Narratives for Each of the Police Week Honorees

Shelly Molina

Here is the complete script recognizing each of the honorees at the HPD Police Week awards luncheon.

2ND LIFETIME ACHIEVEMENT AWARD – SERGEANT CHARLES JOHNSON

Sergeant Charles Johnson has served the citizens of Houston for 30 years, joining Cadet Class 129 in 1985.  After being selected to be a Bomb Squad Technician in 1992, he transferred to the Tactical Operations Division where he continues to serve. In 2009, he promoted to Sergeant and began working on multiple projects related to the evaluation and testing of equipment worn and used by bomb techs. He has participated in the national Technical Support Working Group since 2002 helping advance the safety and technical abilities of bomb technicians across the U.S.  Sergeant Johnson is known worldwide for his expertise and knowledge and foresight and abilities have enhanced the operations of the HPD Bomb Squad.

 

3RD LIFETIME ACHIEVEMENT AWARD – SERGEANT CECIL MOSQUEDA

Sergeant Cecil Mosqueda has served the citizens of Houston and HPD for over 40 years. As an officer he was assigned to Central and Northeast Divisions, moving in 1980 to the Homicide Division as one of five Spanish speaking officers assigned to the newly created Chicano Squad to investigate the growing number of murders of Hispanics. In 1982 he was promoted to the rank of Detective, remaining in the Chicano Squad until 2009. During those 29 years, Sergeant Mosqueda investigated over a thousand murder cases and contributed to the successful prosecution of a high percentage of the defendants. Sergeant Mosqueda continues to serve the department and community with his strong work ethic and vast experience.

 

4TH LIFETIME ACHIEVEMENT AWARD – SERGEANT BILLY TYSON

Sergeant Billy Tyson joined HPD in 1982 and worked as a patrol officer in Central and South Central Divisions.  In 1988, Officer Tyson promoted to Sergeant and transferred to Auto Theft.  From 1988 to 1997, Sergeant Tyson assumed multiple roles working undercover in Auto Theft, Major Offenders and Internal Affairs Divisions. In November 1997, Sergeant Tyson transferred to Homicide Division Family Violence Unit where he was instrumental in assisting with the transition of Family Violence to the newly created Special Crimes Division. Sergeant Tyson became known as the resident expert in family violence investigations.  On April 8, 2015, Sergeant Tyson retired from the department having served the citizens of Houston for over 33 years.

 

5TH LIFETIME ACHIEVEMENT AWARD – OFFICER FRANCIS WEBB

HPD has become a nationally recognized leader in working with individuals with mental illness through programs such as Crisis Intervention Training, Crisis Intervention Response Teams, the Chronic Consumer Stabilization Initiative and the Homeless Outreach Team. None of these would have been successful without Senior Police Officer Frank Webb. Officer Webb worked with the Mental Health Mental Retardation Authority to develop an eight hour in-service class titled “Dealing with the Mentally Ill.”  He assisted in the creation of the Neuropsychiatric Center and the streamlined procedures for obtaining an Emergency Detention Order, resulting in reducing the time needed for the process from 8 hours to an hour or less.  Through Officer Webb’s efforts, HPD is better able to serve our community.

 

“TECHNICAL SUPPORT EMPLOYEE OF THE YEAR” OFFICER STEVEN LORANCE

Officer Steven Lorance is the administrative technology coordinator in the Robbery Division. His exceptional computer skills play a vital role in the division’s day to day operations.  Officer Lorance had created a case management database which retrieved information from the department’s records management system to monitor all robbery investigations.  The system worked flawlessly until the department implemented a new records management system.  The new system was supposed to include a built in case management function, however it did not work as planned.  Officer Lorance recreated the case management database to communicate with the new records management system.

 

“CIVILIAN TECHNICAL EMPLOYEE OF THE YEAR” COMMUNITY SERVICE INSPECTOR JASON FOSTER

Community Service Inspector Jason Foster joined the Environmental Investigations Unit of the Major Offenders Division in September of 2013.  Community Service Inspectors are the only civilian criminal investigator positions in the Houston Police Department.  Inspector Foster excelled during the intense training process and even assisted other new employees in understanding the complex material. He has assumed a leading role in conducting complicated investigations regarding the illegal dumping of chemical waste and other environmental crimes.

 

“THE CIVILIAN ADMINISTRATIVE /PARA-PROFESSIONAL EMPLOYEE OF THE YEAR” ADMINISTRATIVE ASSOCIATE DIEM THUY BUI-NGOC

Administrative Associate Diem Thuy Bui-Ngoc is the Records Division Staff Review representative assigned to conduct the quality control and staff review process for the Homicide Division.  In 2014 Ms. Bui-Ngoc personally reviewed and approved 242 murder reports. Her assistance was vital to Homicide during the transition from the department’s old records management system to the new.  Ms. Bui-Ngoc’s excellent records/staff review skills, tremendous attitude, helpful personality and professionalism greatly increased the Homicide Case Management teams’ ability to serve the division.

 

“THE CIVILIAN PROFESSIONAL EMPLOYEE OF THE YEAR” ADMINISTRATIVE SPECIALIST MARIA PONCE

In the short time Administrative Specialist Maria Ponce has worked with the Volunteer Initiative Program and the Student Interns, she has made great strides in improving the programs.  Ms. Ponce works tirelessly ensuring volunteers and students have opportunities to work with and observe the various areas of the department. She interacts with residents to explain what the programs offer and ensures the registration process goes smoothly. Ms. Ponce has assisted with the La Comida Food drive and the HPD Explorers program, using her bilingual skills to translate for participants who do not speak English.

 

“CIVILIAN SUPERVISOR OF THE YEAR” OFFICE SUPERVISOR HARKEERT SINGH

Office Supervisor Harkeert Singh oversees the handling of the data entries of all vehicles, articles and guns into the Texas Crime Information Center (TCIC) and the FBI’s National Crime Information Center (NCIC) systems.  When the Texas Department of Public Safety audited Records Division they had an accuracy rate of 95%. Under his leadership, employees accepted the challenges of learning the new Records Management System and coding the new offense reports to produce accurate crime statistics.

 

 “ADMINISTRATIVE CLASSIFIED EMPLOYEE OF THE YEAR” SERGEANT JANET ROWE

One of the most competitive and high stakes tasks undertaken by department officers is the promotional process.  It is imperative that the integrity of the process is maintained and Sergeant Janet Rowe has been assigned that responsibility. Throughout 2014, Sergeant Rowe provided unwavering support, planning and coordination to the department for the Captains’, Lieutenants’ and Sergeants’ written exams and assessment centers. Verification of test scores, seniority points, military points, education points were made for each of the nearly 800 classified employees participating in the process. Her personal initiative and meticulous efforts ensured a process that was fair, met legal scrutiny and set the example for others to follow.

 

 “MID-MANAGER OF THE YEAR” LIEUTENANT RANDAL UPTON

Shortly after Lieutenant Randal Upton became the unit commander of the Special Response Group, he was confronted with multiple challenging issues.  The nation experienced significant civil unrest following several high profile officer involved shootings and interactions with the public where suspects died. However, Houston avoided the violent protests with injuries to both citizens and police officers due to planning and management by HPD, specifically the Special Response Group headed by Lieutenant Upton. Throughout these events, Lieutenant Upton served diligently, with patience and untiring dedication to ensure each situation was managed as safely and professionally as possible.

 

 “CIVILIAN MANAGER OF THE YEAR” ADMINISTRATION MANGER AMBER ELDRIDGE

Administration Manager Amber Eldridge joined HPD in December 2013 and immediately immersed herself in the process of converting the Employee Support Unit to a customer focused unit.  Ms. Eldridge has taken on the challenge of working proactively to identify and address longstanding processes and procedures that need to be revised and/or modernized.  Ms. Eldridge worked with her employees and exhibited leadership while accomplishing that directive, all while still having her own daily workload and supervising within the division.

 

“MANAGER OF THE YEAR” CAPTAIN LARRY SATTERWHITE

Throughout 2014, police departments around the nation experienced widespread protests and public assembly’s related to controversial incidents of police and citizen interaction. Captain Larry Satterwhite of the Special Operations Division has demonstrated the utmost poise and professionalism while actively leading his officers from the front during these events.  He had endured long hours of planning and preparation, responding to dozens of volatile public assemblies and threats of civil unrest.  He has demonstrated unsurpassed management of police operations during mass gatherings and protests.  Due to Captain Satterwhite’s leadership the city of Houston has remained safe from the potential looting and rioting that other major municipalities suffered during this time of nationwide civil unrest.

 

1st LIFETIME ACHIEVEMENT AWARD – OFFICER TERRY BRATTON

Officer Terry Bratton joined HPD in May of 1976, serving in Central Division until December of 1978 when he was selected as one of the first Field Training Officers. Shortly after, Officer Bratton and Officer Jimmy Conley were tasked with creating the Officer Safety Awareness Training Program. His first Officer Safety in-service class consisted of one 16mm film and a slide show about HPD officers killed during the prior ten years.  Officer Bratton’s Shoot/Don’t Shoot program was showcased by national and local media outlets. He has represented HPD while conducting tactical, use of force and officer safety training nationwide and is recognized across the U.S. as an expert witness in the areas of training and use of force.

 

 “SPECIALIZED OFFICER OF THE YEAR” OFFICER MONROE GAGE

Officer Monroe Gage, assigned to the K-9 Detail for twenty-seven years, has dedicated most of his career to training police dogs and building up the K-9 Detail. Officer Gage is the head K-9 trainer for the detail, responsible for maintaining accurate records, testing and maintaining all canines, selecting dogs for specialized training, aiding in canine handler selection, maintaining the training grounds and ordering and stocking all supplies and equipment.  He is also on 24 hour call for any canine related emergency.  Officer Gage plans and coordinates the K-9 response for all major events in the Houston area.

 

 “CIT (CRISIS INTERVENTION TEAM)” OFFICER JACQUES BLAND

When Officer Jacques Bland arrived at a call involving a woman running in traffic on Loop 610 he saw cars and trucks swerving to avoid hitting the woman. Officer Bland ran into traffic in an attempt to save her, even though he saw her brandishing a knife. Officer Bland attempted to stop traffic while simultaneously chasing the woman, dodging the vehicles swerving around them.  He successfully tackled the woman and disarmed her allowing emergency medical personnel to take her to the hospital.

 

“THE DIFFERENTIAL RESPONSE TEAM (DRT) AND COMMUNITY SERVICE (CS) OFFICER”  OFFICER RYAN WATSON

Officer Ryan Watson is the Assistant City Wide Differential Response Team Coordinator. He was instrumental in HPD receiving national and international acclaim for the Problem Oriented Policing units.  Officer Watson works with the Greater Houston Retailers Association as part of the Houston “Convenience store program, inspecting stores to bring them into compliance with the convenience store ordinance. In 2014 the International Association of Chiefs of Police recognized this partnership with the Michael Shanahan Award for Excellence in Public/Private Cooperation.  Without Officer Watson’s efforts this award would not have been possible.

 

THE “CIVILIAN PROTECTIVE SERVICES EMPLOYEE OF THE YEAR”  SENIOR POLICE SERVICE OFFICER JUAN CORTINA

Senior Police Service Officer Juan Cortina reports to crime scenes at businesses or private residences to collect video surveillance footage.  He has consistently demonstrated his technical abilities in retrieving vital surveillance evidence from the multitude of different video systems used by the public. Although his job assignments usually begin with robbery investigations, his expertise is frequently called upon by other divisions.  Many times video footage is the only form of evidence in a criminal case; therefore, the importance of being able to retrieve video footage has proven crucial to helping solve these crimes.

 

 “SENIOR POLICE OFFICER OF THE YEAR” OFFICER JEFFREY ANDERSON

After the Liverpool Chief of Police initiated a vehicle pursuit with an armed suspect, Pearland officers joined the chase, drawing fire from the suspect.  When the pursuit entered Houston, HPD Officer Jeffrey Anderson joined behind Pearland Officer Chris Robertson.  The suspect pulled into the driveway of his house and exited his truck holding a shotgun.  Officer Robertson stopped immediately behind the suspect.  Officer Anderson arrived, saw the suspect take aim at Officer Robertson, and fired at the suspect to protect Officer Robertson. The suspect began shooting at the officers, who returned fire striking and killing the suspect.  Officer Anderson’s actions no doubt saved the Pearland officer’s life.

 

“PROACTIVE INVESTIGATOR OF THE YEAR” OFFICER MOISES ZAMORA

Officer Moises Zamora and his partner have worked tirelessly over the past two years attempting to dismantle drug trafficking organizations.  The estimated street value of the illegal narcotics they have seized so far in their investigation is almost eighteen million dollars. In addition, Officer Zamora provided valuable assistance to other agents and officers targeting several members of a methamphetamine distribution organization.

 

“REACTIVE INVESTIGATOR OF THE YEAR” OFFICER DAMON FOY

When officers responded to a call about a woman running from her house screaming for help, they found the woman unwilling to cooperate, afraid her boyfriend would retaliate. Office Damon Foy was assigned the case and discovered the suspect was a dangerous gang member with arrests and convictions in Texas and California.  The suspect had also violated a California protective order intended to shield the woman. Fearing for the uncooperative woman’s safety, Officer Foy relentlessly pursued the case and filed a Felony and two Misdemeanor Protective Order Violation charges against the suspect.  The suspect was arrested and remains in jail.

 

“PARTNERS OF THE YEAR” OFFICERS DAVID NIETO AND DONALD MILLER

Officers Donald Miller and David Nieto are assigned to the Vice Division, Human Trafficking Unit and the FBI Child Exploitation Task Force. Their mission is to identify and prosecute persons involved in the sex trafficking of minors. Officers Miller and Nieto face challenges investigating these cases. Some victims believe that the trafficker is their boyfriend or protector and are hesitant to provide information implicating the trafficker in a serious crime.  Last year, with the assistance of Vice and the FBI Task Force, Officers Miller and Nieto’s efforts resulted in 59 arrests, 91 charges filed and 35 minors recovered, the youngest being 12 years old.

 

“INVESTIGATIVE SUPERVISOR OF THE YEAR”  SERGEANT RAUL CRUZ

Sergeant Raul Cruz is supervisor of the Covert Operation Squad of the Houston Auto Crimes Task Force, overseeing undercover officers who infiltrate organized crime rings involved in stealing vehicles. The squad investigated a group stealing high end vehicles.  They would steal vehicles in another state, switch the VINs of the stolen cars, then retitle the vehicles and bring them to Houston where they were being titled in Texas and sold.  Undercover officers recover 5 stolen vehicles valued at $330,000 and arrested one suspect.  Eighteen other individuals were arrested in the other state and 42 vehicles valued at 1.6 million dollars were recovered.

 

 “ROOKIE OF THE YEAR” OFFICER JAY GUERRA

On October 9, 2014, Officers Jay Guerra and Matthew Combs arrived to assist with a fight where a man had been severely wounded.  Earlier attempts to control his bleeding had failed and Officer Guerra retrieved his own personal medical kit and attended to the victim.  Using his experience as a U.S. Army combat medic, he inserted a valve into the wound closest to the victim’s lung to assist his breathing, saving his life.

 

“INSTRUCTOR OF THE YEAR” OFFICER JORGE GAYTAN

Officer Jorge Gaytan spends countless hours of selfless work preparing and presenting lifesaving material to officers and citizens alike. Officer Gaytan represents the department as a true professional, teaching cadets Officer Safety, Traffic Stops, Introductory Spanish and Building Searches.  Officer Gaytan has developed many other classes integral to the Department’s mission and exhibited true dedication to teaching HPD’s officers.

 

 “FTO OF THE YEAR” OFFICER CHRISTOPHER MEADE

Officer Meade performs at a high level as a Field Training Officer.  One example of his field instruction is a traffic stop conducted while training Probationary Police Officer Pena.  Upon noticing the suspects’ nervous behavior and a box of ammunition in the vehicle, Officer Meade and PPO Pena called for back-up and performed a more thorough search and investigation which led to three felony arrests and the seizure of a pistol and large amounts of cash and narcotics.

 

“THE 1st PATROL OFFICER OF THE YEAR” OFFICER JOHN CALHOUN

Officers John Calhoun and Andrea Munoz were dispatched to a call about a suspicious person with a gun.  When they arrived they approached the man.  The man walked toward them, then ran.  Officer Calhoun gave chase, grabbing him, but the suspect spun around and shot at Officer Calhoun. As officers tackled the suspect to the ground, Officer Munoz saw him holding the gun with both hands.  She grabbed the suspect’s wrists, but he kept trying to point the weapon at her.  Fearing for the safety of his partner, Officer Calhoun fatally shot the suspect. As backup officers arrived, Officer Calhoun realized he had been hit by the suspect’s shot. Thankfully his ballistic vest had prevented a lethal wound.

 

 “PATROL SUPERVISOR OF THE YEAR” SERGEANT ERIC BEAUCHAMP – NO PICTURE

Sergeant John Eric Beauchamp was supervisor of a Northeast Gang Unit squad that initiated what became a long term multi-agency investigation spanning multiple stats and two countries.  The targets of this investigation, multiple prison and outlaw motorcycle gang members, generated revenue through trafficking and distribution of methamphetamine as well as vehicle and property theft.  Sergeant Beauchamp and his squad identified 41 suspects and 90 individual crimes ranging from fraud, burglary, identify theft and drug possession committed by the group. He trained, led and mentored his officer sharing techniques rarely used by officers at a patrol station.

 

 “CIVILIAN SKILLED SERVICE EMPLOYEE OF THE YEAR”  TRUCK DRIVER ALBERT OROSCO

Truck Driver Albert Orosco is assigned to the Property Division Impound Lot.  While his official job title and duties are that of a truck driver, he has voluntarily added other tasks outside his job description.  He has an exceptional ability to manage the intake and storage of evidentiary vehicles kept at the impound facility.  .  Mr. Orosco also inspects incoming vehicles of any evidentiary property and also translates and explains complicated policies and investigations to citizens.

 

“TACTICAL OFFICER OF THE YEAR” OFFICER CHRISTIAN DORTON – No picture

Officer Christian Dorton began assisting several area law enforcement agencies with multiple takeover-style aggravated bank robberies. Nineteen similar robberies were linked to the same group of armed suspects. Officer Dorton began to gather intelligence by earning the trust of those who knew some of the suspects.  Due to the goodwill cultivated by Officer Dorton, people provided him with information not usually shared during regular police-citizen interactions. During these investigations, 14 suspects were charged with Aggravated Robbery of a Bank and numerous others were charged with felonies.

 

“UNDERCOVER INVESTIGATOR OF THE YEAR” OFFICER JOHNNY MORENO – No picture

In June 1994, Officer Johnny Moreno was selected to join a crucial multiagency task force initiative.  While working with Federal, State and local counterparts, Officer Moreno developed information that a Houston based criminal organization was coordinating and executing smuggling operations and transportation services for violent Mexican cartels.  In 2014, the task force with the U.S. Attorney’s office disrupted the criminal organization with the indictment of 10 members of the group.  To date over 76,000 pounds of marijuana and 451 kilograms of cocaine with at combined street value of approximately fifty million dollars have been seized.