CMPD Officers And Staff Honored
In the early evening last July 8th, dispatchers at the Costa Mesa Police Department received a telephone call from a frightened young boy who told them that his mother's boyfriend was in their house on Redwood Avenue with a gun. That set into play a series of actions by the dispatchers and several members of the Costa Mesa Police Department that resulted in the arrest of Thomas Wilhelm for the murder of his former girlfriend and business partner, Christine Murray. The trial for that murder is underway right now.
CHIEF GAZSI PRAISES THE TEAM
In an event attended by approximately 50 members of the staff and community, today an emotional and proud Police Chief Tom Gazsi and his senior staff honored fourteen members of the police force and staff in City Council chambers for their outstanding performance and professionalism in that crisis. You can read Lauren Williams Daily Pilot report on the event HERE.
FIVE RECEIVED MEDAL OF MERIT
The five officers who received the Medal of Merit - second only to the Medal of Valor - for their courageous breaching of the house after hearing gunfire and not really knowing what to expect. They located and arrested Wilhelm, who had apparently emptied his handgun into the body of Murray. Those officers shown below are: Officer Jon Dozie; Sergeant Bryan Wadkins; Sergeant Matthew Grimmond; Officer Frank Christian and Officer Kha Bao.
Officer Nichole Brown received a Distinguished Service Award for her actions rendering aid and consoling Murray as her fellow officers apprehended Wilhelm.
EIGHT OTHERS RECEIVED COMMENDATIONS
Class "A" Commendations were awarded to Officer Michael Cohen; Officer Lance Healey; Officer Hans Guenther; Communications Supervisor Janet Wingert; Communications Supervisor Reena Bolle; Communications Officer Joanna Lopez and Communications Officer Rachel Caruso. Officer Charles Oliver was not present for the ceremony.
Sergeant Matt Grimmond spoke briefly during the ceremony, indicating that the event on July 8th is what they were hired to do. He mentioned that, while many of his peers live in Costa Mesa, others do not, but still feel it is "their city" since they spend so much of their lives in it, protecting it during just this kind of crisis.
NO COUNCIL MEMBERS PRESENT
We know that Wendy Leece had to work today, but no other members of the City Council attended the event. Councilmember-elect Sandra Genis was in the audience.
PROUD AND HAPPY
As a resident of this city for more than 39 years, I am VERY proud of all these fine members of the Costa Mesa Police Department and happy they are on the streets, protecting and serving us every hour of every day. Thanks to all these outstanding professionals for their efforts on our behalf.