First responders are heroes, and last week at the Burbank Masonic Temple, they were recognized for their difficult and challenging work.
During the two-hour event, the Burbank Police Officer of the Year and Firefighter of the Year were announced, and they are Detective John Voorhis and Captain Scott Trowbridge.
Burbank police chief Michael Albanese was present and spoke about what recognition means to the entire police department.
“It is a big deal, and that’s one of the great things about working in Burbank is that the community supports the first responders,” he said. “Last night, we had a foundation that provided meals for all of our officers. It’s not a one of, it happens all the time and for our folks to know they have a community that supports them is so important to them that the gratitude that our folks have to serve the community cannot be overstated.”
Albanese said having the community behind him and his men and women is essential, and the reason is when there is mutual cooperation between both parties, it makes it much easier to do the difficult job at a high level that the police department is asked to perform.
“It’s important to get the support of the people. It makes our folks work harder,” he said. “We’re a full-service police department. We’re a full-service city.”
Standing in for Voorhis, who wasn’t able to attend the dinner, was Captain Travis Irving.
“He’s been with the police department since 2006, and he’s been a detective since 2014, and he works in my chain of command,” he said. “He is the go-to guy when it comes to everything electronics, so he’s an expert at getting data collection from any sort of electronic device, and it makes him very important to the other detectives in the bureau that rely on him for that expertise.”
Irving added: “He’s been assigned to the Los Angeles Regional Internet Crimes Against Children Task Force for several years,” he noted. “We use him as our intelligence detective, so he helps us keep up to date with what’s going on in the community.”
Irving spoke about Voorhis, the man outside of his work.
“He’s a family man. A man of faith. He’s just a genuinely really good guy. He loves his job,” he said. “He was born and raised in Burbank. He’s a Burbank High School graduate, and he loves his community, and he loves working in this community. He’s really a cop’s cop and really a great guy. So, we couldn’t think of a better person to put in that Officer of the Year position.”
Trowbridge’s father worked three decades for the Burbank Fire Department and retired as a Battalion Chief, something that many in the audience believe his son Scott will also do.
“I definitely feel honored to be here and to be a part of something bigger than myself. I’m being recognized mainly tonight because I’m an academy instructor. I’m actually the drillmaster for the academies,” Trowbridge said. “I’ve done the last three academies and I’m continuing to do that. It’s a lot of time away from your family, and it’s long days, but what I get out of it, I get out more than I can ever hope, and I get to give back and pass what I know to future fighters.”
Trowbridge said that he enjoys going to work each and every day.
“I do what I do just because I love the job,” he pointed out. “My dad worked here for 30 years, and I’ve been here almost 15 and I love giving back and sharing that knowledge. I want to see this place grow and be successful.”
Trowbridge said that he knows he’s just one man and does the best he can.
“I’m grateful to have a caring staff that trusts me and allows me to do what I do. The fact of the matter is that I’m just one person in my department, and there are men and women in the Burbank department and fire stations all across the United States that do this day in and day out,” he said. “I consider myself, obviously, very lucky to be honored tonight, and I know that I’m a part of something bigger than myself.”
Kenet Robertson is a Battalion Chief and said it’s nice to be recognized by the Masons.
“It’s nice when any organization decides to recognize anybody that stands out in the community and provides service to the community,” he said. “It’s amazing. It’s nice to be able to know those inner communities that get recognized. We don’t get many chances to get out, and like those Masons, it’s nice to have that recognition.”
Having the support of the city and its citizens is vitally important and serving that community makes it worth it, according to Robertson.
“We love to be able to serve the community and provide that service and be prepared for any type of emergency that we might respond to, and it’s nice that we get the support of the community, and they recognize the value we have in them as well,” he said.