The Fresno County Sheriff’s Office recognized growth and heroism Thursday with a swearing-in and awards ceremony.
Also Thursday, correctional officer Wendell Wilson received the 2016 Law Enforcement Optimist Hero award from the Optimist International Greater Fresno chapter.
Wilson was honored at a luncheon for his positive attitude. In addition to his work as a jail training and transportation officer, he volunteers to teach a fitness and nutrition class to the inmates housed in the Transition from Jail to Community program. The Sheriff’s Office says Wilson is dedicated to helping inmates change behaviors, attitudes and beliefs so they’re able to succeed once they are released.
At Thursday’s ceremony at Veterans Memorial Auditorium, these people received outstanding service awards:
Purple Heart Medal: Correctional officers Andrew Bratton and Yeng Thao
Life Saving Medal: Correctional officer Aram Yousif, correctional officer Mario Pizano, Deputy Joshua O’Bar and Deputy David Raquenio
Official Commendation: Deputy Jeff Stricker
Official Commendation: Brittany Parnell and Charles Vasquez. The two civilians were credited with helping save a 3-year-old girl who was kidnapped when a thief stole the car she was in, left running at an auto shop parking lot, on March 29.
Mims swore in 37 correctional officers and four deputy sheriffs:
Correctional officers: Joseph Abdul, Jesse Acosta, Angel Adame, Myrian Bedolla, LaShandah Blacksher, Manuel Chavez, Nicolas Paredes Espinoza, Sabina Fernandez-Lopez, Ygzena Gallegos, Erik Garcia, Miguel Godia, Guadalupe Gutierrez, Daisy Guzman, Miguel Guzman Alcantar, Maria Huerta, Timothy Lao, Kenneth Licon, Fili Llamas De La Rosa, Joshua Martinez, Robert Molinar, Joseph Navarro, Henry Perez, Jose Perez Prieto, Jose Rodriguez, Robert Salgado, Jose Saucedo, Isabel Salinas-Garcia, Charde Stevens, Vilaysak Syvannarath, Yeng Thao, Carlee Thompson, Ricky Vang, Daniel Yabroski, Hope Yang, Phia Yang, Tou Yang and Jesus Zamora
Deputy sheriffs: Carlos Cervantes, Angel Howell, Karlson Manasan and Nhia Thor
She recognized nine promotions:
Sheriff’s lieutenants: Ron Hayes, Ryan Hushaw and Joseph Smith
Sheriff’s sergeants: Robert Buenrostro, Richard Coningsby, James Dunn and Andrew Veneman
Correctional sergeants: Lonnie Duncan and Valerie Murray
Also recognized were five new staff members:
Communications dispatchers: Ashley Dawson and Preston Wiley
Office assistant: Flora Sandoval
Program technicians: Jewel Cooksey and Laura Yanovsky