TEMECULA – The Temecula Valley Elks Lodge recently held its annual Police & Fire Recognition Banquet to honor public safety personnel from around the southwest county. Many members of the Elks Lodge along with family, friends and co-workers from the various departments were in attendance to show their appreciation.
Deputy Danny Hollingsworth is an 11-year veteran of the Riverside County Sheriff’s Department currently assigned to the Temecula Police Department’s Problem Oriented Policing team. Deputy Hollingsworth has been involved with investigations and made numerous arrests for homicide, burglary, assault with a deadly weapon, narcotics violations, possession of stolen property and felony weapons violations. Deputy Hollingsworth has also been commended by the county district attorney’s office for the investigation and arrest of 15 street gang suspects in Temecula.
California Highway Patrol officers Jeff Oldham and Rich Murrieta were honored for their life-saving actions during a routine traffic stop that resulted in saving the life of a man that had an acute stroke. The treating physicians related that the officers saved his life by performing CPR at the scene.
Officer Louis Montoya is a 29-year veteran of the California Highway Patrol and is currently assigned to the Rainbow Commercial Vehicle Enforcement Facility. He has demonstrated a significant ability to identify inconspicuous and dangerous mechanical violations that exist on commercial vehicles. In 2016 alone, he placed 197 unsafe commercial vehicles out of service, based on mechanical defects. Montoya’s assertive vigilance may well have prevented numerous traffic accidents.
Murrieta Police Officer Jennifer Metoyer has been with the department since 2004 and is currently assigned as a traffic investigator/motorcycle officer. Metoyer is a member of the Social Media Team and shares interesting posts and community service messages about the department through Facebook and Instagram. She started the “Random Acts of Kindness” program two years ago, handing out gift cards to members of the community funded by officer’s donations. She is also a member of the department’s Honor Guard and is passionate about supporting the families of fallen officers.
During 2016, Agent Jennifer Higgins of the Murrieta Border Patrol Station has been instrumental in her leadership role with the station’s Strike Team. The strike team is a newly formed unit of border patrol agents who patrol the highways to detect and apprehend alien and narcotic smugglers by using innovative methods. Thanks to Higgins’ resolve and the hard work and dedication of the assigned agents, they have been successful in keeping the community and schools safe by seizing approximately 538 pounds of cocaine, 352 pounds of methamphetamines, 258 pounds of marijuana, 53 pounds of heroin and 160 gallons of liquid methamphetamine; all totaling close to $10 million.
At approximately 4:06 p.m., Jan. 22, Murrieta Fire Department responded to a reported swift water rescue at Los Alamos Road and Monroe Avenue. While responding, additional information was obtained that the vehicle had been swept from the roadway and was moving downstream with two adults and two children trapped inside. Captains Todd Bradstreet and Sean DeGrave and Engineer Mike Macalinao were assigned to the rescue group and immediately went to work assembling rope systems and formulating a plan of action. The first rescue swimmer entered the water at 4:25 p.m., and within minutes all victims were rescued from the fast-moving water within an hour of the original dispatch time.