GLENDALE — Law enforcement efforts to crack down and dismantle an Armenian organized crime ring this year received high marks Wednesday at the 16th annual Glendale Police Awards ceremony.
Glendale, Burbank and Los Angeles Police departments were among a group of 11 public safety agencies who make up the Eurasian Organized Crime Task Force and received awards for taking down the criminal enterprise's racketeering operations.
“It’s truly a classic example of how things work when law enforcement collaborates together and it’s not easy,” said Glendale Police Chief Ron De Pompa during the Glendale Police Foundation’s awards luncheon at the Glendale Hilton.
Local and federal authorities arrested dozens of alleged members and associates of the gang Armenian Power during a massive regional takedown in February dubbed “Operation Power Outage.“
“It has dramatic effect in terms of public safety across the region because of the deliberate types of crimes these individuals were involved in ran the gamut, from very violent crimes to proliferation of identity theft that affects us all,” De Pompa said.
Top law enforcement officials led officers and agents in a concentrated two-year investigation to put an end the organization’s illegal activities, including kidnapping, bank fraud, identity theft, extortion and drug trafficking.
“It would have been very easy for this taskforce to have given up the effort many times along the way because it was not an easy job to follow,” he said.
Glendale Police Lt. Steve Davey and Supervising Special Agent Louie Perez of the FBI received the Chief’s Award of Excellence for overseeing the probe into the organization’s crime activity.
“While much of what they did cannot be made public for safety concerns, the unselfish efforts of Lieutenant Davey and Supervising Special Agent Perez have made an incredible dent in the organized crime efforts operating within our community, making it a safe place to live and work,” event host David Ono said.
The police foundation also honored several Glendale residents and 14 sworn officers who displayed acts of courage and commitment to public safety.
Sue Shine and Mario Yagoda received the prestigious “Officer of the Year” award for their dedication to the Police Department and community service efforts.
Officer Matt Bolton received a distinguished service award for using the less-lethal Taser device to safely stop and arrest a 17-year-old boy who tried reaching for a gun in his pants pocket several times during the incident.
Officers Ed Malouf, Sharon Kim, Brian Le, Gonzalo Zendejas and John Schmidt were honored for their courageous efforts in performing life-saving skills to rescue emergency victims in near-death situations.
Second Place Overall
Detective Toby Darby & Officer Vincent Jackson
First Place Overall
Detective Danny Fernandez
No Second Chance Top Shooter
Detective Danny Fernandez
Community Service Awards:
Edwin Mendez and Dennis Brown
Bryan Johns and Alec Randolph Call
Corporal Garth Boggs, Downey Police Department
Officer Ed Malouf
Officer Gonzalo Zendejas and Officer John Schmidt
Officer Guillermo Jimenez
Sergeant Dennis Smith
Distinguished Service Awards:
Officer Brian Le and Officer Sharon Kim
Detective Rafael Quintero
Officer Matt Bolton
Volunteer of the Year Award:
Civilian Employee of the Year Award:
Community Service Officer Kristina Peterson
Reserve Officer of the Year Award:
Officer Bill Torley
Officer of the Year Awards:
Officer Sue Shine-Carter
Officer Mario Yagoda
Eurasian Organized Crime Task Force Campaign Ribbon:
Glendale Police Department
Federal Bureau of Investigation
Los Angeles Police Department
Los Angeles County Sheriff’s Department
Burbank Police Department
Internal Revenue Service (Criminal Investigation Division)
Health and Human Services Office of Inspector General
Homeland Security Investigations
United States Attorney’s Office
Department of Justice Attorney’s Office
(Organized Crime RICO Section)
Chief’s Awards of Excellence:
Lieutenant Steve Davey
Supervising Special Agent Louie Perez, FBI