Salem Officers Recognized for Courage and Service
Jerry Freeman Salem-News.com
Includes the the full list of honorees...
Photos and video by Jerry Freeman Salem-News.com
(SALEM, Ore.) - Police officers in Salem took time to honor their own this week, for a variety of honorable, courageous and timely acts. The event was held at City Hall in the Salem Council Chambers.
Jack the Canine was also honored.
Police Chief Jerry Moore had glowing words for Salem Police employees and also members of Willamette Valley Communications, the dispatch center that provides the much needed coordination and contact required to get police and other emergency responders to the right place in time.
Those honored were not all people either; a Canine named Jack, and his handler, Officer Sean Cooper, received high honor for taking down a suspect with a double bladed ax.
What these individuals have done to earn this recognition is in each case, no small thing. It takes a strong amount of dedication and commitment to meet goals in an exemplary way, particularly in ultra high stress public service work.
Working together and individually, those honored brought suspected criminals to justice, prevented suicide, and even helped a woman give birth, with a dispatcher talking her through on the telephone.
Here is the video that highlights the actions of Sean Cooper and Canine Jack, below the video is the full list of honorees:
Here is the information, as released by the Salem Police Department:
Life Saving Award
Officers John Manitsas and Jeff Keniston
On July 2, 2011, Officers Keniston and Manitsas responded to a report of an unconscious male in the 2400 block of Mission St SE. It was reported that the male had no pulse and was not breathing. Upon arrival, Officers Keniston and Manitsas located the male lying on the pavement.
Officers Keniston and Manitsas began CPR, with Officer Manitsas administering rescue breaths while Ofc. Keniston began chest compressions. They continued with CPR until fire personnel arrived and took over life saving efforts.
Because of Officers Manitsas and Keniston’s lifesaving efforts, the subject survived and was transported to the hospital. It was later discovered that the subject had overdosed on prescription medication.
Fire personnel later told Sgt. Aguilar that if CPR had not been performed, the subject would not have survived. The quick and decisive actions of Officers Manitsas and Keniston saved his life.
Recognition of 20 years of Service
Senior Officer Dave Driscoll
RE: RECOGNITION OF THIRTY YEARS OF SERVICE WITH THE SALEM POLICE DEPARTMENT.
Effective: September 8, 2010
Congratulations on achieving thirty years of service with the Salem Police Department. It is a pleasure to have a professional like you on our team.
Since you joined the Salem Police Department on September 8, 1980, you have worked hard in all of the positions you have been assigned. Those assignments include Patrol, Traffic Control Unit, and Youth Service Unit. You have made a number of significant contributions to the good of this agency.
Fourteen years of your career has been assigned to the Patrol Division. During that time, you have been a member of SWAT and the Tactical Negotiations Team. You have served as a Field Training Officer, Rifle Instructor and Drug Recognition Expert. You have provided valuable training to department personnel such as Medic First Aid, Radar/Lidar, Traffic Crash Reporting, and High Risk Vehicle Stops.
During the eight years you spent in the Traffic Control Unit, you became a DUII Instructor, Civil Investigator, Accident Reconstruction Investigator, Motor Carrier Inspector and Deputy Medical Examiner. You received numerous commendations for your outstanding involvement with the Child Passenger Safety Program.
You also spent eight years in the Youth Services Unit, mentoring Salem’s youth and building positive relations with the school district. While assigned to that unit, you were a very active and enthusiastic DARE officer. You educated countless Salem children in drug awareness, while establishing a positive connection between our agency and those children, their families and the school district.
Your commitment and dedication are very much appreciated by the Department and our community. Best wishes for continued success in the years ahead.
Chief of Police City Manager
Medal of Valor
Officer Sean Cooper and Canine Jack
On November 12, 2010 Officer Cooper and Jack responded to a report of a wanted suspect who had previously created a disturbance at his girlfriend’s house. As the suspect was fleeing from the area Officer Cooper commanded him to stop. The suspect lifted a three foot double bladed axe over his head at which time Officer Cooper sent K9 Jack with a bite command while drawing his handgun. As K9 Jack charged at the suspect he was hit by the swinging axe. K9 Jack was knocked to the ground but came back up and charged after the suspect for a second time. The suspect was now running away with the axe still in his hand as Officer Cooper pursued. K9 Jack hit the fleeing suspect in the back and knocked him down, and as the suspect was trying to get up Officer Cooper tased him and ultimately took him into custody.
This was a deadly force encounter, one of the most dangerous and highly stressful acts a police officer can face. Officer Cooper’s quick, decisive actions and calm, calculated decision making helped save the life of the suspect and ensured the safety of the residents in the area.
Officer Cooper’s actions in this incident were an exemplary demonstration of professionalism and valor. His efforts are truly appreciated!
Individual Letters of Recognition
Detective Dan Tallan and Detective Corporal Garon Boyce
On May 15, 2009, Detectives Tallan and Boyce responded to a triple homicide at Myke’s Custom Rod in south Salem. This was a unique case in many aspects. This case was brutal in the fact that the victims were shot execution style and then the building was set on fire to destroy the crime scene. No suspect or motive for the crime was immediately identified and there were three victims, therefore it was difficult to determine who the target was and the motive. The investigation determined the primary motive involved the finances of one of the victims, but the suspect list was long.
Detectives Tallan and Boyce conducted dozens of interviews before the suspect was developed and then arrested five months later. Evidence that was found to link the suspect to the crimes was not found all at once, and only through their diligent efforts was enough evidence slowly compiled to arrest the suspect.
On November 10, 2010, the suspect pled guilty to the murders and arson to avoid the death penalty. The District Attorney consulted with the victims’ families and they agreed it was in the best interest to accept the plea so the families would not have to endure the trial. Because of Detectives Tallan and Boyce’s extraordinary work the guilty party was sentenced to 90 years in prison.
Thank you for your dedication to your position and diligence in work. Your actions were performed in a manner that brings credit to yourself and the Salem Police Department.
Officer Jared Noack and Corporal Justin Carney
On March 19, 2011, at approximately 2:24 am, a Rural Metro Medic unit was driving east on the Center St. bridge and observed a male subject sitting and straddling the outer railing. The medics were past the subject before they realized what they had seen and circled back around while calling it in to dispatch.
When the medics arrived the second time, the male was now standing on the outer railing and leaning out over the river. The Medics approached the male and grabbed his legs, but he tried to get free and jump into the river. Officer Noack and Cpl. Carney arrived and began trying to pull the male off the railing, but he had now wrapped his arms around a light pole and was trying to pull his legs free. Officer Noack and Cpl. Carney were able to break the male’s grip on the light pole and pull the still combative subject off the railing where he was taken into custody on a Police Officer Hold.
At the time of the incident the river was running high and fast due to recent rains and the temperature was in the mid thirties, and the actions of Officer Noack and Cpl Carney clearly saved his life.
Crisis Response Award
Corporal Darron Mumey
On the evening of March 30, 2010. Woodburn Police Detectives were attempting to locate and arrest a dangerous and armed burglary suspect/parole violator. The suspect was located in an apartment in Salem, and Woodburn Police Sgt John Mikkola was suddenly confronted by and subsequently shot several times by the suspect.
The suspect then fled the area on foot and was later confronted by a Marion County Sheriff’s Office Deputy who first struggled with, then had to shoot the suspect in self defense. Corporal Mumey was an initial responder to the scene and not only secured the area, but also provided medical assistance to the suspect until medics could arrive.
Due to his responsiveness to an emergency situation, Cpl Mumey was awarded the Crisis Response Award by the American Red Cross of Oregon.
Bethany Love and Tim Sosinski
On January 31, 2011, Telecommunicator Bethany Love received a call from an unidentified female who stated she wanted to be an organ donor even though her driver’s license did not reflect her wishes. Bethany and her co-worker, Tim Sosinski, did several computer scans to try to find the owner of the phone and her current location. The longitude and latitude of the phone were eventually located, and further inquiries determined the location of the phone was at Cascade Gateway Park.
Officers Vince Dawson and Kyle Stalder were dispatched to the park where they quickly located the female hanging from a tree with a noose around her neck. Without hesitation, Officers Dawson and Stalder were able to cut the female down from the tree and begin lifesaving efforts. The victim appeared to be deceased at the scene, but a slight pulse and shallow breathing were eventually detected, and she was transported to the hospital and her life was saved.
All of your actions in this incident were an exemplary demonstration of teamwork, professionalism, decisive and competent action which led to the life of the victim being saved. Your efforts are truly appreciated!
Distinguished Service Award
Officer Matt Riddle
From September 4, 2006 to December 31, 2010, Officer Riddle was assigned to the Personnel and Training Section and made improvements to our training program which will have lasting effects for years to come.
Officer Riddle established training partnerships with several law enforcement training businesses and agencies that have enabled us to send many of our officers to training courses that have been free or of little cost. Because our officers are better trained, they are able to serve the community with excellence.
Officer Riddle also worked with several instructors to establish an eight week recruit officer training academy. Because of the work he put into the development of the academy, our recruit officers are better prepared to meet the challenges of law enforcement.
Officer Riddle is a confrontational simulations and defensive tactics instructor and has become a leader in both of these disciplines. He has improved the realism of training, formulated plans and implemented changes that keep our training on the “cutting edge” of scenario based training.
He has also greatly improved the maintenance of training records and documentation by developing several PDF files that can be shared electronically via patrol cars and department computers. Officer Riddle recognized the Intranet as a training opportunity and placed a training section on the Intranet where officers can review training videos, lesson plans, search and seizure updates, newsletters and training opportunities.
Officer Riddle has made a significant and lasting contribution to the Salem Police Department and the law enforcement profession by his actions, and his dedication has brought credit to himself and to the Salem Police Department. His efforts are truly appreciated!
Individual Letters of Recognition
On February 27, 2011, Officers Cooney and Riddle were involved in a call regarding a suicidal female. The female had just left her residence after telling her husband she was going to kill herself. She had also called her husband and told him she had run the exhaust of her vehicle into the passenger compartment and was going to asphyxiate herself. Initial information was that she was outside of Salem’s jurisdiction near Aumsville.
Officer Riddle responded to the residence and obtained needed information, such as the VIN of the vehicle so the license plate could be obtained. Officer Riddle then took the initiative to call and establish contact with the subject. He kept in contact with her, despite her objections, and obtained vital information. Throughout this contact, the subject hung up several times, but Officer Riddle continued to call her back and contact her.
During this time, WVCC contacted the cellular phone company and worked through many issues to track the location of the phone. Thanks to the tenacity of WVCC personnel, it was determined that the subject was calling from a location approximately four miles from a cell tower in Lyons. WVCC notified Linn county Deputies and relayed the information from Salem Police to Linn County Sheriff’s deputies.
As a member of the Tactical Negotiation Team, Officer Cooney responded to Officer Riddle’s location and took over communications with the subject, buying more time for the responding deputies. During these conversations the she hung up on Officer Cooney numerous times, but he was persistent in his efforts and continued to call back.
Both Officer Cooney and Officer Riddle were convinced that she was determined to take her own life.
Ultimately, within about an hour and fifteen minutes of receiving the call, Linn County Deputies located the subject, due in part to the detailed information Officers Cooney and Riddle were able to obtain. She had rigged a dryer vent hose up to her car window and was in the process of asphyxiating herself using the vehicle exhaust. When the deputies removed her from the vehicle, her oxygen level was dangerously low and she was unable to stand on her own.
Thank you for your dedication to your position and diligence in work. Your actions were performed in a manner that brings credit to yourselves and the Salem Police Department.
Eight Willamette Valley Communications Center employees also received a Unit Letter of Recognition for their diligent work in both identifying the phone and subscriber information, but also the location of the phone. This information ultimately led to the locating of the subject. Those receiving the Unit Letter of Recognition were Teri White, Suzanne Petterson, Scott Burwash, Sandie Carpentier, Sharon Barth, Tina Holt, Audra Marsh and Theresa Bryant.
Officer Steve Chancellor
On March 8th, 2011 Officer Chancellor was driving over the Center Street Bridge when he saw a woman climbing over the railing on the Marion Street Bridge. Dispatch had just received at least five calls reporting the woman looked like she was about to jump.
Officer Chancellor coordinated the response of other units, reminding incoming officers not to use their sirens in order to avoid startling the subject. Officer Chancellor was able to get behind the subject unnoticed as she had both legs over the railing and was leaning away from the bridge, apparently ready to jump.
Officer Chancellor approached the subject from behind and pulled her back over the railing. She started screaming and trying to get away, but Officer Chancellor was able to hold her down until a cover officer arrived to assist, at which time you took her to the Salem Hospital for an evaluation. The subject later said that she had intended to commit suicide by jumping from the bridge.
Officer Chancellor’s quick thinking and decisive actions clearly saved the life of the subject.
Unit Letter of Recognition-SWAT
Accepted by Lt Keith Blair,
Lt Jim Aguilar
Sgt Mike Johnson
On the evening of January 23, 2011, a Lincoln City Police Officer was shot several times during a traffic stop. The suspect in the shooting subsequently fled the area in his vehicle but was located a short time later in Newport. A high speed chase ensued. During the pursuit, the suspect continually fired upon the officers giving chase. The suspect vehicle was disabled and the suspect fled on foot with a rifle.
Oregon State Police SWAT was initially called to the scene to assist in the search for the suspect. On January 24, 2011, Salem Police SWAT, K9 and Tactical Dispatch Team (TDT) was called to relieve the Oregon State Police.
The SWAT team with K9 did a systematic house to house search for the suspect. In many instances SWAT team members contacted homeowners who were armed with firearms. They were professional in their contacts and handled each of these armed contacts without further incident. While officers searched the area, TDT assisted at the command post.
This committee finds that all involved in this incident be awarded the Unit Letter of Recognition.
Distinguished Service Award
Detective Mike Quakenbush
On December 5th, 1995 Detective Quakenbush was assigned a rail yard homicide case. He began his investigation and soon learned of several other similar homicides that occurred in box cars across America. He put in numerous hours talking to “hobos” at rail yards and various transient camps. Through his hard work and determination he was able to develop a suspect named Robert Silveria aka “Side Track”, who had a nationwide arrest warrant.
During his research into the hobo life style, Detective Quakenbush learned that the largest railroad yard west of the Mississippi is in Roseville, California. Any hobo riding the rails would pass through this rail yard en-route to any west coast location. He also learned that Southern Pacific has its own police force and contacted the Southern Pacific Railroad Police Department in Roseville. Detective Quakenbush provided them with photographs of Robert Silveria and requested they keep an eye out for him and if located, arrest him on the warrant.
Detective Quakenbush contacted the Southern Pacific Railroad Police Department in Roseville on a weekly basis to keep the information about Silveria fresh in their minds. On a Saturday in March, 1996 he received a phone call from the Southern Pacific Railroad Police Department and was told they had Silveria in custody.
Det Quakenbush flew to California and interviewed Silveria, and he confessed to the Oregon murders and wanted to confess to murders he committed in other states.
For the next five days Det Quakenbush coordinated with other agencies and interviewed Silveria along with detectives from various states about the murders Silveria committed. Silveria confessed to eleven murders, giving great details, which the detectives were able to confirm.
During the investigation Det Quakenbush traveled to Idaho, Washington State, California, Kansas, Iowa, Minnesota, and Wisconsin to work with the police departments in those jurisdictions to solve the serial murders committed by Silveria. He was able to provide them with valuable information from the interviews he conducted and evidence he obtained. Det Quakenbush also learned information from these agencies that bolstered the Oregon murder cases.
The murders generated worldwide news and Det Quakenbush was interviewed in person by several news organizations, including A&E, New York Times, Nightline, and the London Times. He was quoted in these articles and appeared on film about the lengthy investigation.
Det Quakenbush distinguished himself during this investigation by caring when other agencies put little effort into the investigation. He took the lead in the multi-state investigation and kept everything and everyone organized. He compiled boxes of evidence, made sense of it, and willingly shared his knowledge to other agencies. He is the only detective that traveled state to state to tie the cases together, and he brought credit to the entire law enforcement community during this investigation that was broadcast worldwide by the media.
Det Quakenbush made a significant and lasting contribution to the Salem Police Department and the law enforcement profession by his actions. His dedication has brought credit to he and to the Salem Police Department.
Stork Telecommunicator Award
Supervisor Merrie Scheirman
On May 30, 2011 Supervisor Merrie Scheirman answered a 911 call for assistance. The male caller immediately advised that he had an emergency....his wife was going into labor. In her usual calm manner, Merrie asked all the pertinent questions and reassured the caller that she had some questions to ask while help was on the way. However, nature just would not wait, so Merrie continued to talk the caller thru the process of delivering his baby. About 7 minutes into the call a baby girl was born, but Merrie's work was not done. She continued to talk calmly to the caller reassuring him and advising him to keep an eye on the baby as well as the mother "because now we have two people to watch". She congratulated the father who's response was "thank you, that's something I never thought I was going to do".
The total time on this call was 10 minutes and 8 seconds, and in that short time Merrie help to bring: Camela Lucia into the world.
These are the types of calls that we strive for every time we answer the phone, the ones where we know we have just made a difference, and Merrie made that difference
_________________________________Jerry Freeman is part of a new generation of dedicated news photographers who entered the Internet news industry as a second career. He shares in common with many people who fulfilled their life dream of becoming a visual journalist. Joining the Navy at an early age, and the Oregon Army Guard a few years later, Jerry has a wide range of life experiences. He describes himself as “a truck driver with a new found passion to bear witness to the world’s events.”
Teaming up with Salem-News.com he embarked on a new career as a video news photographer and reporter. Jerry's quick exhibition of natural talent and ability to shoot breaking news led to his becoming a published member of the Salem-News.com team.
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