Police honors bestowed in outer East Portland ceremony

Read this, learn why Portlanders could feel more proud of their cops – if they learned about some of these inspiring, life-saving stories …

There’ hardly an empty seat in the auditorium, as the Portland Police Bureau Awards program gets underway.

Story and photos by David F. Ashton
The auditorium filled with well-wishers and honorees, as the winter Portland Police Bureau Awards program was about to begin on January 24 at the David Douglas High School Horner Performing Arts Center.

Portland Police Bureau Public Information Officer Sgt. Peter Simpson welcomes guests and honorees.

After welcoming those present to the ceremony, Portland Police Bureau (PPB) Public Information Officer Sgt. Peter Simpson led the Pledge of Allegiance. Simpson pointed out in the crowd a US District Attorney, and City of Portland Commissioner Amanda Fritz, recognizing them for attending, before introducing his immediate supervisor, PPB Chief Michael Reese.

Police bureau Chief Michael Reese provides his opening remarks.

“Today, we honor members of the Bureau, sworn and non-sworn, and citizens who have worked to keep us safe – and, at the same time, to improve our relationship in the community and improve how we do business,” began Chief Reese.

“I am continually amazed at the extraordinary work that occurs every day in the Portland Police Bureau, in spite of budget cuts and lowered staffing levels.

“Recently, we spent over six weeks keeping the peace during the Occupied movement.  Every day, officers had positive engagement he with people in Lonsdale and Chapman Park. We supported numerous marches, and when things became unsafe we worked with social service partners to get people to appropriate shelter. When we had to close the parks so the Parks Bureau could begin the restoration process, we did so with restraint.  I was proud of our response to this long and complicated challenge.  It is a reminder to me how far we have come in this organization, and how committed we are to making this the very best police department in the United States.

“I applaud the efforts of all Police Bureau personnel, both sworn in non-sworn, and thank them for their excellent work.  Today please join me in celebrating their work.
Here’s the full text of the presentations of awards for East Portland police and citizens:

Commendation Medal
Sergeant John Anderson, Mr. Jay Hamilton, Ms. Susan Perkins

Their Commendation Medal citation is read – revealing how Jay Hamilton and Susan Perkins of the Gateway Fred Meyer store were instrumental in helping East Precinct Sgt. John Anderson place a contact office at their Gateway shopping center.

In August 2010, Sergeant John Anderson met with Mr. Zane Mills, Gateway Fred Meyer Store Director, and Ms. Susan Perkins, Mr. Robert Smart, and Mr. Jay Hamilton, Managers of the Loss Prevention Division. They wanted to offer space from a vacant video retail store for use by the Portland Police Bureau. Over the next several months, the Fred Meyer Loss Prevention staff and Sergeant Anderson were able to work out an agreement; and one third of the former video store space was to become a Contact Office.

The Gateway Contact Office is approximately 2,000 square feet, with a large meeting room, a fully equipped kitchenette, and large office space [in which] for officers to work. There are outside cameras, and four designated police-only parking spaces.

Fred Meyer is providing this space, plus utilities, to the Bureau at no cost.  This truly exemplifies the meaning of Community Policing – showing that partnerships can make a difference.

Sergeant John Anderson, Mr. Zane Mills, Ms. Susan Perkins, Mr. Robert Smart, and Mr. Jay Hamilton: For your commitment to the Portland Police Bureau, and working together to make this venture successful, you are all hereby awarded the Commendation Medal.

Mark Zylawy Award
Officer Mark DeLong

Portland Police Bureau Chief Michael Reese, Asst. Chief Larry O’Dea and Asst. Chief Eric Hendricks are joined by  East Precinct Officer Mark DeLong and his family while the “Mark Zylawy Distinguished Service Medal” presentation is read.

The “Mark Zylawy Distinguished Service Medal” is awarded to any sworn Bureau member who consistently delivers police service in a manner that embodies the values of the Portland Police Bureau. The sworn members are to be recognized for their compassion towards others, their excellence in service, and the high moral and ethical standards in which they deliver service on a day-to-day basis.

Officer Mark DeLong started his career with the Portland Police Bureau in 1984. He has served as a K-9 Officer, Drugs and Vice Investigator, member of the Special Emergency Reaction Team (SERT), Neighborhood Response Team officer, and Patrol Officer. Throughout all of his assignments he has always had a positive attitude, and an excellent work ethic.  Trainees seek him out, as he always goes out of his way to help and mentor.

Officer DeLong has an innate ability to connect with people; the compassion he shows to both victims of crime and to the criminals themselves is a quality few possess.

Chief Reese presents Officer DeLong with the Mark Zylawy Distinguished Service Medal.

Recently East Precinct officers were tasked to respond and assist Central Precinct with duties related to the “Occupy Portland” protests. Officer DeLong volunteered to go help everyday, standing on lines, sweet-talking protesters, and finally helping with the movement to empty the parks. His squad Sergeant said of him, “Thank God for Mark DeLong; he is a ray of sunshine when things get hard”.

In recognition of your compassion towards others, excellence in service, and the high moral and ethical standards with which you deliver service on a day-to-day basis, Officer Mark DeLong, you are hereby awarded the Mark Zylawy Distinguished Service Medal.

Life-Saving Medal
Officer Scott Jungling

Chief Reese congratulates Officer Scott Jungling, as he’s presented the Life- Saving Medal.

On September 5, 2011 officers were dispatched to a call of young man who had overdosed.  Officer Scott Jungling arrived prior to medical [personnel], and entered the apartment, where he observed a woman attempting chest compressions on a male who was not breathing, and had no pulse. Officer Jungling took over chest compressions while waiting for medical to arrive.

After several minutes the victim became responsive and was able to breathe on his own. Medical personnel arrived and transported the victim to the hospital.

For your quick actions, compassion, and dedication to service, in saving a young man from a drug overdose, Officer Scott Jungling, you are hereby awarded the Life-Saving Medal.

Life-Saving Medal
Officer John Maul and Ms. Lori Coburn

Officer John Maul listens as his award citation is read.

On July 12, 2011 Ms. Lori Coburn [not at the ceremony] noticed a gentleman crossing NE Beech Street who stumbled and fell onto the sidewalk. The victim did not appear to be breathing. Ms. Coburn ran to a nearby motel, borrowed a cell phone, and dialed 911. Ms. Coburn returned to the victim and performed CPR with instruction from the 911 dispatcher.

While on patrol in the area, Officer John Maul observed a male subject on the sidewalk with Ms. Coburn performing CPR.  After requesting medical [assistance], Officer Maul relieved Ms. Coburn, continuing chest compressions until medical arrived.

Ms. Lori Coburn, in recognition of your compassion, and Officer John Maul, for your quick response and dedication to service, you are here by awarded the Life-Saving Medal.

Life-Saving Medal
Officer Doris Paisley

East Precinct Officer Doris Paisley accepts her Life-Saving Medal from Chief Reese.

On May 29, 2011 Officer Doris Paisley was dispatched to a report of a subject shaking someone like a rag doll. Upon arrival Officer Paisley found the victim lying on the ground, unconscious.

Officer Paisley requested Code 3 medical [assistance], and checked the victim for a pulse. When she found none, Officer Paisley started CPR.  After receiving chest compressions the victim regained a pulse but was still not breathing. Officer Paisley continued chest compressions and rescue breaths until medical arrived.  The victim regained consciousness and was transported to the hospital.

Officer Doris Paisley, in recognition of your quick actions and dedication to service, you are hereby awarded the Life-Saving Medal.

Life-Saving Medal
Officer Matthew Ginnow

Chief congratulates East Precinct Officer Matthew Ginnow for the efforts that led him to be presented with the Bureau’s Life-Saving Medal.

On July 11, 2011, Officer Ginnow responded to a dispatch concerning someone having called 911, and then hung up. Upon arrival at the address, officers could hear a female crying. Officer Matthew Ginnow found a female on the front porch wrapped in a blanket and crying.  The victim described how she witnessed her boyfriend’s death several weeks prior, and had since been extremely depressed.

Officer Ginnow asked her if she would like to go to the hospital for an evaluation and to get help for her depression; she agreed, and Officer Ginnow called for Code 1 medical.

As they were waiting, Officer Ginnow noticed her breathing had become labored. The victim’s friend told Officer Ginnow that she had asthma, but did not know where the victim’s inhaler was. Officer Ginnow tried to get the victim to breathe slowly and deeply as she was starting to hyperventilate from her crying. Officer Ginnow then asked to have medical come Code 3.

The victim fell unconscious and unresponsive, Officer Ginnow started CPR, and after a short period of time the victim gasped for a breath and coughed. Medical arrived, and transported the victim to the hospital.

Officer Matthew Ginnow, for your compassion and quick response that saved a young woman’s life, you are hereby awarded the Life-Saving Medal.

Life-Saving Medal
Officer Daniel Leonard, Officer Jeffrey Ciri, Officer Royce Curtiss – and the Police Medal to Manual Miramontes

Young Manual Miramontes stands with officers involved in this incident while his story is told.

On July 26, 2011 Mr. Manuel Miramontes was sitting in a truck waiting for his uncle, when a man appeared at the truck door and grabbed him around his neck dragging him out of the truck. The subject threatend to kill Mr. Miramontes. Mr. Miramontes was unable to escape from the suspect, and feared for his life. The suspect held a large rock over Mr. Miramontes’ head and dragged him down the street.

Officer Daniel Leonard was dispatched to the report of a burglary in progress. Upon arrival, Officer Leonard observed a male matching the description of the burglary suspect with young Mr. Miramontes in a choke-hold position. In the suspect’s right hand was a large rock held above the boy’s head, as if he was going to strike him in the head.

The suspect had taken Manual hostage, and was using him as a shield from Officer Leonard. Officer Leonard called for Code 3 assistance.

Officers Jeffrey Ciri and Royce Curtiss arrived to assist. The suspect, still shielded by Manual, started to advance toward Officer Leonard, as Officer Leonard and Curtiss made repeated orders to drop the rock and release the boy.

The officers made a quick plan whereby Officer Leonard would maintain lethal cover, while Officers Curtiss and Ciri began to flank the suspect – all, while the suspect continued his advance toward Officer Leonard.

Officers Curtiss and Ciri fired their Tasers, striking the suspect in his sides, which caused his grip on Manual to loosen, and the boy was able to escape and run to his family.

Manuel Miramontes accepts congratulations from Chief Reese.

Although Mr. Miramontes was frightened and scared for his life, he was able to react at the proper moment to make his escape. As officers fired their Tasers at the suspect, Mr. Miramontes felt the man’s grip around this neck loosen as he began to drop to the ground. Mr. Miramontes pulled the suspect’s arm off him, and escaped back to the safety of this home.

Officers Daniel Leonard, Jeffrey Ciri, and Royce Curtiss: In recognition of your dedication to service and the decisive actions taken, you are hereby awarded the Life-Saving Medal.

Mr. Manuel Miramontes, while under the constant threat to life, you acted without hesitation when the opportunity to escape presented itself. For your courage and quick actions you are hereby awarded the Police Medal.

Police Medal
Sergeant Troy Grundmeyer, Sergeant Jason Preston, Officer Patrick Mawdsley, Officer Michael Strawn, and Officer Joseph Corona

These sergeants and officers took helped a man – who apparently wanted to die.

On August 13, 2011, Sergeants Troy Grundmeyer and Jason Preston, along with Officers Patrick Mawdsley, Michael Strawn, and Joseph Corona, were dispatched to the call of a suicidal subject bleeding from a self-inflicted knife wound.  Upon arrival, Sergeant Grundmeyer spoke with the subject’s mother, then took a position at the doorway to get a better view. At this time Sergeant Grundmeyer saw the subject grabbing two butcher knives.  Sergeant Grundmeyer advised cover officers that the subject had a knife. Sergeant Grundmeyer pulled his service weapon and Sergeant Preston drew his Taser. The subject’s mother retreated into the residence and started arguing with the subject, refusing to come out as directed by officers.

Officers Mawdsley, Corona, and Strawn joined the sergeants near the porch, taking positions that would allow them to use their own weapons if needed.

The subject was yelling incoherently, and stabbing at the air and walls with the butcher knives, and then suddenly started sprinting toward the officers with knives raised. As he continued to approach, Officer Mawdsley fired five bean bag rounds, striking the subject near his waist. As he was being hit by the bean bag rounds, he continued to advance toward the officers. Sergeant Preston fired his Taser at the subject; the subject immediately fell to the floor throwing one of the butcher knives forward. The butcher knife flew through the air just past the officers, coming close to striking them.

The officers were able to safely secure the other knife and take the subject into custody. The subject was handcuffed and placed on a mental hold and transported the hospital.

Sergeants Troy Grundmeyer Sergeant Jason Preston, Officer Patrick Mawdsley, Officer Michael Strawn and Officer Joseph Corona: For your dedication to duty, and quick responses in a potentially life-threatening situation, you are all hereby awarded the Police Medal.

Officer Mark DeLong thinks back over his career, as he’s honored at this ceremony.

“I’m getting close to the end of my career here,” Mark DeLong said after the ceremony, as his family gathered around him. “I’ve seen a lot of change over the last 27 years.”

About being presented the “Mark Zylawy Distinguished Service Medal”, Delong said, “This is truly the highlight of my police career, being presented this award named after one of the most respected officers in Portland Police Bureau history. This job is all about the people we serve. Nobody knew at better than Mark Zylawy. It’s an honor to receive an award named after him.”

In the lobby, East Precinct Commander Mike Lee observed, “Several of the folks awarded were from East Precinct. This doesn’t discount the fact that there are a lot of people out there [in other Precincts] across the City doing good work every day – good work that goes unnoticed by the public.

“It doesn’t go unnoticed by us – we see it every day.”

Those awarded aren’t the exception, Lee added. “These exemplify what we all do out there every day. I’m really proud our folks, who work out in the community every day – sometimes under the most adverse of conditions, from bad weather to changing political climates. They do a bang-up job every day.”

On her way out, Portland City Commissioner Amanda Fritz stopped to comment, “I’ve been to the Police Bureau’s award ceremonies every year for four years. I come out because I find it so inspiring to hear about the wonderful work that our police officers, and people in the community, do.”

And as a member of the working media, covering police activity as part of our job, those are our own sentiments, exactly.

© 2012 David F. Ashton ~ East Portland News

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