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Newport Police Officers Honored for Life-Saving Efforts

Officers received awards for their actions during life and death situations, including a fatal house fire in Corona del Mar and a shooting at Fashion Island.

The Newport Beach Police Department handed out awards Thursday at the 42nd annual Police Appreciation Breakfast to officers who exemplified extraordinary efforts on the job.

Award of Merit: Officer Robert Hufford, Officer Dennis Maisano, Officer David Spenser and Officer William Hume received awards for responding to a shooting at Fashion Island on Dec. 15. Police said a gunman fired 50 shots in the parking lot outside Macy’s. The officers arrived on scene and quickly apprehended the suspect as he stood by his car with a weapon in hand.

Award of Merit: Officer John Yim was honored for trying to save the life of an unconscious man who was trapped inside a burning Corona del Mar home on the afternoon of Sept. 10. Yim grabbed a ladder and tried to pull the man out of a second story window, but was unable to free the man. Firefighters removed the man from the window, and Yim -- who suffered second degree burns on his neck and arms, and smoke inhalation -- continued to help evacuate nearby residents before going to the hospital to treat his injuries.

The trapped man later succumbed to the injuries he suffered in the house fire.

Lifesaving Award: Officer Ricardo Adame received a Lifesaving Award for also trying to save the man trapped inside the CDM house fire. Although he was unable to free the man from his home, Adame helped assisted Newport Beach firefighters as they lowered the man to him, and placed him away from the fire for awaiting paramedics to provide aid.

Lifesaving Award: Officer Anthony Yim and Officer Brian McDowell responded to a locked Newport Beach garage where a resident was trying to take his own life through carbon monoxide poisoning. The officers entered the garage, grabbed the unconscious man from the car and pulled him outside to fresh air. The victim was taken to Hoag Hospital where he made a full recovery.

Lifesaving Award: Officer Monica Tiscareno and Officer Ricardo Adame received the Lifesaving Award for saving the life of a man who was found by his mother lying face down on his bed. The officers began CPR until Newport Beach Fire Department personnel arrived. The man was taken to Hoag Hospital where he made a full recovery.

Lifesaving Award: Volunteer Richard Simon was recognized for saving the life of a man suffering from Alzheimer’s disease who had been reported missing from his home. Simon helped search for the man and found him in a ravine located off a path covered in natural vegetation. The man was severely dehydrated and had several scrapes and cuts. He was reunited with his wife and has made a full recovery.

Also honored at the ceremony:

  • Officer of the Year: Officer Randall Lawton
  • Supervisor of the Year: Civilian Supervisor Bob Yamada 
  • Civilian of the Year: Senior Dispatcher Laurie Syvock 
  • Reserve Officer of the Year: Reserve Officer Dennis Hoo 
  • Volunteer of the Year: R.A.C.E.S. Volunteer Gary Standard

Several members of the Newport Beach Police Department were also recognized with a Chief’s Citation.

Civilian Supervisor Wendy Koudelka, Senior Dispatchers Laurie Syvock and Joe Horton and Dispatchers Erin Duhon and Dave Ballantyne received a citation fielding 417 calls over a one hour time period, and broadcasting important information at the same time to officers during the shooting at Fashion Island.

Detectives Bryan Moore, Ryan Peters, Scott Smith, Garrett Fitzgerald, Kyle Cammack and Sergeant Keith Krallman received citations for investigating three complex cases during a 10 day period.

Detectives Brandon Rodriguez, Brad Miller, Dave Darling, Tracy McKenzie and Sgt. Steve Burdette received citations for reducing property crimes in 2012. The Burglary team arrested 119 individuals and recovered over $375,000 worth of stolen property, the majority of which was returned to the owners.

Detectives Penny Freeman, Pete Carpentieri, David Syvock and Sgt. Shontel Sherwood received citations for investigating a complex sexual assault case involving several juvenile victims.

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