Lopey cited each of the recipients for doing an “incredible job during the year to provide a wide variety of services to county residents and they consistently, selflessly, and courageously enforcement the law and protect the citizens we serve.”

Several Siskiyou County peace officers and support people were honored last week for their exemplary performance in 2019.

The Peace Officer of the Year Dinner, hosted annually by the Yreka Elks Club, was scheduled for March 14 but was canceled due to the COVID-19 pandemic. Recipients were instead awarded at their respective departments to reduce the potential dangers of larger gatherings, said Siskiyou County Sheriff Jon Lopey.

Lopey cited each of the recipients for doing an “incredible job during the year to provide a wide variety of services to county residents and they consistently, selflessly, and courageously enforcement the law and protect the citizens we serve.”

Recipients of the 2019 SCSO Peace Officers of the Year and Support Persons of the Year were nominated by peers and superiors and carefully selected by a careful review of all nominations submitted to the department, according to a press release. Each recipient was awarded a custom plaque, a Sheriff’s Commendation, and a special award certificate from Congressman Doug LaMalfa and a joint California State Assembly-Senate Certificate from Senator Brian Dahle and Assemblywoman Megan Dahle.

Correctional Deputy of the Year - Corporal William Parkinson

Corporal Parkinson was cited for his outstanding job performance, his superb leadership as an officer-in-charge and his contributions as a Less Than Lethal Force instructor. He is a well-respected jail training officer. According to Jail Commander Captain Tim Bradford, “Corporal Parkinson works hard, mentors and trains younger correctional deputies, is an excellent jail training officer, and he is the epitome of a professional, dedicated, efficient and consummate professional correctional deputy and corporal. He always takes the initiative to ‘go above and beyond’ every day. He is a credit to the organization and sets a fine example for all to emulate.”

Jail Support Person of the Year - Lead Cook Michelle Ward

Ward was commended for her outstanding work supervising the jail kitchen and the development and completion of several hundred meals a day that are required for the jail. Ward is a mentor, trainer, and leader for inmate kitchen workers and other cooks that work in the Siskiyou County Jail. She ensures meals are prepared to meet the diverse nutritional needs of the inmates housed in the jail and she consistently sets an excellent example of the ideal support person co-worker.

According to Captain Bradford, “Ms. Ward always does an exceptional job, which impacts the health, wellbeing, and morale of inmates housed in the jail and coworkers as well. She is always cheerful, innovative, and her methods to meet strict nutritional guidelines imposed by the state and in some cases federal mandates are extraordinary and we are fortunate to have a co-worker of her quality working with us in the jail.”

Reserve Deputy of the Year - Jim Jacobsen

Reserve Deputy Jacobsen is assigned as a SCSO chaplain but for about two years he has been assigned as the primary Drug Awareness Resistance Education (DARE) deputy for the SCSO.

During 2019 and a portion of 2018, Jacobsen conducted highly acclaimed DARE presentations in 16 Siskiyou County schools. During this brief period, Jacobsen taught DARE curriculum to 1,213 students. He teaches drug, alcohol, and tobacco awareness, “stranger danger,” what to do if a firearm is encountered in the home, how to resist drug or substance use through role playing, and a strong anti bullying lesson is taught. His efforts helped lead to a prestigious award being presented by DARE International during June 2019 – the DARE International Law Enforcement Administrator of the Year Award was conferred on SCSO and Sheriff Lopey.

According to Captain Karl Houtman, “Reserve Deputy Jacobsen is an outstanding deputy and coworker. He is helping to influence the future lives and behavior of one of greatest assets, our children and all of the reviews he has received indicate he is receiving overwhelming support from the kids he instructs, teachers, school administrators, parents, family members, and associates. He is well deserving of this special award.”

SCSO Chief Chaplain Keith Bradley added, “Reserve Deputy Jacobsen is a fine peace officer and a well respected, hard working, and dedicated departmental chaplain. He is a great chaplain, reserve deputy, and coworker and it is a pleasure working with him. He does a lot for us and our great citizens.”

SCSO Support Person of the Year - Communications Dispatcher Josh Carpenter

A 16-year veteran of the SCSO’s 24-hour Dispatch Center, Carpenter is known for his leadership, mentorship of younger dispatchers, and overall professionalism as a public safety dispatcher. He is often willing to adjust his shifts to meet changing emergency or regular assignment staffing and he is known for the calm, cool, efficient, and professional manner with which he handles his duties as a communications dispatcher. During 2019, Carpenter helped to rapidly and proficiently handle 56,167 business calls, 11,167 emergency 911 calls, and 17,034 total calls for service.

According to his immediate supervisor, Dispatch Manager Rick Andresen, “The deputies have a great deal of confidence and respect for Josh and they know if he is working, they will be kept safe and they will receive the information they need to complete their assignments. Officer and public safety are Josh’s primary concerns and he takes his position very seriously.”

Chaplain’s Award - Maxine Lopey

The SCSO Chaplains awarded a special tribute to Maxine Lopey for her many volunteer contributions to the department and its members during 2019 and in previous years.

Ms. Lopey coordinated “Code 5,” an emotional and spiritual support group for the wives of departmental employees, she facilitated the provision of gifts for babies born to SCSO employees and families; she coordinated annual Christmas parties for all employees and family members, and she played an integral role in other special SCSO events such as an annual California State Sheriffs’ Association barbecue, and presided over charitable contributions for many employees in need, and she helped provide a monetary award to help graduating high school seniors of SCSO employees.

Ms. Lopey received a plaque and award certificates from both Dahles and Congressman Doug LaMalfa.

According to Senior SCSO Chaplain Bradley, “Ms. Lopey has done a lot to enrich the lives of SCSO employees, their children, and our communities. She has been a great support mechanism for this department during 2019 and for many years before that. She is definitely worthy of special recognition from the Chaplaincy Corps of the Department.”

Deputy of the Year - Richard Ortiz

Deputy Richard “Rich” Ortiz was cited for his exemplary work ethic, his superior investigative skills, his excellent report writing, court testimony prowess, and he was commended for his superior interpersonal skills and compassion for crime victims. During 2019, Ortiz solved several major felony cases, including a case involved a repeat offender that burglarized the Cornerstone Bakery in Dunsmuir. The burglar, Mr. Lamont Brown, burglarized the establishment during early morning hours and absconded with a large amount of cash currency. Ortiz’s investigation resulted in an arrest of Brown and subsequently, the main suspect was convicted for that offense and other similar crimes, resulting in a long prison term for his most recent crime spree.

According to Sheriff Lopey, “Deputy Ortiz was inspired to enter the law enforcement profession by his grandfather, a local, legendary, now retired career California Highway Patrol Officer Robert Tessmer. He served for two years with the Alturas Police Department before joining SCSO in August 2014. Deputy Ortiz is a Siskiyou County native and his performance has consistently been marked with acclaim by his supervisors and managers. He always does an outstanding job, helps to train and mentor younger deputies, serves as an officer-in-charge, and he is well-respected by citizens, coworkers, and by allied agency counterparts. Deputy Ortiz was recently promoted to the rank of Detective and he has already started his new assignments as a detective and member of the SCSO’s Siskiyou Interagency Marijuana Investigation Team (SIMIT). We are fortunate to have law enforcement professionals of Deputy Ortiz’s caliber serving as a member of the Department.”