Thursday, November 29, 2012

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.

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.

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.

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.

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.

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.

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Blogger Joe said...

It's nice to know people like this have our back 24/7. We'll continue to do everything in our power to support CMPD, especially during these difficult times.

11/29/2012 04:38:00 PM  
Anonymous Roll Call said...

Leece had to work, Genis was there, but no sign of Bever, Righeimer, Monahan, or Mensinger? Figures. What about Fitzy and Mora?

I guess ocgop only shows up if there's some land to build on or unwarranted attacks on good working people need to be made.

11/29/2012 06:09:00 PM  
Blogger kwahlf said...

Ditto on what Joe said.
We have an outstanding police department.
Thank you, all of you for keeping us safe.
We support you!

11/29/2012 07:40:00 PM  
Anonymous where was nick? said...

roll call is a hater
at least he gives leece a pass.

11/30/2012 03:06:00 AM  
Anonymous Get back to work said...

Roll call and many others here are myopic haters. It is OK for Leece to work but not others. Haters tell Mensinger Fitzpatrick and Mora to go get jobs. Then criticize them when they are working. And yet this makes perfect sense to the Haters and Geoff West. Righeimer and Mensinger get escorted from City Hall and Monahan gets criticized gor not going . One thing for sure is that Haters dp not have to think logically

11/30/2012 08:46:00 AM  
Anonymous Shrek 6 said...

"Haters"... haha!

Does 8th grade have the day off or did Fitzy and Monasham find an extra keg?

11/30/2012 09:19:00 AM  
Anonymous EDD said...

"Haters tell Mensinger Fitzpatrick and Mora to go get jobs."

Any progress?

11/30/2012 09:23:00 AM  
Anonymous Different rules, same game said...

Where was Nick?

Nick Beradino does not represent any of the officers at the PD nor the Police Association.

Not to belittle the work of any of the dispatchers who were recognized for their efforts, but this ceremony should be focused on the Cops who risked their lives to save another. A stranger. They went into an active shooting scenario by their own will and volition, knowing full well they were going head to head with an armed assailant, knowing it may be kill or be killed. They got best case scenario (minus the homicide obviously)but it couldve been worst case scenario just as easily. They do it because they serve and THAT is who they are. So really there was is no reason for Nick Beradino, who doesnt represent the Police or the city, to be there.

However, the city council members should have been there representing the city, the constituency and showing they appreciate our Police. It could have been an opportunity for Riggy to demonstrate him having turned over a new leaf, showing appreciation and respect.

But maybe he hasn't come that far yet and still only believes a decent wage should be afforded to those who RISK other's capital to establish mini malls and cell phone towers, not those who actually RISK THEIR LIVES.

Many assaults on and injuries to our PD staff this year. Several officer involved shootings the last couple of years, oh and btw, ask mgmt at PD, crime is up almost 20% over this time last year, which was up from the year before that.

If I was one of those guys or gals, I wouldnt want most of this city council there anyway- not the proper time or place to be reminded of how THUGGISH they are. But at least Jim did have the class to not make it about him and his soap box by not showing up. Guess the Pilot being there is not mainstream media enough for him now.

Thank you to those who ACTUALLY serve us.

11/30/2012 09:24:00 AM  
Anonymous Ted Striker said...

@ get back to work--Mensinger has a job. He's a professional chest-bumping, phone dropper. If you need a phone dropped down a elevator shaft or would like that jerk boss of yours chest-bumped--he's the man you want.

Fitzy has several jobs including designated golf cart driver, professional press conference planner, City Council groupie and Twinkie historian.

11/30/2012 09:48:00 AM  
Anonymous History Channel said...

"Righeimer and Mensinger get escorted from City Hall and Monahan gets criticized for not going."

Oh, are you talking about the day Huy Pham died, 3/17/11, after the gang had those ill-advised pink slips issued? Interesting. Sounds like you're still feeling guilty about what happened and how those three, especially Monahan, reacted.

You should. May God have mercy on your miserable soul.

11/30/2012 09:49:00 AM  
Anonymous thanks folks said...

This really is about the chief, saying "thank you folks" in a very formal and suitable way to his people. He says"thank you" on behalf of the community, and the profession. It is a chance for those recognized to also be recognized and acknowledged by their peers as well. The public tends to forget that these folks are handling emergencies every day, and I bet all those officers and dispatchers, can tell you stories about calls that scared them to death, but they handled them anyway. So in a very real way, these awards are also for those events that go unrecognized and that happen every single night and day. They happen at 2 PM and 0330. They happen on Christmas Eve, and on their kids birthday. They happen on routine calls, and on emergencies that require a code 3 response. Nice for others to attend, and thanks issued to those who were able, but it is not about them, its about those who provided service and now who were properly recognized. Good job issued to the "troops"for their excellent work and good job Chief for making this happen.

11/30/2012 11:06:00 AM  
Blogger The Pot Stirrer said...

thanks folks, you are correct.

The most impressive moment for me yesterday morning was when Chief Gazsi stepped away from the lecturn and walked over to the staff members being honored and quietly spoke directly to them as they sat in the front row waiting. The first photo above is at that moment. His words were intended for them, not the audience, but I was close enough to hear them.

11/30/2012 11:13:00 AM  
Anonymous Tom Egan said...

To magnacharter:
re your comment on Geoff's "Anticipating The Righeimer Honeymoon"

Your words are clever, but they can’t make a silk purse out of a … well, Righeimer charter.

For example, you assert that another charter (presumably one written with Righeimer’s thumb on the scale) “…is the way to go.”

To justify that, you claim (with no proof) “An overwhelming majority of the State's residents are under a charter governance for their city.”

For the sake of argument, let’s agree that cities with charters actually do host most of the population. In fact, with
• large cities LA, San Diego, and San Francisco and some
• medium-size cities such as San Bernardino, Stockton, and Huntington Beach
being charter cities, your claim is likely to be correct.

But one must ask, “So what?” It’s easy to see why a huge city like LA, with millions of resident, would need a charter, if only to have a council larger than five people. But Costa Mesa doesn’t have millions of people.

The real issue is, What’s right for Costa Mesa? It’s not necessarily what some other cities are doing. It’s like what your mother asked when she nixed your desire to do something dangerous, “If all the other kids wanted to jump off a cliff, does that mean you should do it too?”

It turns out there’s another statistic that is much more meaningful to a smaller town like Costa Mesa:
• Only a quarter of California cities have charters.
Coupling that with the above list we can conclude that most of the people who live in charter cities live in the high population cities.

All the rest – 361 of them – are General Law cities. And these are mostly small cities like Costa Mesa.

So, we can turn your assertion around: A charter is NOT the way to go for Costa Mesa, because the overwhelming majority of smaller cities like us are General Law cities.

You have grown up to be an individual much different from your youthful cohort. I’ll bet you rebelled when anybody insisted that you should be just like X or Y.

Just so with Costa Mesa. We need to have our citizens – 15 of them elected by their peers – do the job of studying the issue and decide, first, whether we even would be better governed under a charter. Only then should they sculpt a Costa Mesa charter (or not, if one is not appropriate for us).

11/30/2012 02:59:00 PM  
Anonymous Robin said...

These guys and gals exemplify what it means to serve and protect. They sure weren’t angling for a medal-they were just doing their job. We are fortunate to have such high professionalism be the norm on our police force from people who, as Geoff pointed out, are invested in our city and whether they live here or not, all take care of us as if it is their city too.

That level of protectiveness and identification is not the case everywhere. A lot of us really appreciate what we’ve got with our crew in blue, and we want you all to know it!

11/30/2012 09:03:00 PM  
Anonymous Eff Riggy said...

I guess Riggy and crew only show up when it makes Riggy look good. What a clown! Not one could make it? Geeez..

12/01/2012 07:44:00 PM  
Anonymous Reminder said...

Nobody would want Riggy or any of his flunkies at this great event anyway. He has demonstrated time and time again that any and every member of the CMPD are his enemies and for him to show up would have been a slap in the face of these dedicated and hard working officers. It would have been like the public safety BBQ when these pukes show up and talk out of both sides of their faces.

12/03/2012 11:11:00 AM  
Anonymous Eff Riggy said...

You are right...No one wants a skunk at a picnic.

12/03/2012 12:58:00 PM  

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