The Marana Police Department held their annual awards ceremony on Wednesday, February 28 at the Stardance Event Center in Marana.
For his work in thwarting auto thefts in the Town, Clayton Strahle was named Officer of the Year. As an investigator for the Arizona Auto Theft Taskforce played a role in the of 56 grand theft auto recoveries, vehicles with a value over $390,000.
“Clay’s success in this position was due to his willingness to always be readily available as a resource to his fellow officers in the state of Arizona who need assistance in their investigations,” said Captain Roberto Jimenez, who served as the event’s Master of Ceremonies.
In a new tradition, they combined the awards ceremony with a badge pinning ceremony. Seven new officers were welcomed into the fold.
“It goes together so well with the award ceremony,” said Marana Police Department Chief Terry Rozema.
Rozema believed it was important welcome in the newest members of the organization on the same day some of the top performers are also recognized for their accomplishment. Although all seven officers have been on the job for a bit, Rozema and the MPD like to conduct the badge pinning as a way for the new officers to be welcomed by their peers, and involve their friends and family who play an important role in supporting the men and women of MPD.
“We see this as an opportunity to welcome them with open arms,” Rozema said.
12 civilian employees were recognized for reaching milestone anniversaries, including Sheila Blevins, Tina Davis, and Grace Neal, who have been with MPD for 20 years.
Special recognition was given to the Arizona Rangers for their help with various functions, including special events and times when the MPD needs additional help.
“They are an amazing bunch of people,” said Rozema of the un-paid citizens auxiliary. “We are grateful for what they do for us.”
12 individuals received the Chief’s Citation of Excellence. Thomas Cox and Kitty Goyne were recognized for their contributions to the MPD’s volunteer group, the VIP’s. Cox has been instrumental in implementing the Tri-Star program that keeps local apartment complexes safer, whole Goyne helped with digitizing older case files and paperwork.
Lieutenants Tim Brunenkant and John DeStefano, as well as sergeants Joe Castillo, Will Hess, Steve Johnson, James Paul, Jeff Pridgett, Chriswell Scott, Jake Shumate, and Chris Warren were recognized for their hard work in helping to develop the sergeants promotional process.
“A process such as this takes a lot of planning and effort to determine who will be the next leader in our organization,” Jimenez said.
Officers Bradley Clifford, Hayden Mosher, and Kevin Trapp, as well as Detective Debra Kesterson, were presented with the Distinguished Service Award.
Donald Stuab was awarded Volunteer of the Year, while Crime Scene Specialist Brian Aronson was the department’s Civilian of the Year.