“The California Statewide Law Enforcement Association is extremely proud of its members who received this award and grateful for the well-deserved recognition. Our members come to the rescue of citizens in need daily, and when necessary, risk their own safety to assist, protect, and save lives. Thank you to the recipients of the 2021 Governor’s State Employee Medal of Valor Awards for your acts of heroism.” – CSLEA President Alan Barcelona
SACRAMENTO- Twelve California Statewide Law Enforcement Association (CSLEA) members at California State Parks were honored on December 16, 2021 with the Governor’s State Employee Medal of Valor Awards for acts of heroism. The Medal of Valor Award is the highest honor the state can bestow upon its employees, given on behalf of Governor Gavin Newsom.
“While many of the public servants honored this year may say that they were simply doing their job, their heroic and selfless acts that they perform every day while putting their own lives at risk are to be admired and recognized,” said California State Parks Director Armando Quintero. “Thank you for your heroic strength to face danger.”
Actions taken by this year’s State Parks peace officers include saving countless lives and property during the devastating 2018 Camp Fire in Paradise; the 2018 Carr Fire near Whiskey Town Lake and Shasta State Historic Park; saving kayakers in dangerous ocean conditions off Fort Bragg; responding to an active shooting and manhunt at Oceano Dunes State Vehicular Recreation Area; and rescuing a shark attack victim while off-duty in San Diego County.
Congratulations and THANK YOU to:
Christopher Beehner, SPPO (Ranger) – Gold
Eldon McBride, SPPO (Ranger) – Gold
Kirk Coon, SPPO Supervisor (Ranger) – Gold
Mark Hofer, SPPO (Ranger) – Gold and Silver
Matthew Stalter, SPPO Supervisor (Ranger) – Gold
Michael Van Pelt, SPPO (Ranger) – Silver
Travis Gee, SPPO State Park Superintendent II – Gold
Sabrina Buis SPPO (Ranger) – Gold
Andrew Helble, SPPO (Lifeguard) – Silver
Brett Weber, SPPO (Ranger) – Silver
Zackery Chambers, SPPO (Ranger) – Gold
Chris Hendricks,SPPO Supervisor (Ranger)/K-9 Handler – Silver
The Medal of Valor Award is sponsored by the California Department of Human Resources. Award nominations are made by the employees’ department, reviewed by the statewide Merit Award Board, and selected by the Director of CalHR. Since the program began in 1959, 700 state employees have received Medals of Valor.
The award comes in two distinctions: the Special Service Award (Silver) for an act of heroism by a state employee extending above and beyond the normal call of duty or service performed at personal risk to his or her safety to save human life or state property and the Special Act Award (Gold) for an extraordinary act of heroism by a state employee extending far above and beyond the normal call of duty or service, performed at great risk to his or her own life in an effort to save human life.
Due to the ongoing pandemic, the Medal of Valor Awards were presented virtually to the recipients. CalHR Department Director Eraina Ortega introduced the agency secretaries who honored recipients by telling their brave acts of heroism. Medals were presented to 46 individuals across eight state departments on behalf of Governor Newsom.
To view the award ceremony, you can visit CalHR’s YouTube page. For more information about the award, visit the Medal of Valor website. Details of each recipient’s award will be posted to the website after the ceremony.