LASD News

Reserve Recognition Dinner


Reserve Recognition Dinner Highlights the Amazing Spirit of Service to Our Community

On Thursday, November 15th, over 400 of our esteemed Reserve Deputies, Department Executives, and guests attended this annual celebration at the Sportsmen's Lodge in Studio City.

With Adrienne Alpert from ABC7 Los Angeles as the Mistress of Ceremonies, the program acknowledged the work that our Reserve Deputies have done throughout the year. Our Reserve Deputies are community members who volunteer their time and energy to fulfill many of the roles which are traditionally handled by full-time, Deputy Sheriffs. Our Reserve Deputy Sheriffs undergo the same hiring standards as full-time Deputies and work alongside them in support of every aspect of the Department operations.

Here are the awards given out at the event, and why these men and women deserve our thanks and our praise:

2018 Award Descriptions

SAR Mission of the Year: 
San Dimas Sheriff Station’s Mountain Rescue Team, and Reserve Company No. 8, has been selected for the Search and Rescue Mission of the year. On Sunday, November 12, 2017 , at approximately 1000 hours the San Dimas Mountain Rescue Team, and Los Angeles County Fire, were advised of a vehicle “over the edge” on Glendora Ridge Road. With the assistance of a Los Angeles County Fire airship, responding members of the San Dimas Mountain Rescue Team determined a vehicle containing three occupants went over a berm and plunged approximately 1000’ down from the roadway. San Dimas Mountain Rescue Team members devised a plan and, with the assistance of LASD Air Rescue 5, and the Los Angeles County Fire airship, located the three victims, two of whom survived the crash after their nearly 24 hour exposure to the elements. Utilizing specialized training and equipment, the San Dimas Mountain Rescue Team were able to rescue the surviving victims and perform the difficult recovery of the accident’s lone fatality.

Reserve Deputy of the Year
Reserve Deputy Todd Bernstein, author/creator of the “Todd Book,” a 300+ page patrol guide used by over 400 deputies and a member of East Los Angeles Station’s Reserve Company No. 2, is the 2018 Reserve Deputy of the Year. As a result of Reserve Deputy Bernstein’s self-initiated activity and productivity in patrol, he was assigned in June 2018 to East Los Angeles Station Detective Bureau to handle fraud cases. After completing the Department’s 16 hour search warrant and informant management class, Reserve Deputy Bernstein was immediately assigned three fraud cases. To date, two of the cases have been filed, with one arrest made, while the third case, with 15 anticipated felony charges, is close to being filed. In addition to all of the above, and after working 700+ hours in Detective Bureau, Reserve Deputy Bernstein also found the time to complete an 8 hour POST certified class on new cannabis laws, as well as complete the Department’s 40 hour POST Academy Instructor and 32 hour Background Investigator classes.

Reserve Investigators of the Year
Reserve Deputies Charles Ferraro and Harry Morton, members of West Hollywood Station Reserve Company No. 9 assigned to West Hollywood Station Detective Bureau, are the 2018 Reserve Investigators of the Year. Reserve Deputies Ferraro and Morton’s primary area of responsibility involves the handling of “pending reports.” Due to their dogged dedication and tenacity, Reserve Deputies Ferraro and Morton have volunteered literally hundreds of hours investigating pending cases ranging from assaults to attempt murders. Their collective and tireless efforts, which more often than not involved the art of old fashioned police work (i.e., re-contacting victims, reviewing social media, searching for/collecting surveillance video, searching for stolen property in pawn shops and reviewing pawn slips, etc.) in support of hundreds of investigations, have resulted in the recovery of property as well as the arrest and prosecution of many suspects who would have otherwise remained unidentified.

Patrol Reserve of the Year
Reserve Deputy John Brickner, a 21-year veteran and member of Palmdale Station Reserve Company No. 26, is the 2018 Patrol Reserve Deputy of the Year. Reserve Deputy Brickner, a 16+ year Level I-D, routinely works 40+ hours per month in a one-man radio car and is widely regarded by his peers and supervisors as being a very diligent and hardworking deputy whose work ethic precedes him. Patrol Deputy Brickner wrote a multitude of citations and made numerous arrests. As is so often the case regarding the efforts of field deputies who endeavor to “keep busy,” Reserve Deputy Brickner on Sunday, August 12, 2018, performed a traffic stop for a routine speeding violation which resulted in the arrest of a career criminal in possession of over 300 marijuana plants, which he had purchased via a “Craig’s List” transaction, a short time before being stopped.

Reserve Coordinator of the Year
Malibu-Lost Hills Station Sergeant Tui Wright and Deputy Kevin Augarten are the 2018 Reserve Coordinators of the Year. Malibu-Lost Hills Station Reserve Company No. 22, the Department’s largest at 66 members strong, includes Patrol Reserves, mounted Sheriff’s Posse, and Search and Rescue Reserves. In addition to the above, Sergeant Wright and Deputy Augarten also supervise and train Malibu-Lost Hills Station Explorers, oversee the station’s recruitment unit, are rescue heli-tac trained, oversee a large fleet of rescue team vehicles and specialized equipment, and help coordinate the many public event requests for team demonstrations and displays. And, as federally licensed amateur radio operators, Sergeant Wright and Deputy Augarten also supervise and support the civilians and Reserve Deputies who comprise the Department’s largest Disaster Communications Team. The contributions of Sergeant Wright and Deputy Augarten, selected by the California Reserve Peace Officers Association as winners of their “2018 California State Reserve Coordinator Team of the Year” award, to the Los Angeles County Sheriff Department’s Reserve Program are unmatched.

Specialist of the Year
Reserve Deputy Patrick Dorris, a 29-year veteran and member of Arson/Explosive/Hazmat Reserve Company No. 249, is the 2018 Specialist of the Year. Reserve Deputy Dorris, who left the Department as a full-time deputy in 1989 to pursue a career as a commercial airline pilot, immediately transitioned to becoming a Reserve Deputy at Lynwood Station, where he spent the next eight years on patrol. After working patrol for eight years, Reserve Deputy Dorris transferred to Commercial Crimes Bureau, where he found a 21+ year (and counting!) home with Arson/Explosives Detail. More recently, Reserve Deputy Dorris’ experience as a pilot has been instrumental in the Special Enforcement Bureau’s new Unmanned Aerial Vehicle Program (UAV). Reserve Deputy Dorris’ experience as a pilot has allowed him to properly train non-pilots in the use of the UAV, as well as assist them to obtain UAV pilot licensure.

Arrest of the Year
Reserve Deputy Henry Yan, a six-year veteran and member of Altadena Station Reserve Company No. 7, made the 2018 Arrest of the Year. Reserve Deputy Yan, a Level I-D who works a one-man unit an average of 32 hours/month, assisted in the apprehension of five fleeing---and possibly armed----serial residential burglary suspects who fled the scene of a burglary in progress call while deputies were arriving on-scene and in the process of containing the location. Reserve Deputy Yan’s timely assistance and calm demeanor, as well as his ability to seamlessly interact with his full-time sworn deputy brethren, in patrol vehicles and LASD airship, allowed for him to fully participate in the apprehension and arrest of all five suspects. The actions of Reserve Deputy Yan helped put a stop to these serial burglary suspects and certainly prevented many more future burglaries.

Posse Member of the Year
Reserve Deputy Luciano De La Hoya, a 21-year veteran and member of the Temple Station Posse and Temple Station Reserve Company No. 5, is the 2018 Posse Member of the Year. As a P.O.S.T. certified mounted officer instructor, Reserve Deputy De La Hoya has had a huge impact on the Department’s Mounted Posse over his 21-year career by assisting in raising the skill level of its riders. Deputy De La Hoya is also the lead instructor for the annual Spring Mounted Posse 40-hour Basic Course. An excellent horseman in his own right, Deputy De La Hoya has consistently made himself available for the testing of new Posse applicants and continues to serve as a knowledgeable and unbiased proficiency test evaluator.

Lifetime Achievement Awards: Roxanna Morton, John Hutak, Rocco Em & Fred Barnes
Reserve Deputy Roxanna Morton, a 28-year veteran and member of Malibu/Lost Hills Station Reserve Company No. 22 and Malibu Search and Rescue Team, is honored this year for her membership and career’s work as the longest-serving female reserve deputy in the 40-year history of the Malibu Search and Rescue (SAR) Team. Reserve Deputy Morton, “Rocky” to her teammates and friends, has remained one of the most active team members. A full-time Pediatric Nurse Practitioner, Reserve Deputy Morton is Malibu SAR’s scheduling officer (and has for over 20 years), a certified range instructor, a rescue team leader, and, like all SAR team members, an Emergency Medical Technician, and one of the team’s senior medical officers. Reserve Deputy Morton has volunteered thousands upon thousands of hours risking her life to save others at all hours of the day, on weekends and holidays throughout her entire 28+ year career. She is a highly regarded teacher and motivator and is an example of the best that the Los Angeles County Sheriff’s Department has to offer.

Reserve Deputy John Hutak, a 35-year veteran and member of Lancaster Station Reserve Company No. 11, is honored this year for his body of work in the Department’s Reserve Program. After graduating from the Reserve Academy in 1983, Reserve Deputy Hutak was assigned to Sheriff Block’s Administrative Company. A few years later he transferred to Santa Clarita Station, where he worked assignments in patrol, at Pyramid Lake on boat patrol, with the Mounted Posse, and as a helicopter observer. A school administrator for the Antelope Valley School District, Reserve Deputy Hutak was pivotal in establishing the Antelope Valley’s Explorer Academy; and, in cooperation with the Antelope Valley School District and the Department, began what resulted in Los Angeles County’s largest and most comprehensive School Deputy Program. In addition to the above, Reserve Deputy Hutak is also a member of the Department’s Joint Regional Intelligence Center and Off-Road Vehicle Enforcement Team.
Retired Reserve Rocco Em served the Department for 45 years before retiring in October 2018. During his tenure, Reserve Deputy Em, who rose to the rank of Reserve Commander in 1999, worked a variety of assignments throughout his career, as follows: East Los Angeles Station, where he began and ended his career, Sybil Brand Institute, Hall of Justice, Men’s Central Jail, Firestone Station, Lancaster Station, Palmdale Station and Pico Rivera Station. Reserve Deputy Em’s assignments included working patrol, detective bureau, traffic, as ordinance officer, and as a member of the Sheriff’s Posse. Reserve Deputy Em spent his last few years at East Los Angeles Station, where it all began, updating 290 sex registrants at least once or twice a week. Reserve Deputy Em, who volunteered thousands upon thousands of hours of his time was a true asset at each of his assignments, Reserve Forces Detail, and the Department.

Reserve Deputy Frank Chapman Barnes, a 48-year veteran and one of the highest-ranking members of the Reserve Forces Family, passed away on April 10, 2018. Reserve Deputy Barnes, who rose to the rank of Assistant Sheriff in the Reserve Forces Program, was well known for his quiet and calm demeanor. One of Reserve Deputy Barnes’ largest accomplishments was his participation in the completion of the Reserve Policy Manual, which, although modeled after the Department’s Manual of Policy and Procedures, was meant to address the personnel issues unique to Reserve Deputies. Active in the California Reserve Peace Officers Association, and most recently having served as its Secretary, Reserve Deputy Barnes regularly lobbied Sacramento politicians to change the laws concerning reserve law enforcement officers. The Los Angeles County Sheriff’s Department salutes Reserve Deputy Barnes and expresses its condolences and deep respect to his family for enabling him to provide his unique and lasting leadership to the Department, Reserve Forces Detail, and the citizens of Los Angeles County.