Photo courtesy of the CLEARWATER POLICE DEPARTMENT
The burglary unit won the Chiefs Unit Citation. From left are Sgt. Wilton Lee, Detective Darla Collamore, Detective Matthew Dupree, Detective Christopher Precious, Detective Jonathan Walser, Officer Christopher White and Detective Jonathan Yugen.
CLEARWATER – The Clearwater Police Department recently held an awards ceremony and honored numerous people from the department including the following:
• The burglary unit was presented with the Chiefs Unit Citation for teamwork and strategy to overcome investigative challenges and legal roadblocks in a large volume of burglary cases. Their arrests resulted in numerous charges, case clearances and the recovery of stolen property. Unit members include Sgt. Wilton Lee, Detective Darla Collamore, Detective Matthew Dupree, Detective Christopher Precious, Detective Jonathan Walser, Officer Christopher White and Detective Jonathan Yugen.
• The Downtown Bike Team was presented the Chiefs Unit Citation for its part in creating and implementing the department’s homeless initiative. Together, they identified and dismantled homeless encampments, issued ordinance violations and trespass warnings, made arrests and provided noncriminal alternatives to multiple homeless people. Unit members include Sgt. John Connor, Sgt. Joseph Falcone, Officer Adam Jacques, Officer Jason Jones, Officer Richard Long, Officer Ryan McMullen, Officer Leonard Merritt, Officer Jesse Myers, Officer Jared Stiff and Officer Brian Whitehead.
• Officer Brian Tejera was presented the Medal of Meritorious Service for stopping a mentally unstable woman from jumping off a seawall with an infant in her arms. He continued to speak to her while closing the distance between them until he was close enough to take the baby from her, saving both of their lives, a police Facebook report said.
An undercover detective was also presented the Medal of Meritorious Service for responding to a boating incident near his home when he was off duty. He used his own boat to rescue an adult and his children who had been thrown from the boat with the boat circling around them in the water, posing a risk of serious injury or death. He pulled everyone from the water and out of harm’s way.
• Officers Christian Zarra and James Perz were presented a letter of commendation for rescuing five people who had been ejected from a boat. While on patrol with the Clearwater Police Marine Unit, they came across the people in the water with a boat circling them, posing serious danger. All five were in a state of panic and several were not wearing floatation devices. They first reached one woman who had slipped beneath the water and then pulled the remaining four to safety.
• Sgt. Ramon Cosme and Officer Shane Cason were presented with a letter of commendation for their actions that saved a woman in distress floating in the water behind Shephard’s Beach Resort. Cosme first noticed the woman floating in unsafe waters and called Cason. Cason responded in the CPD Marine Unit and, despite resistance from the woman, navigated the boat and was able to pull her to safety before she could float any further out to sea. It was later learned that the woman was trying to commit suicide.
• Officer Albert Granville was selected as the city’s March 2013 Employee of the Month. He responded to a reference check on the welfare of the occupants that were living in a house that was in an unsafe condition. During his investigation, he saw three residents who were unable to care for themselves as well as two dogs living inside the residence. One resident, who is diabetic and has trouble walking because of the condition, also had sores on her arms and face. Another occupant was confined to his bed and required his roommates to care for him, and the last person is mentally challenged. Granville noted that there was no food in the residence because of the occupants’ conditions, and he could tell they had not been eating well. Using his own money, he purchased dinner and provided for the citizens. He never mentioned this to anyone and did not seek any praise for his unselfish act.