Pats on the back for police

October was a busy month for Newport Beach police.

On the first of the month, police responded to a call of a man threatening to kill his girlfriend while holed up in a Balboa Coves home.

An hour after that was resolved, police heard from a Kern County dispatcher that two Newport residents were discovered in the middle of the desert after being kidnapped and then abandoned.

Days later, they received a call that the parents of three children had gone missing and the children were not picked up from school. They would soon discover that one parent had been killed.

But the Newport Beach police assigned to those cases worked tirelessly, serving search warrants and working a detailed investigation almost around the clock, at one point being ordered to go home and get some rest.

The six officers assigned to those cases were recognized for their efforts alongside several of their colleagues at the 42nd annual Police Appreciation Breakfast hosted Thursday by the Chamber of Commerce at the Island Hotel.

Officer Ricardo Adame received a lifesaving award for trying to pull a man from a second-story window of a burning home Sept. 10.

Officers Anthony Yim and Brian McDowell pulled a man from a carbon monoxide-filled garage; the man made a full recovery.

Officers Monica Tiscareno and Adame also received a lifesaving award for pulling a 38-year-old man from his bed and performing chest compressions that may have saved his life.

Police volunteer Richard Simon searched for a man with dementia who wandered away from his home Aug. 20, scouring Eastbluff until he found the man in a gully and called police. He too received a lifesaving award.

Officer John Yim suffered second-degree burns and smoke inhalation when responding to the Sept. 10 fire in Corona del Mar, but continued to work, despite his injuries, before going to Hoag Hospital for treatment. He received a merit award.

When a man shot a gun nearly 50 times into the air and toward a Macy's at Fashion Island one day after a school shooting in Newtown, Conn., officers Robert Hufford and David Spenser ran through a crowd of hundreds of people fleeing toward potential danger, announcer Eileen Frere of ABC7 Eyewitness News told the crowd. Motorcycle officers William Hume and Dennis Maisano approached from the other direction, and police made an arrest without incident. For that they received a merit award.

During that incident, dispatchers Erin Duhon and David Ballantyne, senior dispatchers Laurie Syvock and Joseph Horton and civilian supervisor Wendy Koudelka fielded 417 calls and kept officers informed. They received a chief's citation.

Dets. Garrett Fitzgerald, Bryan Moore, Ryan Peters and Kyle Cammack, Officer Scott Smith and Sgt. Keith Krallman also received the chief's citation for their work during the busy month of October, when together they wrote more than 40 follow-up reports on the three cases that month. Dets. Brandon Rodriguez, Brad Miller, David Darling and Tracy McKenzie, along with Sgt. Steve Burdette, also received a chief's citation for their work in reducing property crime.

Sgt. Shontel Sherwood and Dets. Penny Freeman, David Syvock and Peter Carpentieri were commended for their work in catching a man believed to have molested a child from the time he was 10. The man also posed a threat to the public and police, at one point saying he would rather shoot it out with police than serve jail time, Frere said. They waited until he was away from his home — and gun collection — before making an arrest.

Volunteer of the Year went to Gary Standard, who works as the lead radio officer. Reserve Officer of the Year was awarded to Dennis Hoo, who worked 719 hours in 2012 in addition to holding down a full-time job. Laurie Syvock received Civilian of the Year award, Bob Yamada received Supervisor of the Year and Randall Lawton received Officer of the Year, in part for his 11 years of field officer training.

Mayor Keith Curry said these acts typify life for those at the Newport Beach Police Department.

"These are only examples of what goes on every day," he said.

Twitter: @lawilliams30

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