CMPD honors employees during ceremony

Costa Mesa police celebrated recent hires, promotions and special officer recognition during a ceremony Monday at The Crossing Church.

Police Explorers Eric Molina and Sally Ortiz, volunteer Tom Graham, recently retired Det. Secretary Ursula Basich, Officer Mike Cohen, and Sgt. Scott May were honored with Employee of the Year awards for their service to Costa Mesa, according to a news release.

Cohen, who was honored as Officer of the Year for 2013, started out as an officer in Costa Mesa in 1987. Early in his career, according to the release, he arrested 430 drunk drivers in a three-month period and received awards from Mothers Against Drunk Driving and the state of California.

"Officer Cohen's sincere style and selfless dedication has been a great example to his coworkers and the community," Lt. Greg Scott wrote in the news release.

May was recognized as Employee of the Year for his efforts in the special investigations and gang unit, which he oversees. In the past five years, his officers have seized nearly $60 million in narcotic asset funds, the release stated.

"Sgt. May is admired as a police officer and a tenacious leader," Scott wrote.

Crime scene investigations supervisor Kimberlee Guluzian and police aide Angie Vargas, who were recently hired, were also recognized.

Police Chief Tom Gazsi also noted the promotions of property and evidence specialists Monique Colunga and Erika Soto, communications Officer Natalie Rotstein and Officer Jake Jacobi, the release stated.

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