Las Vegas Sun

July 31, 2014

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Metro Police honors actions of 73 officers, civilian employees

Metro Police cited the actions of 73 officers and civilian employees at an awards ceremony today.

Officer Kenneth Rios was awarded the Medal of Honor for his actions when a small plane crashed into a house near North Las Vegas Airport Aug. 20. Rios, who was off-duty at his home, saw the crash and rushed to the burning plane. He helped a passenger escape and then extinguished the man's clothes, which were on fire, police said.

Sgt. Ken Caldwell, Air 4 crew member, and Richard Lund, an aircraft maintenance supervisor, were given the Unit Meritorious Service Award for their actions during the heavy rain and the flash flooding in the Las Vegas Valley on July 8. Caldwell flew during dangerous conditions doing reconnaissance and transported radio technicians to towers that had been struck by lightning, police said.

Lund volunteered to be Caldwell's co-pilot when Caldwell was waiting for one to arrive, police said. For the first 90 minutes Caldwell was in the air, Lund acted as the co-pilot, police said.

Officer Eric Barros was given the Meritorious Service Award for catching a bank robbery suspect on July 2. Barros saw a man matching the description of a robber and ordered him to stop, but the man started to run. Barros chased the man, who turned and fired a gunshot at Barros. Barros returned fire and continued to chase the man, eventually catching him. Evidence from the robbery was recovered and no one was seriously hurt, police said.

Sgt. Steve Custer, Officer Al Gibson and Officer Kathryn Watkins were given the Community Service Award for their work as counselors at "Camp Cartwheel," an outdoor camp for children who are battling cancer or who have other critical illnesses. The three officers used their own time to work at the summer camp, police said.

Andrew Vineyard and Kurt Vollmoeller, photo technicians, were given the Exemplary Service Award for helping a choking man on July 27. They were having lunch when Vollmoeller noticed a man at another table in some type of distress. Vineyard asked if the man needed help and when he shook his head yes, Vineyard performed the Heimlich maneuver, dislodging a piece of food from the man's throat, police said.

Sixty-one officers and three communications employees were given the Unit Meritorious Service Award for their actions in the robbery and hostage situation at a Super Pawn store on March 4. Officers went to the store on the report of two armed men robbing the store. The officers surrounded the store. The robbers held employees and customers hostage for several hours. The incident ended with all the hostages released and the suspects arrested, police said.

The following are those receiving an award for the Super Pawn store incident: Capt. Dennis Cobb, Lt. Robert Chinn, Sgt. Ben Kim, Sgt. Csaba Maczala, and Officers William Chavera, George Curtis, David Dodd, Grant Graan, Jason Henson, Karl Huysentruyt, Bruce Miyama, Jeffery Pikyavit, Bobby Porter, Richard Robinson, Dominick Rodriguez, Kerry Ruesch, Robert Schmidt, Greg Schultz, Frank Soto, Mark Vaughn and Jon Zeh and Cadet George Laster.

Also receiving the award are: Lt. Curtis Williams, Officer Laurie Bisch, Officer Ruben Hood, Sgt. Will Minor, Officer Troy Cummings, Officer Bart D'Angelo, Officer Curtis Lawrance, Officer Christy Wilkendorf, Officer George Williams, Sgt. Chris Darcy, Officer Charles Yannis, Lt. David Braden, Officer Jack Guenther, Lt. John Alamshaw, Sgt. Lori Cricket, Detective Randy Bingham, Detective Keith Blasko, Detective Michael Eylar and Detective Allen Garris.

The following also received the award: Detective John Hanover, Detective Gordon Martines, Detective Harrison Mayo, Detective Tony Plew, Detective Stephen Popp, Sgt. Albert Salinas, Detective Mike Hope, Detective Roberto Juarez, Detective Steven Rudolph, Officer Timothy Babcock, Officer James Daley, Officer Greg Goen, Officer Tony McCleery, Officer Eric Kerns, Officer Duwayne Layton, Capt. Mike Ault, Officer Gary Casper, Sgt. Michael Petricka, Officer Mark Baumann, Officer Gary Sumption, Communications Supervisor Patty McKim, Communications Specialist Terri Joerger and Communications Operator Judy Baker.

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