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Kiwanis Club Recognizes Outstanding Police Work

By Tim Pompey

The Kiwanis Club of Oxnard hosted its 45th Annual Police Officer of the Year and Employee Awards Luncheon on Thursday, April 11 at the Financial Plaza’s Tower Club.

The luncheon recognizes members of the Oxnard Police Department who did outstanding police work in 2012. Awards handed out included the Civilian Employee of the Year, Supervisor of the Year, Dispatcher of the Year, the Chief’s Award for Excellence, the MADD/DUI Award, the 10851 Award, the Special Medal of Merit, and the highly coveted Police Officer of the Year Award.

According to Sergio Martinez, a deputy fire marshal for the city of Oxnard and president of the Kiwanis Club of Oxnard, recognizing the work of police within the local community is an important part of the club’s mission. “We just want to publicly recognize their good work and efforts on behalf of the community,” said Martinez.

Martinez believes that the work of police and fire personnel often fall under the radar. He and his fellow Kiwanis host this luncheon annually to bring their community contributions out into the open. “One of the good things about the Kiwanis Club of Oxnard is that local businesses and professionals in the area can recognize what they do in the community,” he said.

Patrick Blanche, a patrol officer and one of the winners of this year’s 10851 Award (given for outstanding work recovering stolen vehicles), acknowledged that he views the awards as a motivational tool to improve his work. “There’s a lot of morale involved,” said Blanche. “It also encourages me and makes me want to continue to actually get an award and to do better next year rather than just being an attendee.”

Jacob Jundef, a patrol officer assigned to the central business district, was given this year’s MADD/DUI Award for the highest DUI arrest rate in the department. Jundef really appreciates the recognition by the Oxnard Kiwanis. “It’s nice that they support our efforts to make a difference in our community,” he said.

The highlight of the luncheon was the announcement of this year’s winner for Police Officer of the Year. From a set of four outstanding nominees, that honor went to Officer Hannah Estrada.

Oxnard Police Commander Scott Hebert commended Estrada for her determination and ability to solve burglary cases. “She never overlooks a detail,” he said as he addressed her efforts to solve a case involving the theft of $30,000 in cash and jewelry.

Her pursuit of clues in this crime resulted in the arrest of at least two suspects and lead her nominator for officer of the quarter to write, “I am certain that Detective Estrada will not stop until every last person is in custody for this crime.”
Estrada, an avid supporter of the Ventura County corporate games and the Special Olympics torch run, stated that the award was really representative of the department as a whole. “It is an honor to be able to represent the Oxnard Police Department,” she said. “For our officers to be recognized by the Kiwanis Club for their service is significant.”

Oxnard Police Chief Jeri Williams concurs that the luncheon is an opportunity for the Kiwanis of Oxnard and her department to recognize her staff’s outstanding work. “We’re extremely appreciative of the Kiwanis of Oxnard for their support,” said Williams. “This is an example of the exceptional work done by the Oxnard Police Department’ss employees every day.”

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