OPD Annual Awards - The Finale
Distinguished Service Award:
The Distinguished Service Award may be awarded to members of the Department who exhibit unusual and/or consistent thoroughness, conscientiousness, determination and initiative in the performance of their duty over a period of time; or who, by their action, brings honor and distinction to the Olympia Police Department.
Officers Seig and Curtright:
Officers Kim Seig and Doug Curtright provided service in 2016 that revolutionized our School Resource Officer program. Under the leadership of Sgt. Bryan Wyllie, these officers were given heavy expectations for school engagement, education and safety. Both officers meet these innovative expectations without fail. Each of them represents OPD positively in the school communities.
Both Officers Seig and Curtright teach cyberbullying, internet, and sexting safety classes (Safe & Smart Social Media) to middle and high school students, and also their parents. These classes are a successful outreach tool and reduce victimization of students.
They are tasked with law enforcement activities in schools and, maybe more importantly, building connectivity in the schools. They participate at school assemblies, sporting events, in videos and other fun activities aimed at making our schools positive places for youth to learn and grow. Each arranges, supervises, and critiques lock-down drills at their schools, making actual lock-downs easier when they must occur. Both Officers Seig and Curtright carry out their duties with dedication, creativity, and thoughtfulness.
Lieutenant Dan Smith:
Since becoming a Lieutenant, Lt. Smith has continued his passion and drive to develop the police department. He maintains close contact with Patrol and the community, caring about the interactions of one with the other. Lt. Smith took a personal interest in bridging this gap, inviting Officers to attend Drug Court graduations, community events and meetings, and getting to know other leadership in our city. He cares about mentorship and has a drive to equip every officer, from newest to the seasoned veteran, to succeed and be a positive part of our community.
Purple Heart Medal:
The Purple Heart Medal may be awarded to members of the Department who receive a serious or life threatening injury in the performance of his/her duties.
On December 27, 2016, during a night-time traffic stop, the driver of the vehicle fled on foot, running towards the back of a shopping center. Sergeant Duncan and Officer Noel were on foot behind the shopping center searching for the suspect, who they found hiding in a dumpster. The suspect attempted to jump out of the dumpster and run, but was caught by Sergeant Duncan. The suspect struggled to get away. While wrestling with him, Sergeant Duncan slipped, falling to the ground and seriously injuring his leg. He was transported to the hospital where he required extensive reconstructive surgery. Fortunately, Sgt. Duncan is on the mend, but will require significant additional treatment before he is fully healed.
Officer of the Year:
Officer of the Year is awarded to an OPD officer who has performed outstanding work and service for the year. The award is voted on by all the staff of OPD.
Humble, curious, thoughtful, kind, leadership and tenacious are just some of the characteristics Officer Theis brings to the patrol division.
He actively works to build public trust, whether he is responding to calls or reaching out to the public. One call, in particular, demonstrates his impact as an officer on the streets: while attending to a victim at a crime scene who was badly injured, the victim credited Officer Theis’ for helping him remain calm and “get through it.” Officer Theis’ actions and demeanor made the victim realize he was going to survive and things would get better. Officer Theis also enthusiastically volunteers to attend community events and leaves a positive impression of OPD wherever he goes.
He is an officer who stays curious and busy, learning more about his patrol district, helping others in theirs and focusing, when appropriate, on specific areas and problems. Always at the heart of investigating a crime trend in the community, he puts himself in the right spot at the right time and makes a difference. Whether helping the community, representing OPD, or solving crime, Officer Theis exemplifies the values of the Olympia Police Department.
OPD Annual Awards - Continued
The Commendation Award may be presented to any member or group of employees from the Olympia Police Department for outstanding work.
Examples include; a significant case, assignment and/or project, or other activity related to the Olympia Police department. Twelve Commendation awards were given during the ceremony. Below are a few highlights.
Detective Schumacher and Detective Winner:
In October 2016, Detectives Schumacher and Winner investigated a case involving two elderly victims who had endured years of physical, sexual, emotional and financial exploitation at the hands of two much younger suspects. Both detectives showed extreme dedication and caring in meeting both the victims' needs and solving the investigative challenges of the case.
While Detectives Schumacher and Winner developed the evidence necessary to arrest the suspects, they provided daily support and guidance for both victims as they literally rebuilt their lives. They assisted the victims in finding new homes, establishing new bank accounts, and – most importantly – reconnecting with their families. Detective Schumacher helped the female victim move into her new apartment and personally took her to numerous appointments, providing emotional support. Detective Winner found financial donations and made the travel arrangements for the male victim to reunite with his family for Christmas.
As a result of the Detectives’ efforts, both victims have retaken control of their lives and are on the road to recovery. Likewise, both suspects were charged with multiple counts of rape, assault and other crimes and remain in custody where they can no longer victimize a truly vulnerable segment of our community.
Officer Glenn plays a key role in community outreach for the Department. She demonstrates a commitment to building relationships on a daily basis as a Patrol Officer. Officer Glenn also goes beyond her daily duties and has participated in a variety of outreach efforts. In 2016, Officer Glenn partnered with Javier Sola Del Vigo to present two workshops at the LatinX Youth Summit, an event that drew 300-500 Latino young adults and their families to learn about educational and career opportunities. Officer Glenn and Javier spoke to the attendees about their inspiration to become Police Officers and they were simply a “hit” with the crowd and attendees.
Officer Glenn is one of Communications’ go-to Officers for reaching out to the community in new ways. It’s not easy to put one’s self in the public eye or to stretch the stereotype of the stoic Police Officer. Officer Glenn has done so with enthusiasm and class. The result is a closer relationship with our community as they come to understand that the members of OPD are regular people who even have a sense of humor.
Corrections Officer Goulbourne:
Officer Goulbourne supports the Department Mission by regularly modeling respect, compassion and fairness. Officer Goulbourne gains people’s trust, making their experience coming to jail not so uncomfortable and scary. His strong communication skills allow him to de-escalate potentially tense situations in the jail and to effectively calm inmates with mental health issues.
Officer Goulbourne facilitates open communication amongst his co-workers, helping build teamwork. He frequently volunteers to cover even last minute shift openings so his co-workers can have time off. Officer Goulbourne’s professional demeanor and work ethic is a reflection of his dedication to the Department and the community.
Officer Marcuson, Officer S. O’Brien, Officer Noel and Officer L. O’Brien:
On November, 11, 2016, Officers Josh Marcuson, Sean O’Brien, Luke O’Brien and Wally Noel responded to a report of a Burglary at the Comcast business office. An off-site security employee, who was watching surveillance footage, observed two men entering the fenced property. Officers coordinated their response to establish a silent perimeter around the business before making contact. Both suspects fled when verbally challenged, with at least one jumping over the barbed-wire fence and fleeing into the wooded area. After a three hour search, both men were found and arrested.
After the suspects were taken into custody, officers quickly determined the suspects were both from out of state and possibly connected to a larger Burglary ring. Detectives ultimately connected the suspects to multiple Burglaries that occurred in Washington and Oregon. One hundred and sixty-six stolen items were recovered, with an estimated value of $463,980, and were returned to the victimized businesses.
Records Specialist Johnson:
During the past few years, the Department has been in the process of making a cultural shift throughout the organization. We are finding new and meaningful ways to connect with our community as well as each other.
One employee in particular embodies this new model. In 2016, the Department committed to have all employees receive training related the cultural models of “Blue Courage” and “Fair and Impartial Policing”. Ms. Johnson saw this as an opportunity to get involved in the changes taking place to bring these philosophies to life. She was a valued member of the team that spent many hours learning, planning and training these philosophies. She provided leadership that was instrumental in making the “one team” concept a reality. And, she knocked it out of the park, coordinating an OPD diaper donation drive this year collecting over 18,000 diapers for families in need.
Officer Hinrichs, Officer Davis and Officer Anderson:
During the first week of February 2017, three separate robbery cases were reported involving multiple suspects who were reportedly armed with firearms and knives. The victims all reported being punched and kicked with the suspects demanding money and drugs. All of the victims were members of our vulnerable adult transient population. Most were intimidated and would not cooperate with police.
One victim was willing to speak up because Officer Hinrichs had developed a level of trust with him. Officer Hinrichs coordinated with Officers Davis and Anderson to investigate the breadth of the crime spree. They diligently pieced together multiple cases and pieces of evidence. Together, they were able to identify the suspects and arrest them for numerous felonies, including violent assaults. Officers Hinrichs, Davis, and Anderson demonstrated the Department’s commitment to care about every victim and to treat every member of our community with respect.
Employee of the Year:
Employee of the Year is awarded to an OPD staff member who has performed outstanding work and service for the year. The award is voted on by all the staff of OPD.
Employee of the Year, Secretary Ms. Ziesemer:
Ms. Ziesemer is so good at her job that you never see her sweat, no matter how busy she is. Her job as Secretary can be thankless and never-ending, but she takes it in stride and handles every task with skill and tact (and no drama). When presented with a problem, she seeks to find the simplest solution and is willing to help anyone. She quietly unravels complications, smoothing the way for others within the Department. She is the backbone of the entire patrol division from keeping up on the schedules so cops are on the streets, to making sure they have the equipment they need, to organizing just about everything our police department does.
Rebekah is also very involved in the Department’s community outreach efforts. She volunteers for every charitable events, she represents OPD on the City-wide Wellness Committee, has been instrumental in Cops for Kids events and has helped run the Youth Academy. Whether it’s running for Special Olympics or buying pizza for a dozen hungry kids, Rebekah is there.
Rebekah is the example of the one-team concept our Department embraces.
On behalf of all OPD…Thank you Ms. Ziesemer.
Employees Recognized at OPD Annual Awards
June 15, 2017
On June 15th, 2017, the Olympia Police Department held its annual awards ceremony to celebrate the work of our staff over the previous year. The awards include Officer of the Year, Employee of the Year, Chief’s Commendations, Bravery, and Life-Saving awards. Rather than simply name who got what award, we thought we’d tell you the stories and reasons behind the awards. In order to do this, we divided the awards into three segments. Below is our first segment for the Bravery and Life-aving awards. We’ll cover the other awards this week in our Stories from the Street.
The Bravery Medal may be awarded to members of the Olympia Police Department who perform an act resulting in the saving of a person’s life, protecting the community or affecting an arrest with great risk to personal safety.
On October 18, 2016, Officer Beckwell responded downtown to a small and tightly-packed apartment complex to reports of a despondent and suicidal person who was holding a flare gun to her head that was loaded with a .45 caliber round. Several neighbors were sheltered in place with no way out of the building.
Officer Beckwell negotiated with the individual for 2 hours, calming her down when she escalated and earning her trust. She eventually put the gun down and agreed to go to the hospital for counseling help. Officer Beckwell’s dedication, persistence, and verbal de-escalation skills kept a highly volatile and suicidal subject from harming herself or anyone in the adjacent area.
At 2:00 a.m. on April 3, 2016, Sgt. Black saw a fight downtown amongst a group of about 30 people. As he got out of his vehicle to make contact, a suspect drew a gun, pointing it in his direction. Recognizing the potential danger to by-standers if gun fire occurred, Sgt. Black kept his weapon at a low-ready position as he approached the scene. Then, several more events happened simultaneously: the suspect dropped the gun, others moved towards the gun, and by-standers were angrily yelling at Sgt. Black and each other.
Sgt. Black managed the entire scene successfully until back-up arrived. The suspect was taken into custody, the gun was secured, and the unruly crowd calmed down, all with no force used. Sgt. Black was himself in harm’s way, yet kept others safe using his presence and de-escalation tactics.
Officer Donald, Officer Glenn, Officer Reisher, and Officer Wilson:
On January 14, 2017, Officers Donald, Glenn, Reisher and Wilson were called to a burglary in progress at a private home on the west side of Olympia. As they searched the residence, the suspect, who was hiding in an attic, fired a handgun at the officers as Officer Reisher opened a door. Moments later, more shots rang out. The officers worked as a solid, tactical team to find cover within the house, warn others of the danger, coordinate the surrounding of neighboring houses for safety, and safely exit the home.
After a seven hour stand-off with SWAT, the suspect was located in the house and taken into custody without further incident. Further investigation revealed the suspect had 21 loaded guns, placed within easy reach as if he intended to use them. Detectives learned that 10 shots had been fired by the suspect that night while officers were in the house.
All of the officers performed extremely well in a very high-risk environment. Their excellent team-work, communication, and tactical skills brought the incident to a safe resolution.
Life Saving Award:
The Life Saving Medal may be awarded to members of the Department who perform an act directly resulting in the saving of human life.
Corrections Officer Badami and Officer Baker:
On February 26, 2017, Corrections Officers Badami and Baker were directly involved in actions taken to save the life of an inmate who attempted to commit suicide. As he was completing routine security checks inside the Jail, Officer Badami found an inmate who had attempted to hang himself with a bedsheet. Officer Badami called dispatch to send medical aid, while Officer Baker found the appropriate tool to cut the sheet. After freeing the inmate from the sheet, Officer Baker verified the inmate had a pulse and was breathing and placed the inmate in a rescue position to allow the inmate to breath. Officers Badami and Baker worked effectively together to use the tools and resources needed to save the inmate’s life.
Officer Schmidt, Officer Marcuson and Officer O’Brien:
On September 1, 2016, Officers were dispatched to a suicidal woman who drank a fifth of vodka, locked herself in the bathroom, and told her roommates she wanted to kill herself. When Officers arrived, the 20-year-old woman was locked in the bathroom, water was running, and there was no sound or communication. Officers tried to unlock the bathroom door using improvised tools, but called the Fire Department for assistance when they were unsuccessful. Not giving up and unwilling to wait, they used a knife to take the door knob off the door and gained entry to the bathroom. They found a female submerged in the bathtub with a knife nearby and a suicide note. She was pulled from the bathtub and revived after a few seconds. The woman could have drowned if the officers had waited for the Fire Department to arrive. The creative and quick thinking of the officers saved the woman. She was taken to the hospital to receive the help she needed.
Suspect in Armed Robbery Arrested
January 14, 2017
At about 4:30am today, Olympia Police Officers responded to a call about a man displaying a weapon downtown, while another person called to report an armed robbery that had just occurred. Both callers gave similar suspect descriptions. The victim of the robbery told Officers that he was at home in his apartment with a guest when an acquaintance of his guest knocked on the door. When the victim opened the door, the suspect pointed a small handgun at him and demanded his wallet. The resident quickly handed the man his wallet and the suspect left.
Police located a man matching the description of both callers in the 900 block of Jefferson Street SE. After stopping him for suspicion of robbery, they found he was armed with a handgun and was also in possession of a wallet that matched a description of the stolen wallet. Demario Heard, age 43 and from Olympia, was booked into the Thurston County Jail on charges of Robbery. The suspect has a history of multiple arrests on a variety of charges throughout Thurston County.
Burglar Arrested After Dangerous Encounter
January 14, 2017
On January 14th, at about 12:30 am, Officers were dispatched to a burglary in progress in the 800 block of 5th Ave SW, Olympia. On arrival at the scene Olympia officers met with the home owner who reported he had just arrived home to find signs of a burglary. The victim explained that no one should be in his home. He also noted that he had a collection of firearms inside. More officers were called to the scene, a search plan was developed, and several officers began to search the interior of the residence. While searching, officers heard a voice shout at them from the attic area telling them to leave. The voice was followed by what officers suspected were gunshots.
Officers withdrew from the interior of the home back outside to safety. Once outside, officers heard what might have been other gunshots from the interior of the house. Thurston County S.W.A.T. was deployed to the home to attempt to contact the suspect. S.W.A.T. officers surrounded the area to protect neighboring houses and began to try to communicate with the suspect. For several hours S.W.A.T. officers tried to negotiate a peaceful resolution with the suspect but he refused to cooperate. Eventually, less lethal tools were deployed into the house allowing S.W.A.T. to safely enter the residence. S.W.A.T. officers located one male suspect hiding in the attic and successfully took him into custody. No one sustained injury during this event.
Booked into Thurston County Jail for the crime of Burglary 1st was one adult male suspect tentatively identified as Zachary Freeman, transient, Olympia.
This case is still under investigation. More charges may be considered after the investigation is complete. Anyone with information about this crime, please contact the Olympia Police Department Detectives by contacting non-emergency dispatch: 360.704.2740.