Spindrift December 7, 2023

MEETING – President Shirley Lashmett opened the meeting promptly to welcome our local police with an invocation by Secretary Richard Swinney, who noted that police walk in danger daily to protect and serve all of us in the communities in which we live. Invocation by Leo Fracalosy.

ANNOUNCEMENTS – Bob Wood announced that Ken Dufour won the $50 Thanksgiving Day District football book and Dave Schapiro won last Monday’s book for $50.

Mike Gertner announced our local football pool winner, Gale Demmer got $26 from week 10. Week 11: Chuck Seven was low with seven. George Lesley won first place, Bob Wood second.

Ed Romeo, Senior Services noted that every month he brings a few copies of the Oasis news.
Mike Call announced a Boat Parade event at the Clubhouse in Lido. Details for signups were sent by Richard Swinney, who also announced our Field of Honor Holiday package.

Cynthia Strasmann introduced our many guests.

PROGRAM– Cynthia. Good Afternoon and welcome to our “Salute to Service” ceremony today to recognize and honor several exceptional individuals of the New-port Beach Police Department.

Sworn Supervisor of the Year: Sergeant Tracy McKenzie

Over the last few years, there have been several new laws and mandates that impact the training required for law enforcement officers statewide. Sergeant McKenzie has proactively updated the department’s training program, ensuring that the NBPD continues to provide the unparalleled service our community has come to expect.

Tracy has become a sought-after expert in the field of use-of-force training and policy. He has been invited to sit on expert panels at training conferences and his expertise is recognized by prosecutors, civil attorneys, and law enforcement officials throughout the state.

Civilian Employee of the Year: School Resource Specialist Erica Bloom.

After working many years as a dispatch-er, Erica became the department’s first School Resource Specialist in 2012. Erica is the creator and instructor of the Step-Up Program for sixth-grade students, a 10-week curriculum based on John Wooden’s Pyramid of Success. The class covers a variety of issues, including alcohol and drug use, bullying, peer pressure, and online safety. Each summer, Erica also leads the department’s Teen Academy, an intensive six-week program designed to give high school students in our community an inside look at the NBPD.

In the words of one of her nominators for this award: “Erica is the kind of employee we should all strive to be.”

Civilian Supervisor of the Year: Senior Community Services Officer Matthew Fear

Over the past nine years, he has steadily increased his responsibilities and leadership with several promotions, leading to his current position as a Senior Community Services Officer, assigned to the Records Unit.

Matthew took it upon himself to improve procedures for training materials within the Records Unit. He also assisted in department-wide procedural changes to update and modernize practices in Records itself, and in two other units under Records span of control: the Front Desk and Property & Evidence.

In many of his nominations for this award, Matthew was praised for his humility, politeness, and positive attitude.

Officer of the Year: Officer Joseph De Julio

He currently serves as one of the department’s K9 officers, with his partner Goose, the first female police canine in the department’s history.

As one example, Joe took it upon himself to integrate the K9 Unit into the combined training program shared by the SWAT team and the Critical Response Unit. Given that most high-risk situations will involve a police K9, it is very beneficial to have this collaborative training.

This past year, Joe developed and facilitated training programs related to building searches, vehicle assaults, and active shooter response protocols. He was also instrumental in two large-scale Active Shooter Response training scenarios, one at Corona del Mar High School and the other at an abandoned movie theater.

Volunteer of the Year: Rodica Iova

All the Volunteers in Policing (or VIPs) are dedicated and hardworking and contribute to the overall goals of the department.

Rodica has distinguished herself as an exemplary Volunteer through her commitment to the department’s VIP Program.

Rodica joined the Volunteers in Polic-ing Program in 2019 and she has become a peer leader for her professionalism, dependability, and great attitude. Rodica is consistently one of the first to sign up for special assignments and has contributed to the success of several large projects, like the Citizens’ Police Academy and the 911 for Kids program. She was also instrumental on Public Safety Day, where she helped to give police station tours to over 200 members of the public.

Rodica’s kindness, humility, and selfless service are a great asset to the Newport Beach Police Department and to the Newport Beach community she serves.

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Robert Wood

Robert Wood