Forty-eight employees recognized for heroism, outstanding service
SACRAMENTO – The California Department of Corrections and Rehabilitation (CDCR) and Governor Edmund G. Brown, Jr. today honored 48 employees during the department’s annual Medal of Valor Ceremony. Employees were recognized for extraordinary bravery and conduct above and beyond the call of duty, often in lifesaving incidents where public safety was at risk.
Governor Brown had praise for the award winners and their tireless dedication to public safety.
“These men and women exemplify what it means to serve the people of California,” said Governor Brown. “On behalf of all Californians, we honor their courage, commitment and resolve.”
Awards were presented by CDCR Secretary Matthew L. Cate and senior department executives at the 27th annual ceremony, which was sponsored by the California Correctional Supervisors Organization.
“CDCR employees statewide are truly committed to protecting public safety,” said Secretary Cate. “That commitment is embodied by the employees honored today for acts of true heroism. These brave employees gave of themselves, and some even placed their own lives in jeopardy to save another.”
The awards presented ranged from the Distinguished Service Award to the prestigious Medal of Valor.
In many instances, the recipients saved the life of other employees, inmates or private citizens as they responded to emergencies. Among the actions recognized by the awards were an unselfish kidney donation that spared the life of a stranger; a quick response that saved the life of three children involved in a car accident and; decisive action by parole agents in subduing an attacker, preventing harm to juvenile offenders attending a rehabilitation classroom exercise.
Correctional Lt. Jesus S. Coronado of Calipatria State Prison was awarded the department’s Medal of Valor, the department’s highest award, bestowed upon an employee who displays “great courage in the face of immediate life-threatening peril, and with full knowledge of the risk involved.”
While driving home from work, Coronado witnessed a vehicle plunge into a canal. As the car and occupants floated toward a dangerous drop off point, Coronado entered the swift-moving water and pulled three small children and their mother from the vehicle.
The responding California Highway Patrol Officer said that had it not been for his heroic actions, the lives of the children and their mother would have been lost. Coronado placed his own personal safety at risk, exemplifying selfless service, bravery and courage, meeting the criteria for the Medal of Valor.
A complete list of 2011 award winners follows:
MEDAL OF VALOR
The Medal of Valor is CDCR’s highest award, earned by employees distinguishing themselves by conspicuous bravery or heroism above and beyond the normal demands of correctional service. The employee shall display great courage in the face of immediate life-threatening peril and with full knowledge of the risk involved. The act should show professional judgment and not jeopardize operations or the lives of others.
Correctional Officer Jesus S. Coronado, Calipatria State Prison
GOLD STAR MEDAL
The Corrections Star (Gold) medal is the department’s second-highest award for heroic deeds under extraordinary circumstances. The employee shall display courage in the face of immediate peril in acting to save the life of another person.
Correctional Officer Jose F. Marron, Correctional Training Facility
Parole Agent Margarita R. Montoya-Ortiz, Bakersfield Juvenile Parole Office
SILVER STAR MEDAL
The Corrections Star (Silver) medal is the department’s third-highest award for acts of bravery under extraordinary or unusual circumstances. The employee shall display courage in the face of potential peril while saving or attempting to save the life of another person or distinguish themselves by performing in stressful situations with exceptional tactics or judgment.
Assistant Supervising Parole Agent Lisa Aceves, Bakersfield Juvenile Parole Office
Correctional Lieutenant Jeremy W. Austin, Mule Creek State Prison
Special Agent Michael L. Brodie, Office of Correctional Safety
Correctional Officer Jason De La Torre, California State Prison, Los Angeles County
Correctional Officer Julian V. Garcia, Calipatria State Prison
Clinical Psychologist Scott Johnson, North Kern State Prison
Correctional Officer Danny A. Ramirez, California Medical Facility
Parole Agent Robert D. Story, Parole Region I
Instructor Danny Trout, Bakersfield Juvenile Parole Office
Correctional Officer Britt L. Watts, California Medical Facility
Correctional Officer Mark S. Yates, California Institution for Men
BRONZE STAR MEDAL
The Corrections Star (Bronze) is the department’s award for saving a life without placing oneself in peril. The employee shall have used proper training and tactics in a professional manner to save, or clearly contribute to saving, the life of another person
Licensed Vocational Nurse Anthony Andreola, California Correctional Institution
Correctional Officer Mannie N. Christensen, Folsom State Prison
Correctional Sergeant Wade D. Davey, Richard J. Donovan Correctional Facility
Correctional Officer Thomas R. Davies, California Correctional Institution
Correctional Officer German J. Jimenez, Centinela State Prison
Correctional Lieutenant Denise M. Laguna, California Out-of-State Facilities
Correctional Sergeant Caesar V. Padua, Central California Women’s Facility
Correctional Officer Rebecca Rutledge, Sierra Conservation Center
Correctional Lieutenant Joseph Stewart, California State Prison, Sacramento
Correctional Counselor I Crystal M. Wood, California Correctional Institution
Correctional Sergeant David G. Villegas, Central California Women’s Facility
Correctional Lieutenant Michael C. Villegas, Central California Women’s Facility
DISTINGUISHED SERVICE MEDAL
The Distinguished Service Medal is for an employee’s exemplary work conduct with the department for a period of months or years, or involvement in a specific assignment of unusual benefit to the Department.
Parole Agent I Milton J. Chew, Parole Region III
Statewide K-9 Coordinator Wayne W. Conrad, California State Prison, Solano
Parole Agent I Martin V. Figueroa, Parole Region II
Correctional Officer Joseph E. Hartl, California State Prison, Sacramento
Correctional Officer Raphael Heredia, California State Prison, Sacramento
Parole Agent III George S. Horiuchi, Division of Adult Parole Operations
Automotive Technician Gary M. Martinez, California Institution for Women
Correctional Officer Myisha R. Milsap, California State Prison, Sacramento
Correctional Officer Susanne R. Neely, California State Prison, Sacramento
Correctional Officer Arti D. Parmar, California State Prison, Sacramento
Correctional Officer Thomas M. Quezada, California State Prison, Sacramento
Correctional Sergeant Le’Vance A. Quinn, California State Prison, Sacramento
Correctional Officer Simon A. Ramirez, California State Prison, Sacramento
Chief Deputy Regional Administrator Maritza J. Rodriguez, Region IV
Parole Agent I Charlotte A. Sullivan, Parole Region II
Correctional Officer Develyn J. Till, California State Prison, Sacramento
Correctional Officer Carlos E. Villasenor, California State Prison, Sacramento
Correctional Officer Eric L. Walker, California State Prison, Sacramento
Parole Agent III Ken H. Wong, Parole Region II
Correctional Officer Chris B. Wuest, California State Prison, Sacramento
CORRECTIONAL SUPERVISOR OF THE YEAR
Lieutenant Michael Patrick West, North Kern State Prison
CORRECTIONAL PEACE OFFICER OF THE YEAR
Correctional Officer Christine Boyd, High Desert State Prison
DIRECTOR’S SPECIAL RECOGNITION AWARD
Correctional Officer Luis Hernandez, Calipatria State Prison
FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
SEPTEMBER 1, 2011
CONTACT: Terry Thornton (916) 445-4950