Police Bureau awards dozens of outer East Portlanders

Find out “whom” was commended for “what”, in this article – with exclusive photos, of course …

Portland Police Bureau Chief Rosie Sizer welcomes a standing-room-only crowd to the Portland Police Bureau Awards Ceremony.

Story and photos by David F. Ashton
Once again, our police bureau presented awards here in outer East Portland – and again, many folks from our area were presented with commendations and medallions.

In her opening remarks on June 10 at the Portland Police Bureau (PPB) Awards Ceremony, held at in the Horner Auditorium at David Douglas High School, Chief Rosie Sizer said she was pleased that so many folks were deserving of awards.

Officer honored for bravery

Portland Police Bureau Chief Rosie Sizer stands with East Precinct Officer Gedemynas Jakubauskas, as he is awarded the Medal of Valor.

You may have read at EastPDXNews.com about how, on January 26, Officer Gedemynas Jakubauskas spotted a burning house while patrolling SE Division Street.

In the commendation, announced by Bureau spokesperson Detective Mary Wheat, the story was told how Jakubauskas reacted by calling his dispatcher for fire bureau response, and then ran to check on residents of the home, who were standing in the driveway.

“Jakubauskas heard a woman calling for help from inside the burning home,” Wheat related. “With thick black smoke billowing from an open garage door, Jakubauskas entered the garage three separate times.”

Unable to locate the anyone the first time in the burning home, Jakubauskas entered a second time, crawling on his hands and knees, using his flashlight to see and found and rescued a man. He then re-entered the home a third time – on his hands and knees – and felt his way navigate his way to the back of the garage, where he located the woman he had heard calling, unable to move. He was able to pull her to safety, where she received treatment.

“Officer Jakubauskas suffered smoke inhalation, and was transported to a local hospital for treatment. Officer Jakubauskas, for your bravery and actions while risking your own personal safety to save the lives of others, Officer Gedemynas Jakubauskas, you are hereby awarded the Medal of Valor.”

After the ceremony, East Precinct Commander Michael Crebs told us, “I consider Gedemynas Jakubauskas a good example of the quality of the officers serving in the Portland Police Bureau. He’s the real deal – he is good working with citizens, he is tactically sound, and he’s a dedicated worker.”

Builds new contact office

Chief Rosie Sizer commends some of the many citizens and officers who helped create outer East Portland’s second Police Contact Office.

We’ve already brought you the story about how PPB East Precinct Sgt. Jeffrey Helfrich worked with property owners, area business people, and neighbors to open a Police Contact office in the far southeast corner of outer East Portland (Read about it here:  )

Detective Mary Wheat cited how, in November of 2007, representatives of Norris & Stevens Commercial Real Estate Services met with East Precinct Sgt. Jeff Helfrich about placing a contact office at the Meadowland Shopping Center. The Soltero Family, owners of the property, agreed to donate the office space needed.

Construction began in April 2008, with Sgt. Helfrich and Officers Greg Baldwin, Jennifer Hertzler, Christina Butcher, and John Edwards providing the labor. “But it took more than that to complete the job,” Wheat said. “It also took materials. And, thanks to community business partners – Legend Custom Woodworking, Western Pacific Building Materials, L.A. Signs, and Parr Cabinet Outlet – the project was a complete success.”

For their dedication, generosity, commitment, and support to community policing, Sgt. Jeffrey Helfrich, Ofcs. Greg Baldwin, Jennifer Hertzler, Christina Butcher, and John Edwards, Don Gunstone, LeeAnn Bruner, J.C. Kootnekoff, Tracey Johnson, Stacey Robinson, Adrien Soltero, Francisa Soltero, Joel Soltero, Brian Busey, and Bryan Ackerman, were awarded the Portland Police Bureau’s Commendation Medal.

“Isn’t it great?” Commander Crebs remarked after the ceremony. “Officers and citizens here in East Portland have created not one, but two Contact Offices in the last couple of years.”

‘Trunk Technicians’ lauded

Chief Sizer listens as the commendation is read for “trunk technicians” Andrea Long, Ruth Hander, James Keever, Richard Flores and Mary Walker.

Originally known as the “Cop car trunk ladies” until several men joined their ranks, the “Patrol Vehicle Trunk Technicians” volunteer their time to make sure officers of the East Precinct have all the necessary equipment packed into the trunks of their cruisers before going out on patrol.

Each of these individuals stops by the precinct at various times during the week, cleaning and restocking the vehicles. From bio-hazard equipment to police line tape to spike strips, they make sure officers are prepared for whatever awaits them on the streets.

“Together, these trunk technicians put in about 500 volunteer hours a year, which in turn means more officer hours in the community,” Detective Wheat said as she read their commendation. “Regardless of the cold, snow, rain, or heat of summer, they continue to do this invaluable task with enthusiasm.

“For your dedication to the officers of East Precinct and to the community, Andrea long, Ruth Hander, James Keever, Richard Flores, and Mary Walker, you are hereby awarded the Commendation Medal.”

‘Awesome citizens’ the commander says
Commander Crebs commented, “What they do helps keep officers on the streets. It helps keep officers safe because they always have the supplies they need.”

Asked how he feels about these five honored volunteers, Crebs replied, “I love them; they are awesome citizens. I’ll bet every officer who opens the trunk of a patrol car – and finds it stocked with what they need – silently thanks these dedicated volunteers.”

Cops provide drug education in schools

Sizer commends officers Delton Stroh and Steven Morinville for creating an effective drug-avoidance program for East Portland schools.

Being a drug addict is a nightmare, and there’s no better way to hit that home than hearing it from the addicts themselves. According to what we learned from Detective Wheat, that’s the teaching philosophy of East Precinct Officers Delton Stroh and Steven Morinville.

During the 2008-2009 school year, Officers Stroh and Morinville developed and introduced an anti-drug curriculum in the David Douglas School District. This curriculum, geared toward 8th Graders, used raw video footage of addicts talking about how drugs took over their lives.

“The school administrators signed off on the project, and it has now become a drug-prevention model for other school districts to follow. The video was shown to Oregon Partnership, a drug prevention agency, who encourages it be shown to other schools throughout the state,” commended Wheat. “For your resourcefulness, creativity, and commitment to our youth, Officers Delton Stroh and Steven Morinville – you are hereby awarded the Achievement Medal.”

Commander Crebs was smiling as he shook the hands of these officers, commenting, “They can go from helping a citizen one day to busting a drug house the next. Their versatility amazes me.”

Helps makes Pawn Shop program more successful

Sizer stands with Police Administrative Support Specialist Arlene Martinez as she is awarded a Commendation Medal.

Portland Police Bureau Administrative Support Specialist Arlene Martinez has worked for the Bureau for over 29 years. During this time she has worked in many Divisions, and taken on a variety of tasks.  For the past eight years she has worked at East Precinct, as the procurement specialist.

In 2008, the Special Property Investigations Unit (SPI) moved to East Precinct and Ms. Martinez was asked to take on additional duties. Among these duties was the overwhelming task of managing the filing and data entry of over 10,000 pawn tickets on a monthly basis. Ms. Martinez inherited a two-month backlog of tickets to be entered. To address this problem, she took it upon herself to recruit and train a citizen volunteer to assist with the data entry.

“Ms. Martinez’ tenacity in organizing the pawn tickets has enabled the SPI Unit to continue to investigate and recover property stolen from victims throughout the community,” Wheat explained. “In recognition of your outstanding performance and leadership, Arlene Martinez, you are hereby awarded the Commendation Medal.”

The precinct commander had high praise for Martinez. “Sergeant Troy King says she’s done a magnificent job getting them caught up,” Crebs related. “When you get the pawn slips in to the system promptly, it makes it much more likely that we will recover stolen goods.  If the tickets don’t get entered fast, when someone checks on the computer that information is not there. Having this information in timely fashion saves citizens both time and money.”

Volunteer mows down paperwork piles

With Chief Sizer, Joyce E. Lavoie listens, while her commendation is being read.

Joyce Lavoie, we learned, has been volunteering at East Precinct for more than three years. “She comes in every Tuesday and Thursday, and works six-hour days, hardly missing a day,” Wheat told the audience. “Her main duty is to process new warrant cards, which is quite a task. She has processed tens of thousands of these cards over the years and has received accolades from the officers. Without her, this task would likely go undone.”

This ambitious volunteer also helps answer phones, work the front desk, and most recently assisted East Precinct with the daunting task of entering pawn ticket data, Wheat added. East Precinct gets about 10,000 pawn tickets per month, as previously mentioned in the prior award, and Ms. Lavoie’s help has eliminated the backlog of pawn tickets to be entered.

“These are just some of the jobs Ms. Lavoie has performed for East Precinct. Without her, these tasks would either go undone or would be severely neglected. For your devotion to the officers of East Precinct, and for keeping residents safe through your work with the warrant cards, Joyce Lavoie, you are hereby awarded the Achievement Medal.”

As the ceremony concluded, Commander Crebs told us, “I feel so fortunate to work with all of the men and women who served with us here in East precinct. I am so proud of each and every one of them.”

© 2009 David F. Ashton ~ East Portland News

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