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  • Chamber Helps Honor Local Law Enforcement at Annual Police Awards

    The Santa Maria Valley Chamber of Commerce joined forces with the Santa Maria Police Council and Santa Maria Police Department to help recognize members of the Santa Maria Police Department who go above and beyone the call of duty during the Annual Police Awards.

    The event took place at the Radisson Hotel in Santa Maria on Febraury 12th, where nearly 200 local community members gathered to recognize the Santa Maria Police Department. Santa Maria Police Chief Phillip Hansen talked proudly about his department, touching on ways law enforcement members give back to the community, remain diligent in keeping people safe, and continue to show up with heart and always take pride in the work that they do.

    Awards given out at the event highlighted this heart, like the Distinguished Team Award, which was awarded to the 2018 Community Services unit which is comprised of Beat Coordinators, School Resource Officers, and Police Services Technicians.

    During the 2018 calendar year, the members of the Community Services Unit have exemplified the true meaning of teamwork. They excelled in their individual and collective assignments, while lending crucial support to patrol operations and other departmental units whenever the need arose. They assisted each other in events such as National Night Out, the Halloween Trunk-Or-Treat event, and ABC enforcement operations.

    Senior Dispatcher Laura Brannon was given the Dispatcher of the Year award.  Laura is one of two dispatchers assigned to the department’s new Computer Aided Dispatching (CAD) project, and has spent approximately 200 hours provisioning the new system. This is a crucial project for the police department and her contributions are vital to its successful implementation. In addition to the CAD project, Laura is are also part of the committee designated to design and implement logistical support for provision of police and fire dispatching services to the City of Guadalupe. This assignment alone is a huge undertaking. Although her workload is complicated and time consuming, she consistently produces results and displays an upbeat attitude.

    Chief Hansen ended the Awards by reecognizing Officer Seann Woessner as the 2018 Law Enforcement Officer of the Year. Hansen has the following to saw about officer Woessner:

    "Prior to joining the Santa Maria Police Department a little over a year ago, Officer Woessner worked for the Bakersfield Police Department for 11 years. During that time, he gained a considerable amount of experience that has benefitted the department and our community.

    He consistently conducts thorough investigations that lead to arrests for serious and violent crimes. He has quickly familiarized himself with local gang members and repeat offenders, often resulting in the acquisition of valuable criminal intelligence information leading to additional arrests. It is readily apparent that he loves this job and takes pride in his work. He continuously demonstrates an exemplary work ethic, a positive attitude, and true motivation to improve the quality of life for our community."

    Additional recognitions were given to Jane Teh, Police Services Technician for Support Employee of the Year, and Sergeant Nathan Totorica and Corporal Robert Prescott were regonized with the Lifesaving Award.

    The Chamber appreciates our partnership with our local Law Enforcment, and would like to thank and cogratulate all of the officers at the Santa Maria Police Department for continuing to go beyond their call of duty and make Santa Maria a safe palce to live, work and do business.

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