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VENTURA : Police Dept. Honors 11 for Achievements

Ventura Police Officer Gary Jones watched with horror as the bus driver backed a bus carrying 40 fair patrons toward the train tracks as a train barreled toward it.

The driver had tried to turn into the rear entrance of the Ventura County Fairground during August’s fair, but had not turned sharply enough. Unable to see the approaching train, the driver backed the bus up in order to make a three-point turn.

Realizing that a horrendous accident was imminent, Jones dashed around the bus to the driver’s window and ordered the driver to immediately pull forward. As she did, the train sped by, missing the back of the bus by less than 10 inches.

Jones’ “valiant and unselfish act” was recognized this week by the Ventura Police Department, which honored the officer with the department’s Right Stuff Award.

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In its citation, the department noted that Jones had placed his own life in jeopardy.

Jones was one of 11 police officers and civilians the Ventura department honored Thursday for meritorious acts or long-term accomplishments.

Kathleen Scanlon, a Connecticut nurse, and Roy Dunn, a Point Mugu firefighter, were issued a certificate of excellence for administering first aid to a severely injured bicyclist in September.

Also honored with a certificate of excellence were four employees of American Commercial Bank whose quick actions prevented an elderly customer from losing $3,800 to a swindler. Cited for their “caring attitude” were Carol Wright, Eva Diaz, Sharon Tierney-Murphy and Helen Carrillo.

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Another certificate of excellence went to Ron Spurr, the business manager of the Star-Free Press, whom the department recognized for assisting several of its programs.

Officer Jackie Rosin and Officer Juan Reynoso were awarded the department’s Sonny Award for their contributions to the community and to the department’s image. Rosin was honored for her public presentations on sexual assault and female safety, and Reynoso for implementing the BECOOL (Become Educated to Control Our Own Lives) anti-gang program in Ventura middle schools.

And Cpl. John Turner, a 10-year veteran, won the Dee Dowell Award for superior service to the department. Turner is a traffic investigator who was described in the citation as “compassionate and understanding, yet thorough.”


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