Chief honors officers, civilians and heroes

Police awards 2013
City of Carlsbad Police Chief Gary Morrison recognized police officers, civilian employees, volunteers, and community members this week for delivering exceptional service in 2012.  During the annual ceremony Morrison granted awards to the 2013 Officer, Civilian Employee, Supervisor and Volunteers of the Year.
Carlsbad Police Officer Stephan Tashoff was named Officer of the Year for 2013; Police Dispatcher Elizabeth Butler was selected as Civilian Employee of the Year; and Sgt. Richard Beronda was honored as Supervisor of the Year. Chief Morrison bestowed those and other awards at a ceremony Wednesday at the City of Carlsbad Safety Training Center, with more than 200 friends, family members and colleagues in attendance.
All of the candidates for the awards were nominated by Police Department employees who were impressed by their peers’ outstanding service.
Detective Tashoff, a five-and-a-half-year veteran, received the Officer of the Year award for his work with the Regional Auto Theft Task Force. Tashoff joined the task force in 2009, and has become a highly skilled investigator, collaborating with other law-enforcement agencies to solve several auto theft cases.
Chief Morrison said that in an ongoing case, Tashoff coordinated several federal agencies in a complex investigation that resulted in numerous arrests and the recovery of stolen vehicles, narcotics and firearms. Tashoff demonstrated exemplary professionalism in this complicated and high-profile regional investigation.
“It was a great experience to work with such a diverse group of law enforcement agencies and toward such an important public safety goal,” Tashoff said. “Using a countywide task force is a great way to meet and develop common public safety and security objectives.”
Police dispatcher Elizabeth Butler was honored as Civilian Employee of the Year for handling stressful situations with grace and skill.
“Police communicators are often the first line of response when people call for help,” Chief Morrison said. “Elizabeth’s genuine concern and desire to help others is of immeasurable value to the residents of Carlsbad.”
Butler, who joined the department as a dispatcher trainee in 2004, was commended for her role in the arrest last year of Aaron Alan Hyman, 27, a serial bank robber dubbed the “Chubby Bandit.” The Carlsbad Police Department identified Hyman based on previous contacts with him, and several law-enforcement agencies cooperated in his arrest. Butler coordinated communication among the different agencies that participated in apprehending Hyman and his accomplice.
Despite the many hectic moments, Butler said, “I love my job and I feel lucky to come to work every day.”
Sgt. Beronda was recognized as Supervisor of the Year for his training of junior officers and dispatchers.
“Sgt. Beronda has established himself not only as an accomplished supervisor, but a sought-after mentor to those that have had the privilege to work for him,” Chief Morrison said.
“We work hard and we work well together because of the example that Sgt. Beronda has set for each of us,” said his employees who nominated him. “His caring nature and dedication are constant reminders of why we became police officers.”
Chief Morrison awarded two employees with Medals of Merit for their excellent work in 2012:
  • Crime Analyst Cindy Tran was awarded the Medal of Merit for her role in developing procedures using statistical information and crime mapping to enable officers to predict where future crimes may occur and identify crime trends throughout San Diego County.
  • Sgt. Mickey Williams received the Medal of Merit for developing and promoting the Carlsbad Police Department Peer Support Team, which provides confidential support, assistance and resources to help agency employees and their families in managing professional and personal stress and pressures, as well as enhancing their mental, emotional and spiritual well-being. 
Chief Morrison also recognized these employees, volunteers and community members for their service to the Carlsbad community during 2012:
  • Officer Glennis Unser as DUI Officer of the Year.
  • Al Nyman as Volunteer of the Year, for his 27 years of service with the Juvenile Justice Panel.
  • John Green as Senior Volunteer Patrol Member of the Year.
  • Sandra Gomez as police Explorer of the Year.
  • Officers Gary Stephenson, Gannon Maszk and Steve Seapker, and Cpl. Gary Marshall, who received Lifesaving Awards for saving lives during medical emergencies.
  • Hope Elementary School Principal Richard Tubbs, health technician Jennifer Thirkell and instructional assistant Jennifer Caraglior, who received Chief’s Citizen Commendations for saving the life of a fifth-grader who went into sudden cardiac arrest.
“I’d like to highlight that these are all people who were nominated by their peers, which I think is extremely special,” Chief Morrison said, leading everyone in a round of applause for the nominees.
Police media contact
Jodee Sasway, 760-931-2105, or
Photos available upon request.

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