John Embleton was driving down the 210 Freeway in late-October on his way to a police training session when he came across a multi-vehicle traffic collision that had just occurred.
As the Burbank police officer stopped to help, one of the drivers suddenly bolted from his car. Embleton soon found out the vehicle was linked to a murder that had happened hours earlier in the Sacramento area.
The officer helped other law-enforcement personnel track down the murder suspect and take him into custody.
His actions that day earned Embleton the Officer of the Year Award at fifth annual Burbank Police Awards Luncheon. Hosted by the Burbank Police Foundation, the officer was chosen for the honor based on his “selfless service to the community.”
Lifesaving medals were also given out to jailer Kirk Davis and Sgt. Jamal Childs.
Davis was given a medal after stopping a domestic-violence suspect from killing himself in his cell, while Childs was honored for grabbing a man who was about to jump from a ledge onto the 5 Freeway.
The luncheon also honored Johnny Jay Bogan with the Citizen Award for stopping a knife attack last June after an elderly man was attacked in a Burger King restaurant. Bogan threw a chair at the attacker before wrestling the knife away from the man.
Professional Esteem Awards were handed out to officers Dustin Rodriguez, Harry Markey, Paul French, Corey Chefalo, Aron Denning and Pietro Pira.
Traffic-signal operations specialist Richard Lockyer, Lt. John Pfrommer, crime analyst Ken Panu, volunteer Elaine Stevens, assistant director of technology Jason Miller and network-systems analysts Garen Essakhanian and Sevan Khachatourians were also honored with the award.
Stevens, Kaye Norris, John Kemmerer, Ted Schonlaw, Anne White, Jackie Light, Linda Troncone and Sunny Singer were recognized by the foundation for their volunteer service to the police department, with Norris also receiving the Volunteer of the Year Award.
Police technician Helen Quach was recognized as Non-Sworn Employee of the Year.