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Reno Police Department honors community-wide response to 2011 disasters during annual awards ceremony


Today, the Reno Police Department held their 3rd Annual “Excellence in Policing” awards ceremony at the Eldorado Hotel and Casino.

Addressing an audience of more than 300 people, Reno Police Chief Steve Pitts said, “In 2011, we had a year of unbelievable tragedy for our community. The stories and examples of true leadership and selflessness left an imprint on all of us. Today, we recognize those for their contributions to our community.”

This year’s ceremony included a “Community Leadership” special recognition segment. This segment was dedicated to the disaster responses from throughout the community in 2011. Some of the organizations recognized were the Family Assistance Center, the Trauma Intervention Program, local hospitals, local hotels, law enforcement agencies, the Reno Fire Department and other local fire agencies, REMSA, local emergency dispatchers, Walton’s Funeral Home, and many other private and public entities.

Also highlighted during the ceremony were the unknown citizen heroes. These are the many citizens who sprung into action and helped their fellow man in time of need. Although we may never know the identities of all these true heroes, they were honored today.

Here is a list of a few of the other award recipients:

• RPD Sergeant Michael Browett – Lifesaving Medal for saving an unresponsive newborn baby
• RPD Officer Steve Mayfield – Police Officer of the Year
• RPD Detective Derek Cecil – Traffic Officer of the Year
• RPD Lieutenant Mac Venzon – Chief’s Certificate of Commendation for Program Development (forming and supervising the Drug Interdiction Unit)
• Sue Fahami, Assistant United States Attorney – Chief’s Certificate of Commendation for Project Safe Neighborhood
• Manny Barthe, Professor at the University of Nevada, Reno – Chief’s Leadership Achievement
• Elaine Lewis and Will Grundhauser, Senior Auxiliary Volunteer Effort (SAVE) – Over 4,000 hours of volunteer service

News outlets can obtain footage from today’s awards ceremony by contacting Sharon Spangler, Community Relations Program Manager, at 785-5888.
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