Monday, December 28, 2009
The Sunnyside Police Department named its top police and correction officers for 2009 at its annual Christmas banquet held earlier this month.
Two Sunnyside police officers received officer of the year awards. They were Darin Scott and Scott Orate. Janita Wutzke received the reserve officer of the year award.
Sgt. Andrew Gutierrez was named supervisor of the year and Gabino Saenz was named corrections officer of the year.
In the support/dispatch area, both Elva Chumley and Mary Vialon were honored.
Detective John Chumley was awarded the Eli O'Brien Extra Mile Award.
Scott has been with the Sunnyside Police Department since 2001. This is his second time winning officer of the year honors. He is also an emergency vehicle operator course trainer for the department.
Orate is an Explorer advisor for the Sunnyside Police Department. He is a crime prevention officer and is a member of the department's SWAT team, as well. Orate takes part in the National Night Out event each year and is the community's contact to set up block watches.
Wutzke has been a reserve officer since May of 1978. She retired as a reserve officer in 2009 but has remained active in the department. She participates in all reserve activities and organized the reserve officers in this year's Lower Valley Relay for Life event.
Gutierrez has been with the Sunnyside Police Department since 2001 and was promoted to corrections/communications sergeant in 2003. This is his fifth time winning the supervisor of the year award. Gutierrez is also the Sunnyside Patrolman's Association treasurer.
This marks the fourth consecutive year that Saenz has been named corrections officer of the year. He is the commissary and trustee officer and has worked on the graffiti abatement project this year.
Chumley has been employed with the city of Sunnyside since 1984. She left the police department for a while to go and work in the city's building department at City Hall but came back to the police department in 2008. She has won the award for support (dispatcher) of the year one other time since 1999.
Vialon has been employed by the city since 1992. This is the 10th time she has been named support (dispatcher) of the year.
Chumley, this year's Eli O'Brien Extra Mile Award winner, has been with the Sunnyside Police Department since 1990, with a brief hiatus from 2003 to 2005. He was promoted to sergeant in August 2009. Chumley is a member of the department's SWAT team, a stop stick instructor, guild president and a member of the PATT (auto theft prevention) team.
The Eli O'Brien Memorial award is presented by the Sunnyside Police Department reserves to honor the memory of Sgt. Eli O'Brien, who was killed in an automobile accident. The award is given to the person who the majority of the reserve officers feel has been most supportive and helpful to the reserve organization.