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Irvine Officers Honored at 40th Annual Officer of the Year Banquet


On Wednesday, March 16, 2011, the Irvine Police Department honored police officers and professional staff for acts of courage, lifesaving, and other meritorious service at an annual event hosted by the Irvine Exchange Club.  The event, held at the Irvine Marriott, was attended by over 400 community members.


Chief Dave Maggard detailed acts of courage and competence instrumental in the saving of several lives and positive impact on the lives of many Irvine residents over the course of the previous year.  Included in the narratives of lifesaving by officers was the account of one resourceful rescue enlisting the use a tarp to create a makeshift rescue net just in time to catch a woman as she fell from a fifty-foot Eucalyptus tree.


Detective Jonathan Cherney received the Police Officer of the Year Award for his outstanding work in the review and investigation of traffic accidents and traffic-related crimes.  Detective Cherney has been recognized internationally for his expertise in major traffic accident investigations, traffic accident reconstruction, and bicycle accident reconstruction.  Chief Maggard commented, “Detective Cherney is a true expert in the field.  His efforts make Irvine a safer community.”


Civilian Investigator Linda Villelli received the Civilian of the Year Award for her work investigating traffic accidents, and her tenacious resolve when tracking down hit and run suspects. She also serves as a member of the Major Accident Investigation Team, and as an instructor for new officers.


Police Officer Richard Bee received the Police Rookie of the Year award for his field performance and thorough investigations during 2010. Officer Bee was also awarded a lifesaving medal for administering cardio pulmonary resuscitation (CPR) at the scene of a medical aid.


The celebration provides the opportunity to highlight a few of the extraordinary stories of the men and women of the Irvine Police Department and to showcase their dedication to the community they serve. This annual event could not be possible without the Irvine Exchange Club and the generous support of the many community sponsors.