Local Officers Receive Thomas Guerry Awards

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Local Officers Receive Thomas Guerry Awards
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H. Thomas Guerry Award for Valor recipients : Santa Barbara Police Department Officer Josh Alvarez, California Highway Patrol Officer Michael Fabela, California Highway Patrol Officer William Clotworthy, Sheriff’s Deputy Brice Bruening, Sheriff’s Custody Deputy Luis Ruiz and Sheriff’s Deputy Ray Gamboa (not pictured are Sheriff’s Deputies Donna Wilson and Shaelyn Green) [courtesy photo]


On Wednesday afternoon, the Santa Barbara Police Department, Santa Barbara County Sheriff's Office, and California Highway Patrol participated in a countywide law enforcement award ceremony, the 49th annual Thomas Guerry Awards.

Detective H. Thomas Guerry was the last Santa Barbara Police officer killed in the line of duty. Detective Guerry was shot and killed by a robbery suspect on January 13, 1970. He was 28 years old and had served the city for 8 years. 

Officer Guerry’s sacrifice and commitment to law enforcement are celebrated yearly when regional law enforcement agencies come together to bestow the “Thomas Guerry Award” for excellence and heroism in law enforcement. 

Officer Scott McBeth of the Santa Barbara Police Department, received the Superior Performance award for his role in finding a community member lifeless and using his CPR skills to resuscitate her.

Officer Josh Alvarez of the Santa Barbara Police Department received the Valor Award for risking his safety to physically rescue a suicidal subject attempting to jump from a bridge.

California Highway Patrol officers William Clotworthy and Michael Fabila were honored for their rescue efforts during the initial flooding of the January 9th debris flow in Montecito.

Sheriff’s Office 49th Annual H. Thomas Guerry Award Recipients: Deputy Brice Bruening, Deputy Ray Gamboa, Deputy Jeremy Rogers, Communications Dispatch Supervisor Shannon Hoogenbosch, Custody Deputy Luis Ruiz and Sr. Deputy Dan Nelson (not pictured, Deputy Donna Wilson and Deputy Shaelyn Green) [courtesy photo]

Seven Santa Barbara County Sheriff's officers were honored for their rescue efforts during the Whittier Fire last summer. Deputies Donna Wilson, Jeremy Rogers, Shaelyn Green, Ray Gamboa, Brice Bruening, Custody Deputy Luis Ruiz, and Sr. Deputy Dan Nelson were all honored.

The deputies helped safely and quickly evacuate more than 400 people out of Camp Whittier. They then helped conduct evacuations at the Lake Cachuma Campground and subsequently attempted to reach children and staff members trapped by fire at the Circle V Ranch. The deputies had to back out of the fire zone, due to the quickly moving fire, but returned once fire personnel cleared a path to reach the camp. Their quick, resolute and heroic actions resulted in the successful evacuation of hundreds of children and adults caught in the path of this rapidly spreading wildfire.

The Santa Barbara Sheriff’s Communications Supervisor Shannon Hoogenbosch was also honored for her superior performance. Hoogenbosch has been with the Sheriff’s Office for almost twenty years and during that time has helped thousands of people who have called 911 with an emergency. She has consistently demonstrated exemplary skills, in many areas including providing life-saving CPR instructions utilizing emergency medical dispatching. Among her many achievements, she is credited with helping save five citizens by instructing bystanders on how to perform CPR. She has also assisted two callers with childbirth. Shannon currently holds the record at the Sheriff’s Office for the most CPR saves, as well as the most “Stork Pins” awarded for assistance with childbirths. Hoogenbosch is only the second Sheriff’s Office professional staff member to be presented with an H. Thomas Guerry Award.

Santa Maria Police Officer Amanda Ricker, Lompoc Police Detective Agustin “Chip” Arias, UCSB Asst. Police Chief Cathy Farley, Probation Department Manager Spencer Cross, and Senior Deputy District Attorney Brandon Jebens were also honored for their superior performance. 

Sheriff Bill Brown said, “The courage and selflessness displayed by the deputies who rescued and attempted to rescue so many people during the Whittier Fire brought great credit upon them and the Sheriff’s Office. Shannon Hoggenbosch’s reliability and skill as a dispatcher is nothing short of exceptional. If you have an emergency, she is exactly the type of person you want answering the phone. I am privileged to work with all of the men and women of the Sheriff’s Office, but today I am especially proud of these honorees.”

The entire ceremony is available to watch below:

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