HANFORD — The Hanford Chamber of Commerce will be honoring a group of 15 men and women who have served the city of Hanford at the 21st Annual Public Safety Appreciation Luncheon Sept. 22.
Those to be honored and reasons given for their selection:
Hanford Police Department Officer Chad Medeiros, who has worked for the department since October 2016. Medeiros exhibits selflessness and dedication and in June was nominated for a Meritorious Service Award. Medeiros is a graduate of the College of the Sequoias and worked previously for Avenal Police Department. He has been married to his wife, Jessica, for four years.
Firefighter Dustin Costa, who has been the Hanford Fire Department since May 2005. Costa is active in fund-raising for multiple charities supported by HFD. He has raised in excess of $50,000 for charities including “Chili’s St. Jude” fundraiser; “Fill the Boot” for MDA, and “Guns and Hoses” basketball tournament. Costa is married, a father of two sons and enjoys coaching Little League.
Ben Barnett of American Ambulance has been Paramedic for over 18 years. Prior to his career at American Ambulance, Barnett worked for Life Star Ambulance, and as a paramedic for Fresno County. Ben enjoys golfing on his days off and spending time with his wife, Nicole, and his four daughters, Gwyneth, Hannah, Jesslyn and Presleigh.
California Highway Patrol Officer John Tyler started his career in 2006 and focused his efforts on drunken driver apprehension. He has become known as a drug recognition expert. Since transferring to Hanford, Tyler took on the demanding role of the Public Information Officer. He is responsible for social media and community outreach. John has been married 10 years to his wife, Allison, and has three children, Aubrey, Jensen and Brooklyn.
Lemoore Police Department Cpl. Matthew Smith served in the U.S. Marine Corp prior to joining the department. He has received numerous awards with the department including employee of the quarter twice, officer of the year and employee of the month. Smith is well-respected by his peers. Matthew is married to his wife, Christa, and they have a son, Maddox.
Investigator Chris Jackson works in the District Attorney's Office. He started his career in law enforcement in 1994 working for Shafter Police Department. In March 2012, Chris was hired by the Kings County Sheriff’s Office and quickly transferred to the DA’s office as an investigator. In addition to Jackson’s successful contributions to multiple divisions within the DA's Office, he is also a member of the Kings County Sheriffs S.W.A.T. team. Jackson is married to his wife, Brionne, and they have a daughter, Madeline, and are anxiously awaiting the birth of their son, Wyatt.
Maria Gonzalez, of the Kings County Probation Department, began work in June 2012 as a juvenile corrections officer. Within 10 months, she was promoted to deputy probation officer. Maria’s hard work, positive attitude and dedication to the department are evident with her co-worker and supervisors. Gonzalez enjoys swimming, shopping and watching movies in her free time.
Social Service Practitioner Juanita Marquez began her career with the Kings County Child Protective Services in May 2016. Marquez has dedicated most of her adult life to helping people of all ages. Marquez has worked with the elderly, at-risk youth and children and supporting programs to help families who are struggling and dealing with homelessness. Currently, Marquez is assigned to Permanency Planning unit. In Marquez’s free time, she enjoys reading, drawing, painting and traveling.
Kings County Sheriff’s Office Senior Deputy Taylor Lopes began his career in law enforcement for Kings County in 2004. Lopes is accredited with being involved with some of the most complex investigations conducted in the county. Deputy Lopes is well respected by his co-workers. Lopes especially enjoys working with the youth in the community, working out and spending time with his two daughters, Graysen and Payten.
Corcoran Police Department Sgt. Pedro Castro Jr. has worked for the department for 22 years. He was promoted to corporal in 1999 and sergeant in 2002. Castro has been adviser for the Corcoran Police Explorer Program for the past two and a half years. He enjoys interacting with youths and hopes to make a positive impact on young men and women who want to pursue a career in law enforcement. Sergeant Castro is married with two children and enjoys spending time together taking family trips to the coast.
Avenal Police Department Senior Officer Leopoldo “Leo” Segura began working for the department in May 2013 and has been active in multiple gang-related investigations. In February, he was promoted to senior officer. Segura is well-respected by his co-workers. Leo is married to Bertha and they have three daughters.
Kings County Fire Department Capt. Jeremy Fahlsing began his career as a volunteer firefighter at the age of 18. In 2001, Fahlsing was hired by KFCD. His no-nonsense approach and attention to detail has served him well as he moved up the ranks within the department, and he was promoted to captain in 2007. Fahlsing enjoys the support of his wife, Tracy, and his son, Matthew.
Senior Detentions Deputy Daniel Ulrey began his career with the Kings County Sheriff Detention Department 17 years ago. Ulrey has participated in many areas including KC Sheriff’s Office Emergency Response Team, background investigations, case records, classifications, Board of State and Community Correction Inspections to name a few. His hard work represents a significant contribution to the department. Ulrey is married to his wife, Angelita, and they have two children together, Keira and Jacob.
State of California Parole Unit Agent I Susan Rodriguez started her career in law enforcement in 2001 as a correctional officer at Soledad State Prison. In 2006, Rodriguez achieved her Bachelor of Science Degree in Criminology from California State University, Fresno. She accepted a position as Parole Agent I assigned to Hanford Complex in 2005. Rodriguez is known to go above and beyond, easily adapting to any environment. In her free time, she enjoys photography, movies and spending time with her parents.
Kings County Human Services Welfare Fraud Investigator Jennifer Rodriguez began her career with the agency in 2006. In 2007, Rodriguez was a police officer for College of the Sequoias. In 2014, she returned to KCHSA and has completed 399 investigations. A total of 26 cases have been submitted to the District Attorney Office representing $147,412 in fraud. Rodriguez has been married to her husband, David, for eight years, and they have two children, Justin and Myles.