Police employees and community members honored for lifesaving act, valorous distinguished service and other accomplishments
Every year, Eugene Police Department celebrates and honors a selection of those who serve, as public servants, as volunteers, and as extraordinary members of our community. It is our opportunity to publicly recognize their accomplishments and our pleasure to thank them for their service. This year, there were approximately 75 people honored. Below are details for many of the awards:
Distinguished Service With Valor
Officers Derek Dewitt, Officer Lars Hornlein, Judd Warden, Agent Greg Harvey, and Sergeant Bill Solesbee, Officer Rob Griesel and K-9 Blek - On February 16, 2016, EPD assisted detectives from the Keizer Police Department in a search for subjects who were connected to a homicide. Following intelligence received by Keizer detectives, a Eugene Police tactical patrol team and SWAT personnel responded to the target location where the subjects were staying and observed them leaving the location in a Ford Taurus. The vehicle was stopped by officers on Devos Street and one of the suspects, believed to be armed, fled on foot through yards in a residential neighborhood. The officers, agent and sergeant, chased and tracked the suspect on foot in darkness with the knowledge that he was armed and dangerous. Officer Griesel and K9 Blek located a high-capacity handgun magazine that was discarded by the suspect. Due to the team’s efforts, this highly dangerous suspect was located hiding in a wooded residential backyard. He was taken into custody without further incident. Following a search of the suspect’s route, a firearm was located. The suspect is facing significant federal charges.
Officer Josh Sundquist and Sgt. Chuck Salsbury - On April 7, 2016, Officer Sundquist was involved in a vehicle pursuit following a car-jacking on West 11th Avenue. When detectives initially attempted to contact the suspect vehicle in the parking lot of a bank, the vehicle accelerated from the location, nearly striking a detective. Officer Sundquist immediately pulled behind the vehicle and waited for permission to pursue the suspect. Once given that permission, he maintained a significant distance from the vehicle. This was to ensure the driver did not feel pressure to increase his speed during weekday traffic and elevate the danger to the public. Sergeant Chuck Salsbury immediately pulled into the number two position behind the suspect vehicle and handled radio communications during the pursuit, which lasted a mile and a half in weekday traffic. He displayed exceptional situational awareness, articulating the direction of travel and speeds, and he cautioned other involved officers of civilian traffic. As the vehicle turned northbound onto Garfield Street from West 11th Avenue, Officer Sundquist conducted a flawless technique which turned the suspect’s vehicle 180 degrees. Sgt. Salsbury pinned the vehicle in place and noted the suspect was still revving his engine, creating a dangerous situation for everyone in the area. Without hesitation, he entered the suspect’s vehicle and immediately took him into custody.
Community Outreach Response Team (CORT) – Sgt. Julie Smith, Officers Jose Alvarez, Anne McIntyre, Bo Rankin, Brandon Rathje, and Downtown Public Safety Station Manager Kelly Putman – the Community Outreach Response Team, these individuals have provided outreach to people without housing and who often suffer from mental disorders, substance abuse related issues and co-occurring disorders. Many of these people are chronically homeless, and are often veterans or runaway and endangered youth with dysfunctional family backgrounds. Through CORT assistance, these individuals are connected to the proper resources and professionals necessary to improve their quality of life. The CORT members are compassionate and tenacious in their efforts, reaching out to chronic offenders while building trust, making the community safer, and reducing the impact on the criminal justice system in the City of Eugene.
Mary Carol Norenberg Humanitarian Award
Officer Shawn Trotter - On August 28, 2016, Officer Trotter came across a former U.S. Marine Corps veteran who had lost his job earlier in the year. This job had been the veteran’s only source of income and he ended up living on the streets. Officer Trotter found that the veteran was having a difficult time navigating the proper resources for housing and treatment regarding several medical concerns. Furthermore, he learned that someone had stolen the man’s prescription glasses and taken his money the previous night. The veteran was not able to afford food, and this caused medical problems when he tried to take his medication. Officer Trotter reached out to businesses in the community to try and help. This included Thomas Kamis, owner of The Davis Restaurant, and Daran deCalesta of Rainbow Optics. Kamis received this information from Officer Trotter and graciously provided a meal that same day. And, as token of appreciation for the man’s military service, Kamis invited the veteran to have lunch at his restaurant every day as his guest. When Officer Trotter contacted Rainbow Optics regarding a cost estimate for a replacement pair, deCalesta learned of the information and felt impassioned to help. He offered to have Rainbow Optics pay for an eye exam and a new pair of glasses. Kamis and deCalesta were honored with Partnership Awards and Officer Trotter was presented with the Mary Carol Norenberg Humanitarian award.
Officer Randy Ellis – Retired Officer Ellis joined the Eugene Police Department in October of 1970 as a “patrolman.” Throughout his career, he served in numerous positions and exhibited courage and an unwavering commitment to the public. He consistently demonstrated a relentless pursuit of justice while exhibiting extreme compassion and care for people. Of his many remarkable achievements, the most notable may have been those involving service to the community and people in need. He set the standard for community policing and the City of Eugene is safer because of his efforts.
Carrie Chouinard – Carrie Chouinard joined the department in December 1999, becoming the department’s first Volunteers in Policing program manager. At the time, there were only eight volunteers at EPD. As of October 31, 2016, there were a total of 571 volunteers who contributed nearly 290,000 hours in the many programs she helped expand during her time at EPD. From 2005-2009 she also served as an advisory board member and trainer for National Volunteers in Police Service Program through the International Association of Chiefs of Police.
Officer Brad Hanneman - On January 13, 2016, Officer Brad Hanneman responded to the Nite Inn Motel at 1522 West 6th Avenue. A man had overdosed and he was unconscious and not breathing. When Officer Hanneman arrived at the location and entered the room, he observed the man on the floor and a woman trying to perform CPR. He immediately took over CPR. The man did not have a pulse. After a short time of rendering aid, Officer Hanneman felt a faint pulse and vigorously rubbed the sternum of the man to try rousing him. The man showed signs of consciousness but faded into a non-responsive state. The officer continued to feel a faint pulse and repeated the motion on the sternum. The man eventually responded and sat up. Medics arrived on scene and took him to the hospital.
Officers Neil Biallas and Tim Hunt, and Sergeant Ryan Molony - On April 9, 2016, these three individuals responded to a fire at Shari’s restaurant on W. 11th Avenue. Officer Biallas heard the dispatch and knew that he was closer than other units and that time was of the essence. He immediately responded without being dispatched. When he arrived, he found the man on the floor without pulse and immediately moved in and started CPR. Sgt. Molony also responded code 3 and relieved Officer Biallas. Officer Hunt arrived next to relieve Sgt. Molony. The team worked for five minutes performing CPR, until medics arrived. Medics took over and found the man had regained a pulse and transported him to the hospital. The man made a full recovery that same day.
Officer Joe Kidd and Sergeant Shawn Marsh - On May 10, 2016, Officer Kidd and Sgt. Marsh responded to the 2100 block of Hawkins Lane. A man was in the backyard of a home. He had a handgun and was threatening to kill himself. He had purchased the firearm the week before for this purpose. He had even planned the spot where he was going to do end his life. At one point, the man put the gun in his mouth. Officer Kidd and Sergeant Marsh were able to communicate with the man during his crisis. They negotiated with him to put the gun down and instead of ending his life, go to the hospital.
Eugene Police Officers Ryan Burks and Josh Sundquist, and Sergeant Gregg Magnus. Honors to Ryan O’Leary, Firefighter Charles Van Rysselberghe, Fire Engineer Ronald Hooker, Fire Captain Paul Starkey - On April 16, 2016, Ryan O’Leary was in the park on the south bank of the Willamette River and saw a male subject jump from the I-105 eastbound bridge into the river. He immediately took decisive action and jumped into the river to rescue the man, who was not responsive and was floating down river in a swift current. He swam out to the middle of the river and was able to grab hold of him and bring him back to shore. Once on shore, he performed CPR, and after a brief period, the man became combative and continued attempts to harm himself. The listed officers arrived, observed O’Leary attempting to pull the man from the river and then struggling with him. Concerned for O’Leary’s safety the team convinced him to let go of the man, and together with our Eugene Springfield Fire partners and their rescue boat they went to retrieve the man. After maneuvering around rapids, they eventually reached the man and grabbed his arm. The man continued to resist the efforts to help him, however, the officers and fire staff continued to hold on to him until the boat made it back to shore.
Employee of the Year (Sworn) – Officer Jeremy Green
Employee of the Year (Civilian) – Linda Tolliver
Volunteer of the Year – Wayne Botta
Class 2 Commendations, Partnership, and Honors - 38 individuals
Citizen Service Award With Valor, Citizen Service
Citizen Service with Valor – Retired EPD Sgt. Dan Long, Kim Long
Citizen Service – Tory Slonecker, Scott MacWilliams
On May 16, 2016, Retired EPD sergeant Dan Long, his wife, and daughter Kim Long, were in the area of the Rye restaurant on E. 3rd Avenue. Retired Sgt. Long observed a man behaving erratically near a woman who was in the parking lot, and felt the situation could quickly become extremely dangerous for her. He alerted her to the danger the man was posing. However the woman didn’t understand the imminent jeopardy she was in and unfortunately, the man ran at the woman with a vicious intensity, grabbed her head, bit her face and ripped chunks of hair from her scalp. Without hesitation, Ret. Sgt. Long immediately ran across the street and placed his personal safety at risk while pulling the man off the victim. He then took the man to the ground and maintained a restraining hold to prevent him from causing further harm to the woman. He was assisted by his daughter, Kim Long. Mr. Troy Slonecker, had been inside the restaurant and as soon as he heard of the attack, he rushed outside to help restrain the hostile subject. Another man, Scott MacWilliams, joined the efforts, offering his belt to help control the subject’s legs, until police arrived. All of these individuals were in imminent danger during this incident and Retired Sgt. Long was injured during the long fight to control the man. MacWilliams and Slonecker, were honored with the Citizen Service Award. Retired Sgt. Long and Kim Long were honored with the Citizen Service with Valor award.
Citizen Service – Pat Bradshaw, Skylar Fairchild, Tim Nash, Terry Thorn
On January 18, 2016, the Bethel School District maintenance was performing duties for Bethel School District when they saw three youths burglarize and steal property from a building inside the Willamette High School stadium area. They relayed the information to an officer who was in the area. While in their vehicle, they watched the juveniles run through the field at the high school towards Malabon Elementary School. They saw the youths reverse their direction when they saw the officer coming and try to cut them off at Taney Street. The officer was on foot and giving the youths commands to stop. However they continued to flee… jumping over fences and running through neighborhood yards. The Bethel School District team immediately came to the assistance of the officer. They used their vehicles to set up a perimeter while continuing to communicate their positions with each other and the officer. They were able to contain the suspects to a limited area until additional officers arrived and took the youths into custody in the backyard of a home. This team displayed an uncanny ability to communicate and work together. This ultimately led to the arrest of the suspects on burglary charges and possibly kept other members of the public from also being victimized
Citizen Service – Ryan Sumpter
On September 16,2016, our police officers responded to the area of Echo Hollow Road and Royal Avenue regarding multiple calls about a potential DUII driver. When police arrived at the location, an officer observed a Toyota RAV4 nearly strike another vehicle. The vehicle subsequently continued to travel north on Echo Hollow Road at a high rate of speed, swerving before it crashed into a utility pole in the 800 block. The officer contacted the occupants, and while talking to one of the passengers, who was uncooperative, the driver exited the vehicle and ran west onto Royal Avenue. The driver continued to run away from the officer on foot after being told to stop. Ryan Sumpter came out of his home after hearing the crash and saw the man running from the officer. He tackled the suspect and the officer was able to take him into custody and arrest him on several charges.