Burbank Police Foundation Honors Police and Citizen Achievements During 4th Annual Luncheon

Photo by © Ross A Benson

On Thursday Burbank leadership, residents, business people, and friends gathered at the Pickwick Gardens to celebrate the dedication and accomplishments of Burbank Police Department and our citizens at the 4th Annual Burbank Police Awards Luncheon.  The event, well-attended by both law enforcement and the community, is hosted by the Burbank Police Foundation. 

Burbank Police Honor Guard. (Photo by © Ross A Benson)

Burbank Police Chief Scott LaChasse emphasized that “all officers are exceptional and get the job done,” there are some notable achievements by both on and off-duty police officers, as well as community members which deserved special recognition at the event.

The luncheon kicked off with an honor guard and exceptional a cappella rendition of the National Anthem by John Burroughs High School student Grace Sessinghaus.  Rabbi Mark Sobel read an invocation, and Chief LaChasse introduced the Police Command Staff.  Chief LaChasse also provided additional motivation for thought, quoting from Sir Robert Peel’s “Principles of Law Enforcement (1829):”

“The basic mission for which police exist is to prevent crime and disorder as an alternative to the repression of crime and disorder by military force and severity of legal punishment.”

Chief LaChasse further set the stage for the awards presentation by noting that citizen involvement with the Law Enforcement community is reinforced by groups such as the Community (Police) Academy, engaging individuals to familiarize themselves with a variety of topics related to policing, ethics, rule of law, and open up opportunities for volunteers to assist the police in the police station.

Elaine Stevens is awarded her award by the Command Staff of the Burbank Police Dept. ( Photo by © Ross A Benson)

The ceremony was briefly disrupted news of Burbank Mayor Will Rogers’ passing. Following a moment of silence, the luncheon continued with soft side conversations celebrating his life and remembering the fun, light-hearted memories showing the love all Burbankers felt for our mayor and friend.

The Awards Ceremony

The awards were given in 6 separate categories, including:

·        Lifesaving Medal

·        Professional Esteem Award

·        Citizen Award

·        Volunteer of the Year Award

·        Non-Sworn Employee of the Year Award

·        Officer of the Year

In addition, recognition was given to Burbank Police Department Volunteers who gave freely to the police and community.

While all awards were given based on very compelling and inspiring acts of valor and commitment to the safety of our citizens, several stood out.

Officer Josh Kendrick and Sgt Cindy Guillen receiving the Life Saving award. (Photo by © Ross A Benson)

Life-Saving Medal

On 5 January 2017, Sgt. Cindy Guillen and Detective Joshua Kendrick responded to a call that a distressed individual was threatening to jump from an overpass on Interstate 5 at Olive Ave. in Burbank. Sgt. Guillen and Det. Kendrick coordinated a quick response with both Burbank Police, the California Highway Patrol, and other agencies to secure the freeway and halt traffic, while keeping contact with the individual. The gentleman finally chose life, encouraged by the humanity and negotiation skills provided by the officers.  A human life saved.

Citizen Award

In Jan 2018 Miguel Vasconcellos noticed a suspicious car in his driveway.  Vasconcellos called the police, who responded and captured a criminal responsible for several robberies in the area.  Citizen awareness and engagement resulted in taking a criminal off the streets and making our Burbank community a safer and better place to live.

Volunteer of the Year

Elaine Stevens is a 2013 graduate of the Community Academy.  Since joining the ranks of Burbank Police Volunteers, she has served in several positions, most notably in 2017 when she took on the task of enhancing department reports, adding sophisticated analytics, performance measurements and management to improve decision making at all levels of the department.  To accomplish this enormous achievement, Ms. Stevens logged more than 1200 volunteer hours during the year.

Non-Sworn Employee of the Year

Forensic Specialist Carly Lott joined the Burbank Police in 2002 as a Police Technician. Since then Ms. Lott has continued her education, developing exceptional skills in forensic sciences, with a concentration on finger printing and biometrics.  Her dedication to master the field of finger printing and biometrics has landed her the esteem of her peers as a critical member of the department’s forensic team, and the Non-Sworn Employee of the Year.

Officer of the Year

Officer Dan Turpin joined the department in 1993, distinguishing himself in a variety of roles within the department.  However, he has made his name as a leader and teacher in the Motor unit of the department. Officer Turpin “leads by example,” introducing innovative and challenging ways to improve skills within the motor units operated by the Burbank Police Traffic Bureau.  The result is a safer community, better officer safety, and better agility in enforcing laws.  Officer Turpin will retire in 8 months after a distinguished career with the Police Department and an esteemed member of our community.

The Burbank Police Foundation, sponsor and host of the Awards Luncheon, has the mission to “cultivate a solid partnership between the Burbank Police Department and the residents, businesses, and institutions it serves in order to enrich the community of Burbank and to enhance police services.”

The following lists all awards presented during the event:

Lifesaving Medal

Sergeant Cindy Guillen

Detective Joshua Kendrick

Officer Ashley Burt

Officer Harry Markey

Detective John Voorhis

Professional Esteem Award

Senior Rangemaster Dewayne Wolfer

Range Volunteer Ted Schonlaw


Citizen Award


Jeffrey Takovich

Claudia Gonzalez de Gomez

Jose Luis Martinez

Paul Akard

Robert Nigro

Eric Montoya

Miguel Vasconcellos


Volunteer of the Year Award


Elaine Stevens


Non-Sworn Employee of the Year


Forensic Specialist Carly Lott


Officer of the Year


Officer Dan Turpin


Burbank Police Department Volunteers


Gold (500+ hours of community volunteer service)


Elaine Stevens

Ted Schonlaw


Silver (250-499 hours of community volunteer service)


John Kemmerer

Kaye Norris

Soon Hee Rettig


Bronze (100-249 hours of community volunteer service)


Anne White

Bill Harrold

Connie Lawless

Erin Rettig

Judy Andrews

June Box

Jackie Light

Linda Troncone

Lynn Turner

Patricia Harrold

Sunny Singer

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