SAN JACINTO VALLEY — Several local law enforcement officers were recently honored at the first San Jacinto Valley Crime Stoppers Appreciation Dinner and Awards Banquet. According to event organizers, those who were recognized had provided “outstanding service” to their communities and showed “superior work and dedication” to the San Jacinto Valley and its citizens over the last year.
Held at the Country Club at Soboba Springs in San Jacinto, Thursday, Sept. 14, brought law enforcement officials from Hemet Police Department, Riverside County Sheriff’s San Jacinto Police and Hemet Sheriff’s Stations and Soboba Tribal Police. Proud family members, local dignitaries, event organizers and citizens from throughout the community were also in attendance.
“So many things are taken for granted these days and we seldom think about the risks our law enforcement officers face every time they report to work,” Bob Duistermars, President and CEO of the Central County United Way explained after the ceremony.
“We often complain about crime and demand that someone do something about it,” Duistermars continued. “Well, it’s these men and women in uniform that show up, day in and day out, to do that something we are asking for.”
“We at United Way Crime Stoppers think that this kind of selfless service and community dedication deserve recognition and community thanks,” said Duistermars. “This dinner gives grateful citizens an opportunity to say thank you.”
The organization hopes to bring in more support from the community and make the event an annual tradition.
During the ceremony, City of Hemet Police Chief Dave Brown, who serves as Chairman for the Central County United Way, presented awards to Hemet Police Officer Wood, San Jacinto PD Deputy Andrew DeMattia and Hemet Sheriff Station’s Deputy Kevin Schroeder. No information was immediately available about the Soboba Tribal Police officer honored at the event.
Wood was honored “for exceptional police work and dedication to the Hemet community.” DeMattia was honored “for the outstanding patrol service he has provided to the City of San Jacinto” and Schroeder was honored “for providing outstanding patrol service to the communities of Idyllwild, Pine Cove, Anza and Aguanga.” He was also recognized “for exceptional service he has provided to the Riverside Mountain Rescue Unit on numerous lost and injured hiker calls.”
Comments from citizens on several different social media posts the day after the ceremony offered hearty and heart-felt congratulations to the honored officers, with many citizens expressing thanks for specific incidents the officials had been involved in.
Officers honored for solid work ethics, professionalism and dedication
to the communities they serve
After the dinner and awards ceremony Brown spoke about Wood and the contributions the officer makes to the community saying, “Officer Wood is a great example of our culture at the Hemet Police Department, going the extra mile every day to protect our community.”
Captain Leonard Purvis, who oversees the Hemet Sheriff’s and San Jacinto Police Stations, also spoke highly, not only of DeMattia and Schroeder, but of all the deputies under his command.
After the event Purvis explained that that although there were many who deserve to be honored for their hard work and efforts, DeMattia’s and Schroeder’s actions throughout the last year made them stand out among their peers.
DeMattia’s “work ethic, professionalism and dedication to his profession” and Schroeder’s “meticulous attention to detail,” high arrest rates, and “drive, experience and willingness to learn,” made them both “worthy recipients” of the awards, Purvis explained. “I am very proud of both of them and appreciate their commitment to their communities.”
Schroeder is a 9-year veteran of the Riverside Sheriff’s Department and has been assigned to the Hemet Station since August 2014.
During that time, Schroeder “has taken on a leadership role with his peers and has shown an eagerness to render assistance or expertise in any situation,” according to Purvis, who explained how Schroeder’s “team attitude” and “commitment to the adopted communities he serves” have also earned him several commendations and expressions of thanks from citizens, supervisors and his peers throughout the year.
DeMattia, who has been a deputy since April 2010, “is one of the most active deputies at the San Jacinto Station,” according to Purvis.
“He is a consummate professional law enforcement officer who balances responding to varying calls for service, actively patrolling the City of San Jacinto to deter crime and making proactive arrests to put criminals in jail,” said Purvis. “He genuinely cares about the community he patrols and strives to make it safer for its residents.”
San Jacinto Valley Crime Stoppers a “critical part of our success.”
San Jacinto Valley Crime Stoppers, which is a “critical part of our success as one of the leading agencies in solving crime in Riverside County,” according to Brown, is sponsored by the Central County United Way.
According to Duistermars and the organization’s Facebook page, the highly successful program seeks to “provide a stable framework within which local volunteers can be recruited, trained, and scheduled as they engage their neighbors in neighborhood watch and disaster preparedness programs.”
Their efforts include building and funding a valley-wide program that finds and trains volunteers who are willing to participate at a local level to build a safer community.