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Rotary commends those who protect and serve
Bill Cobb could not attend the 2005 ceremony the first time he was selected as the CHP Officer of the Year by the Colusa Rotary Club.
He just did sneak it in the second time.
Cobb, who is retiring in 30 days after 28 years with the CHP, was one of five members of Colusa County's law enforcement agencies honored at a luncheon at the Colusa Golf & Country Club on Tuesday.
"During the past 19 years of service within Colusa County, Bill has had experience as a field training officer, advanced accident investigator and completed a tour of duty with the Campaign Against Marijuana Planting task force," states the nomination paper submitted by Lt. James Epperson, commander of the CHP office in Williams.
"During his service within Colusa County, Officer Cobb has served as both the officer association representative and squad club president for 14 years. His peers and supervisors admire his leadership and routinely rely on his exper ence for assistance and guidance."
Cobb was born in Colusa County and is a Pierce High graduate.
The other honorees are Colusa police Officer Sara Martin; Williams Police Officer Ivan Maldonado; Colusa County Sheriff's Deputy David Salm; and Colusa County Probation Officer Paul Spencer.
Each was introduced and short biographies with their accomplishments read by Rotarian Gary Teragawa, the former CHP commander in Williams.
"Less than 1 percent of the population qualifies to be a peace officer," said Teragawa, who emceed the event for the Rotary Club. "That does say something about your status and where you are today."
They also received proclamations from the Assembly, which were presented by Senator-elect Jim Nielsen, Assemblywoman Mariko Yamada, and Steve Thompson, who was representing Assemblyman Dan Logue. Yamada, D-Davis, and Logue, R-Loma Rica, were elected to newly drawn districts that include all or parts of Colusa County.
"To all of those who dedicate their lives to public safety, there is not enough to say about you," Nielsen said.
He said the risks for law enforcement officers are higher than ever before.
"I too want to applaud each of you who chose that pathway to public safety," said Yamada, adding that too often the work is taken for granted, yet each is expected to respond to every emergency.
• Sara Martin was nominated by Colusa police Chief Ross Stark, who noted among her accomplishment her investigative work that helped lead to the arrest of two suspects in the killing of 14-year-old Miguel Muniz.
"Besides her regular patrol duties, Sara is a field training officer. ... She is also the department's major crime scene investigator. She is the president of the Colusa Police Officers Association."
Martin also is credited for streamlining the department's evidence system, and serves on the countywide Child Abuse Interview Team, which recently investigated and convicted a serial child molester.
The Fresno native also is working on her master's degree in public administration.
• Ivan Maldonado was nominated Williams police Chief Jim Saso, who noted a variety of rolls he has had, including the department's first school resource officer.
"Officer Maldonado demonstrates professionalism and dedication to our profession. While his current assignment is as a school resource officer, Ivan has deterred and investigated juvenile crime in the schools as well as in the community," Saso wrote in his nomination paper.
"His ability to develop rapport with the students and parents, as well as working relationships with school staff, has been instrumental in making the school resource officer program successful."
Saso also noted that Maldonado, who grew up in Arbuckle and is a Pierce High graduate, has started a Police Explorers Post for students interested in a law enforcement career.
• David Salm started as a reserve deputy, became a correctional officer, a corporal in the corrections division, a bailiff, a patrol deputy and has recently taken on duties in the investigations unit.
"Deputy Salm has been the recipient of a Distinguished Service Medal and has one of the highest arrest rates when he is assigned as a patrol deputy," the nomination written by Sgt. Neil Cotter of the Correctional Services Division.
"Deputy Salm has shown exceptional investigative skills by thinking outside the box. I find Deputy Salm to be an outstanding and proficient resource when it comes to the knowledge of even the most recent case laws," the letter states.
"Deputy Salm's integrity and continual focus on quality service to the community are unmistakable assets to the Colusa County Sheriff's Office and citizens of the county."
• Paul Spencer is a seven-year veteran of the Probation Department and crosses a variety of law enforcement, educational and community lines in his juvenile case load.
"Officer Spencer has consistently worked diligently with minors and their families in determining the needs and risks of the minors as well as the appropriate services to assist them," states the nomination letter by Interim Chief Probation Officer Bill Fenton.
"His ability to coordinate appropriate services and communicate with other agencies such as Colusa County Behavioral Health, Colusa Police Department, Williams Police Department, Colusa County Sheriff's Department and Colusa County Office of Education has assisted minors by providing clear and open line of communication between all service providing agencies."