Oceanside CA— Last Wednesday, January 25, 2017, the Oceanside Police Department held their 13th Annual Member Recognition Luncheon honoring officers, staff members and volunteers for their distinguished service in the fourth quarter and for the year, 2016 including OPD Officer of the Year. The 13th annual luncheon, held at the QLN Conference Center, was sponsored at the ‘Platinum Level’ by Oceans Eleven and QLN, at the ‘Silver Level’ by Hydranautics and Mossy Nissan and the ‘Cornerstone of the Community Donor’ was Gilead Science. Lunch was provided by Las Carretas Taco Shop.
Senior Volunteer of the Fourth Quarter
Joan Blazer joined the OPD Senior Volunteer Patrol program in April of 2015. She volunteered 166 hours of her time in the 4th quarter of 2016 and total of 516 hours for the year. In November of 2016, Joan was conducting a ‘You Are Not Alone'(Yana) visit to a woman who is approximately 90-years-old and blind. She discovered that the woman was without heat because her furnace was no longer working. Ms. Blazer took the initiative to obtain a new heater from SDG&E and while waiting for delivery and installation of the new furnace, she obtained blankets, from her peers, for the woman and brought her several hot meals.
Administration Division Employee of the 4th Quarter, 2016
Nita Powell has been with the Oceanside Police Department’s Communications Section for close to twenty years. During that time, she has provided quiet and steadfast dedication to her duty and the people in the community of Oceanside. Her confident guidance has helped shape the Communication Section into the well running unit that it is today.
Investigations Division’s Employee of the 4th Quarter, 2016
Mark La Vake
In 2013, 13-year-old Melanie Virgen and her 15-year-old friend, Edgar Sanchez were shot to death and two others were wounded at Libby Lake Park. Mark La Vake was the lead investigator and established an unwavering investigative collaborative that led to the arrest of five gang members. The collaborative consisted of more than a dozen local, State, and Federal agencies. La Vake worked closely with the victims family members and the community to keep them informed on the progress of the case. Four of the five defendants were convicted receiving a combined 200 years to life in prison. Mark La Vake was nominated and subsequently selected as the San Diego County District Attorney’s Office, Law Enforcement Officer of the Year for 2016.
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