Distinguished Community Service Award
Mr. Gregory Huyser
On September 25, 2017, Mr. Huyser and his fiancé were waiting on the platform of the Crouch St. Sprinter Station when they observed a woman stabbing a 57-year-old male multiple times. Mr. Huyser made the courageous decision to intervene and kept the victim safe from further attack. He grabbed the woman from behind and pulled her away from the victim while she was still holding the knife. The attacker spun around, threw the knife towards the train tracks and began to walk away. Mr. Huyser followed her and called 9-1-1. He then told the woman to sit down and she complied. Mr. Huyser provided detailed information about the attack and location of the knife. The victim was hospitalized for eight days for numerous stab wounds to his neck, face and groin area. Mr. Huyser received the Distinguished Community Service Award for his bravery in this incident.
Vehicle Theft Officer of the Year-2017
Officer Dave Estrada
In our society, our vehicles are a necessity in many cases. The costs associated with the loss of a vehicle aren’t just monetary, there is an emotional cost to the victim. The Vehicle Theft Officer of the Year is awarded to the Officer with the highest number of recovered stolen vehicles in a calendar year which was 8 for Dave Estrada resulting in four arrests.
DUI Officer of the Year
Officer Aaron Hilburn
Driving under the influence is not a victimless crime. The danger to public safety on the roadway is immense with drivers that cannot safely control a motor vehicle. The DUI Officer of the Year is awarded to the Officer that arrests the highest number of individuals found to be driving under the influence of drugs or alcohol in a calendar year. Officer Hilburn made 14 DUI arrests in 2017.
Daniel Bessant Community Policing Award
Officer John Janda
Officer Dan Bessant was slain in the line of duty December 20, 2006. He was assisting a fellow officer with a traffic stop when they were ambushed from over 100 yards away. Officer Bessant was shot and killed. He was known throughout the department for his commitment to the community of Oceanside. Dan was a member of the Neighborhood Policing Team and worked closely with the community to meet their needs. To honor his legacy, the Officer Dan Bessant Community Policing Award was created and goes to the department member, or members that display superior community oriented policing and problem solving efforts in the community. The nominations for this award are provided to the Bessant family for their review. They determine the member that best demonstrates those attributes. This year, the Bessant family selected Officer John Janda for the award.
In August of 2017, Officer John Janda was made aware of a subject who had expressed suicidal and homicidal thoughts to his doctor. More specifically, the subject told his doctor that he wanted kill several people and then kill himself. After receiving this information, Officer Janda conducted investigative follow-up and learned that the subject owned approximately seven firearms. Believing that the subject was an immediate threat to himself and the community, he sought and obtained a search warrant for the subject’s residence. After obtaining the search warrant, Officer Janda coordinated the service of the warrant with members of the Neighborhood Policing Team and the California Department of Justice Gun Unit. The search warrant was served successfully and 10 firearms were seized. Furthermore, you did not just make it a point to seize firearms from the subject but you also made it a point to provide the subject with the professional help he so desperately needed in order to deal with his mental health illness.
In November of 2017, Officer Janda responded to a call of an individual who was mentally ill and abusing his pain medications. The subject had made threats of harming his elderly father, whom he lived with. The elderly father reported to police that his son was extremely paranoid and slept with a loaded pistol under his pillow and a shotgun next to his bed. Upon arrival to the residence, the subject was uncooperative and refused to open the door for responding officers. Officer Janda would later learn that the subject was a person of interest in two criminal firearm brandishing cases. Believing that the individual was an immediate threat to his elderly father and to the community, Officer Janda sought and obtained a search warrant for the subject’s residence. he coordinated the service of the warrant with officers of the Neighborhood Policing Team and federal agents from the United States Postal Service. The search warrant was served successfully resulting in the seizure of 17 firearms and over 1000 rounds of ammunition. The subject was taken into custody to be evaluated for his mental health issues.
Both of these warrants were the first of their kind in OPD’s history. These cases were unique in the fact that there was no nexus to a specific crime. Through his outside of the box thinking, he has single handedly provided the department with a new tool to address those cases that are not criminal in nature but where weapons need to be seized.
In summary, Officer Janda went above and beyond in both of these cases and demonstrated a devotion to duty. These are cases that he could have easily walked away from but he instead went the extra mile to preserve community safety. Officer Janda has demonstrated a willingness and commitment to improve the lives of citizens in all areas of the City of Oceanside, and have positively emulated the values of this award’s namesake. Thank you so much for your commitment to our department and the citizens of Oceanside.
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