Lowenberg, POST Executive Director Paul Cappitelli, Criminal Investigator Betsy Lee Mazzuola, Advisory Committee Chairman Mario Casas.
Criminal Investigator Betsy Lee Mazzuola from the San Joaquin County District Attorney’s Office was recognized for her subject matter expertise and as a trainer on investigations and prosecutions of stalking and domestic violence crimes. Her work and the training she has provided have dramatically increased the successful investigations and prosecutions of stalking offenses within San Joaquin County.
Michael A. Rubacha (Los Angeles County Police/Office of Public Safety)
2007 Organizational Achievement
Left to right: Commission Chairman Ron Lowenberg, POST Executive Director Paul Cappitelli, CHP Commissioner Joseph Farrow, Advisory Committee Chairman Mario Casas.
The California Highway Patrol (CHP) was recognized for its work as a member of the International Association of Chiefs of Police (IACP) Law Enforcement Safe Stops Subcommittee (LESSS) for developing videos to enhance officer safety. The purpose of the LESSS is to internationally improve the safety of the operating environments of uniformed law enforcement officers. Through the combined efforts and leadership of the CHP and LESSS members, two roll-call training DVDs were developed. Continuing work is being done to quantify the impact these videos may have in reducing deaths and serious injuries.
Rio Hondo College’s Regional Law Enforcement Training Center
2006 Individual Achievement
Sergeant Raymond Backman (left) from the Oakland Police Department accepts his award from Deputy Director Lindsay E. Barsamian-Kelsch, Office of Governor Arnold Schwarzenegger, Fresno Field Office.
Sergeant Backman has had a tremendous impact on all law enforcement academy directors, coordinators, and trainers. Sergeant Backman participated on the Pre-Academy Fitness Committee, the Academy Recruit Training Officer Re-Write Committee, and the Learning Domain 32 Workbook Committee.
His crowning achievement was accomplished on the Scenario Re-Write Committee creating new and innovative methods for evaluating police officer trainees that test their abilities and measure the core competencies that are necessary for a successful career in law enforcement.
Criminal Investigator Betsy Lee Mazzuola (San Joaquin County District Attorney’s Office)
2006 Lifetime Achievement
Retired Sergeant Kenneth Whitley (left) of the Garden Grove Police Department accepts his award from Deputy Director Lindsay E. Barsamian-Kelsch, Office of Governor Arnold Schwarzenegger, Fresno Field Office.
Sergeant Whitley is a court-recognized expert on drugs/narcotics, prison gangs, prison tattoos, and parolee contacts. He has instructed over 13,000 California law enforcement personnel since 1979. Sergeant Whitley developed a “Drug Influence Pocket Chart” with signs, symptoms, and booking sections, and a CD-ROM with prison gang tattoo pictures and definitions. He is the author of several books and articles on drug identification and aspects of prison gangs.
Runner-up: Captain Daniel Martini (Orange County Sheriff’s Department)
2006 Organizational Achievement
Nick Flint, Director of the Behavior Analysis Training Institute (BATI), (left), accepts the award on behalf of the BATI from Deputy Director Lindsay E. Barsamian-Kelsch, Office of Governor Arnold Schwarzenegger, Fresno Field Office.
The BATI was the first POST-certified course dedicated solely to interview and interrogation techniques in California. BATI’s goal is to make officers more effective investigators when gathering information from human sources. BATI instruction plays a direct role in hundreds of interview and interrogations that take place everyday, both inside and outside California. BATI is a far-reaching program that has trained thousands of investigators at the local, state, and federal level.
Runner-up: Alameda County Sheriff’s Office, Regional Training Center
2005 Individual Achievement
George L. Shake (left) from the Los Angeles Police Department accepts his award from POST Commission Chair Collene Campbell for his training in narcotic enforcement and investigation, drug recognition, weapons, and crises negotiations.
Detective Shake has trained thousands of police officers over his 25 plus years, using innovative techniques of teaching. His instruction is very well received by trainees as someone who can "walk the walk and talk the talk."
Officer Jack Schonely (Los Angeles Police Department)
2005 Lifetime Achievement
Attorney at Law Martin (Marty) J. Mayer (right) accepts his award from POST Commission Chair Collene Campbell, in recognition for his 26+ years of dedicated service to California law enforcement as legal trainer and advisor to major statewide law enforcement associations.
Nominated by the California Police Chiefs’ Association, Mr. Mayer was recognized for his training of all ranks of peace officers, quality of instruction, knowledge of the law, impeccable moral character, and sense of humor. Mr. Mayer has also authored many articles for professional law enforcement journals. And finally, Mr. Mayer has served POST as a subject matter expert on the law and related issues.
Retired Sergeant Kenneth Whitley (Garden Grove Police Department)
2005 Organizational Achievement
Dean Gialamas, Director of the Forensic Science Services Division (left), accepts the award for the Orange County Sheriff's Department's PEBT Program from POST Commission Chair Collene Campbell.
The PEBT program is being recognized for its excellent training and certification of peace officers using DUI breath test equipment. This training has resulted in a 37% increase in breath testing in Orange County, saving personnel time and costs, and most significantly, saving the lives of many citizens who would otherwise be involved in preventable traffic accidents.
California Highway Patrol Academy
2004 Individual Achievement
Coordinator Debora McGlynn (left) accepts her award from POST Commission Chairman Jim Fox, in recognition for her development and instruction on Weapons of Mass Destruction and Terrorism for public safety dispatchers which is POST-certified.
Sergeant James Bolwerk (Los Angeles County Sheriff's Department)
2004 Lifetime Achievement
Detective Sergeant Jack Giroud (left) accepts his award from POST Commission Chairman Jim Fox, in recognition for his developing and conducting instruction on Robbery and Homicide Investigation.
No selection made
2004 Organizational Achievement
President Diane Webb (left) accepting the award for the California Sexual Assault Investigators Association.
The Association was recognized for its training on sexual assault prevention, detection, investigation, evidence collection and analysis, and prosecution and offender monitoring. Besides training on the basics of sexual assault investigation, CSAIA pioneers in presenting contemporary training topics like sex offender registration, Megan's Law, drug-facilitated sexual assault investigation, child abuse injuries and detection, internet crime/child pornography, and others.
Los Angeles County Sheriff's University Program
2003 Individual Achievement
Sergeant Wayne Windman (right) accepts his award from POST Commission Chairman Jim Fox, in recognition for leadership in developing, and making available, instruction in terrorism and weapons of mass destruction.
Lieutenant Robert Olmsted (Los Angeles County Sheriff's Department)
2003 Lifetime Achievement
Retired Police Captain William Cavenaugh (right) accepts his award from POST Commission Chairman Jim Fox, in recognition for 18 years of instruction in the investigation of Driving Under the Influence (DUI). His instruction has resulted in giving officers the necessary tools to effectively and proficiently detect, arrest, and convict DUI offenders.
Retired Police Captain Stephen J. Scarano (Oceanside Police Department)
2003 Organizational Achievement
Coordinator Todd Dischinger (left) and Director Greg Miraglia accepting the award for the Napa Valley Criminal Justice Training Center. The Center was recognized for its innovation in basic and advanced law enforcement training, specifically for the creative use of technology including CD-ROM with web-based interface. This organization has been influential in the development of ethics training and testing for basic academy students and instructors.
Contra Costa County Police Chiefs' Association
2002 Award Winners
Individual Achievement: Robert DiMiceli (California Highway Patrol)
Officer Robert DiMiceli was honored as a drug recognition expert and instructor at the CHP academy. He also serves as a full-time patrol officer.
Lifetime Achievement: Joel Carey (California Attorney General's Office)
Deputy Attorney General Joel Carey (retired) was honored as the originator and coordinator of the Attorney General's Legal Sourcebook which is invaluable in training and as a law enforcement reference.
Organizational Achievement: California Department of Justice Advanced Training Center
The Advanced Training Center was honored for its specialized investigative courses, including anti-terrorism and computer training.
2001 Award Winners
Individual Achievement: John E. Kane, Jr. (Sacramento Police Department)
Lieutenant John Kane was honored for developing innovative curriculum and training methods for teaching police response to critical incidents and disaster events.
Lifetime Achievement: Ronald E. Lowenberg (Huntington Beach Police Department)
Police Chief Ronald Lowenberg was honored for his years of service in law enforcement training, especially in the areas of leadership, management, and mentoring of police chiefs, and for his ability to obtain the enthusiastic involvement of his students.
Organizational Achievement: San Bernardino County Sheriff's Department - Use of Force Trimester Training Program
Developed in 1992, the Use of Force program was honored for its contemporary training in reinforcing critical or perishable skills, which diminish without periodic refreshing. The eight-hour session is presented three times a year.
2000 Award Winners
Individual Achievement: James Filley
Lifetime Achievement: Robert Koga (Retired)
Organizational Achievement: Orange County Sheriff's Department
1999 Award Winners
Individual Achievement: Angela Witt
Lifetime Achievement: Susan Oliviera, Ph.D.
Organizational Achievement: Delinquency Control Unit
1998 Award Winners
Individual Achievement: Duane Frederickson
Lifetime Achievement: No selection made
Organizational Achievement: San Bernardino Police Department
1997 Award Winners
Individual Achievement: Richard "Toby" Tyler
Lifetime Achievement: Joseph E. David
Organizational Achievement: San Bernardino County Sheriff's Department – Public Safety Internship Academy
1996 Award Winners
Individual Achievement: Leland "Terry" Cunningham
Lifetime Achievement: Sherman Block
Organizational Achievement: John F. Kennedy Police Academy Magnet School
1995 Award Winners
Individual Achievement: Karel Swanson
Lifetime Achievement: Tom Anderson
Organizational Achievement: San Bernardino County Sheriff's Department – Frank Bland Training Center
1994 Award Winners
Individual Achievement: Gordon Graham
Lifetime Achievement: Derald Hunt
Organizational Achievement: Rialto Police Department