Police Department Bestows Year-End Awards

Quick Summary

  • UC Lifesaving Medals for Acting Sgt. Diaz and officer Locke
  • New officers and sergeants sworn in, and retirees recognized
  • Graduation held for students of the Cadet Academy’s 10th class
3 men in police iniforms, two holding certificates and wearing medals
Police Chief Joe Farrow, left, presented UC Lifesaving Medals and certificates to Acting Sgt. Pete Diaz Jr., center; and officer Jeff Locke.
UC Lifesaving Medal with red-and-white ribbon

Two campus police officers received UC Lifesaving Medals during the department’s annual Employee Recognition and Swearing-In Ceremony and Cadet Graduation, held May 10.


The Lifesaving Medals, bestowed by the UC Police Chiefs Association, went to Acting Sgt. Pete Diaz Jr. and officer Jeff Locke for action they took last November after coming across a parked car with a tube extending through a mostly rolled up window, around 1 o’clock in the morning in the Health Sciences District. The lone person inside appeared to be unconscious.

Locke succeeded in waking the person and getting them to open the windows and let the officer into the car. Locke and Diaz got the person out of the car and medical responders took the person to Sutter Davis Hospital.

“Your quick decisions and professional response saved the life of a person trying to commit suicide,” Chief Joe Farrow said in presenting the medals and certificates. “You have demonstrated wonderful team effort and sincere compassion while handling this life-or-death situation.”

Employees of the year

Lt. Danny Sheffield announced Ricky Lee as the Officer of the Year, noting that Lee also had been involved in high-risk incidents with suicidal subjects in the past year. Lee, a UC Davis alumnus and graduate of the Police Department’s Cadet Academy, works as a patrol officer and a CORE officer, the latter referring to the department’s new practice of assigning nonuniformed officers around the campus core to address conflicts or other issues that may arise. (Earlier this year, Lee earned a Law Enforcement Award from American Legion Yolo Post 77 of Woodland.)

Other employees of the year:

  • Tamar Rein, dispatcher
  • Matt Brooks, protective services officer at UC Davis Health
  • Alex Hernandez-Zavala, Aggie Host
  • Myra Abshire, civilian staff

Other awards

The department accorded dual honors to De Doan, who works in Budget and Institutional Analysis: Community Member of the Year and STAR Award.

Other STAR Awards were presented to Brenda Dawson, Anjie Cook, Jennifer Eting and Duke McAdow of the Finance, Operations and Administration communications office.

Officers, sergeants, retirees

Chief Farrow presided in the formal swearing-in of Locke and six other new officers: Jessie Alli, Andy Cheng, Joseph Connors, Matthew Lester, Marcus Scott and Jorge Oropeza. The chief also swore in two sergeants: Randy Fenn and Vince Kwong.

The department recognized and thanked two retirees: Acting Lt. William Beerman, who retired in June 2020 after 10 years with the department; and dispatcher Sarah Coutee-Garcia, who retired in June 2021 after 25 years.


Cpl. Mikio McCulloch introduced the members of the Cadet Academy’s 10th graduating class. The academy, open to UC Davis juniors, seniors, graduate students and recent graduates, aims to develop a diverse pool of educated and well-trained candidates for careers in law enforcement. Since 2013, the Police Department has hired 10 academy graduates as officers.

The 2022 graduating cadets, listed with their majors:

  • Anahi Z. Aguilar, animal science
  • Martin Ayala, protective service officer at UC Davis Health
  • April Melendez, double major in communication and psychology
  • Victoria Odom, neurobiology, physiology, and behavior with a minor in sociology
  • Anmol Singh, computer science
  • Neeve Slee-Poulos, animal science
  • Moa Smith, double major in political science and American studies with an emphasis on criminal justice
  • Samuel Tran, communication
  • Mingyu Wang, double major in communication and statistics with a minor in technology management
  • Weipeng Wang, computer science
  • Jessica Wilbert, cognitive science with an emphasis on neuroscience

Andy Fell is a senior public information representative in News and Media Relations, Office of Strategic Communications.

Media Resources

Dateline Staff: Dave Jones, editor, 530-752-6556, dateline@ucdavis.edu; Cody Kitaura, News and Media Relations specialist, 530-752-1932, kitaura@ucdavis.edu.

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