Truckee Police honors officers for bravery, hard work in line of duty | SierraSun.com

Truckee Police honors officers for bravery, hard work in line of duty

Special to the Sun

TRUCKEE, Calif. — On March 24, the Truckee Police Department held its first ever awards ceremony. We recognized some current and former employees who have gone above and beyond the call of duty during their careers with our department.

Since the inception of the department in 2001, Truckee police officers have encountered many unique and dangerous incidents where their courage and commitment were tested.

The department completed a comprehensive study of incidents of the last 15 years that potentially rose to this level, attempting to determine which warranted special recognition.

In addition to those being awarded medals, the department also recognized the 2015 Employee and Volunteer of the Year, new hires joining our team, and one promotion. Below is a list of the awards, and some stories behind the people who won them:

Community Service Officer Martin Schneider – 2015 Employee of the Year

Martin has been employed by the Town since 1995. His job duties have evolved from strictly animal services to also addressing parking issues town-wide. The Downtown Area is the core of our community, and Martin takes this seriously and works hard to make this a priority in his daily duties. Martin has always been a go to guy for animal issues. Martin is never too busy to answer a question or help out. He is truly a team player.

Volunteer Al Salas – 2015 Volunteer of the Year

Al has over 10 years of service with the Truckee Police Volunteer Program. During this time he has been a rock solid contributor to various aspects of the program. He can be counted on for Truckee Thursdays, call-outs for snow patrol, moving vehicles in the right of way, and assisting motorists with snow related problems. If someone needs assistance, he is always available. He works any assignment and with any volunteer seamlessly. It is a pleasure to have him as a member of the volunteer team.

Medal of Merit recipients

On Sept. 7, 2009, Truckee Police officers responded to reports of a plane crash on Martis Dam Road and Highway 267. The single engine plane was occupied by four persons and had crashed in a field, coming to rest on its roof. Three occupants were trapped inside the aircraft. All occupants were rescued due to the brave actions of the following recipients: Officer Daniel Baraz, Officer Andrew Holbrook and Mr. Jeremie Elliott.

On April 30, 2012, the TPD received a call of an armed, suicidal subject in central Truckee. The subject was a Vietnam veteran and had told family members that he had started a countdown to end his life and he would be dead within the hour. Officers were given a vehicle description and began searching for it. The subject was armed with a handgun and at one point approached the officers holding the gun to his head. After a volatile situation, the subject was taken into custody without incident due to the tremendous professionalism and restraint of the following recipients: Officer Ryan Moreau (ret.), Officer Daniel Baraz and Sgt. John Mon Pere.

On October 28, 2014, Officer Austin Harper was on patrol when he was flagged down by a citizen who reported a suspect breaking car windows. Officer Harper drove to the Beacon Station where he interrupted an assault in progress. The suspect had grabbed the victim around her neck and was choking her. Officer Harper quickly engaged the suspect who had ignored his command to stop, punched him once in the face and pulled him off of the victim, placing the suspect under arrest without further incident. Officer Harper’s quick actions ended a violent assault on an innocent victim. Officer Harper’s extraordinary and brave actions directly contributed to the safety of the community.

Medal of Valor

The Medal of Valor is the highest award that the Truckee Police Department can award. Often, circumstances that warrant a Medal of Valor are truly the difference between life and death. The Medal of Valor shall only be awarded to department personnel who distinguish themselves with extraordinary acts of bravery or heroism above and beyond which is normally expected in the line of duty. Personnel must have displayed extreme courage by placing their own safety in immediate peril in the pursuit of their duties.

On August 18, 2009, Officer Bryan Berry (ret.) forced his way inside of a burning apartment and carried a mortally injured woman outside where she was treated by paramedics. Officer Berry’s actions were performed under extreme and selfless bravery, risking his own life in an effort to save another.

This article was provided by the Truckee Police Department. Visit townoftruckee.com/departments/police to learn more.