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Local News

Sheriff’s Department Salutes Its Own

Deputy Sheriff's Association banquet is a chance to honor those who embody service principles

The Santa Barbara County Sheriff’s Department and the Santa Barbara County Deputy Sheriff’s Association honored more than two dozen Sheriff’s Department employees at the association’s annual awards banquet.

Five awards for Meritorious Service, two for Distinguished Service and one for Exceptional Citizen, as well as a Sheriff’s Unit Citation for a group of eight, were handed out in a Saturday ceremony at Fess Parker’s DoubleTree Resort.

Among those honored for their meritorious service were Jose “Joe” Ayala, a communications dispatch supervisor credited for fine-tuning dispatch procedures; Custody Deputy Paul DesLaurier, who rappelled down a cliff to help rescue people whose car had plunged down the embankment; and Deputy Ian Doughty, who located and saved a suicidal woman who had overdosed on pain medication after locking herself in a Santa Maria hotel room. Senior Deputy Paul Miranda and Deputy Byron Kies were honored for locating and assisting another suicidal woman in her car. Cmdr. Donald Patterson, who coordinated hundreds of peace officers from state, county and city agencies during the Zaca, Gap and Tea fires, received the award as well.

Sheriff Bill Brown bestowed a Distinguished Service Award on aircraft mechanic Mel Mobley for his maintenance of the department’s helicopters, which saw heavy use during the Gap and Tea fires. Deputy Dave Robertson was also given the award for his work with the department’s Explorer program, which helps introduce young people to a potential career in law enforcement.

Sheriff's Lt. Ugo
Sheriff’s Lt. Ugo “Butch” Arnoldi received the Santa Barbara County Deputy Sheriff’s Association’s Appreciation Award. (Santa Barbara County Sheriff’s Department photo)

Volunteer jail chaplain Daniel K. Gaither was given the Exceptional Citizen Award for his 13 years working with inmates in the Santa Barbara County Jail. The Jail Management System Team — Custody Lt. Diana Stetson, Custody Sgts. Mike Haberkorn and Tim McWilliams, Senior Custody Deputy Juanita Miranda, Custody Records Supervisor Gene Hartin, Extra Help Records Specialist Darleen Thompson and Senior Systems and Programming Analyst Cathy Jordan — were honored with the Sheriff’s Unit Citation for their efforts to upgrade the department’s records management system.

The Deputy Sheriff’s Association honored some of its members as well, most notably District Attorney Investigator Laura Cleaves, a reserve deputy who was killed last year in a head-on collision with a drunken driver. Her husband, sheriff’s Sgt. Steve Cleaves, and their two daughters accepted the posthumous Distinguished Service Award on her behalf.

The other honorees were:

Deputy Supervisor of the Year: Sgt. Steven Hiersche

Sheriff Bill Brown, left, with one of the evening's honorees, Custody Deputy Paul DesLaurier.
Sheriff Bill Brown, left, with one of the evening’s honorees, Custody Deputy Paul DesLaurier. (Santa Barbara County Sheriff’s Department photo)

Deputy of the Year: Deputy Steven Gonzalez

Deputy Rookie of the Year: Deputy Daniel Nelson

Custody Supervisor of the Year: Sgt. James Meter

Custody Deputy of the Year: Senior Custody Deputies Seth Hutson and Rick Zepf

Custody Deputy Rookie of the Year: Custody Deputy Derrick Day

Investigator of the Year: Detective Ruby Wolf

Dispatcher of the Year: Susan Farley

Distinguished Service Award: Chaplain Jerry Gray

Association Appreciation Award: Lt. Ugo “Butch” Arnoldi

Noozhawk staff writer Sonia Fernandez can be reached at .(JavaScript must be enabled to view this email address).

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