Escondido Police Personnel Recognized at Community Award Ceremonies

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09/13/12

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE

CONTACT: Media Relations (760) 839-4444

On September 13, 2012, Sergeant Al Owens and Community Outreach Liaison Letty Garduno were recognized by the San Diego North Chamber of Commerce at the Business Salute to Police and Public Safety Awards Luncheon.  Sergeant Owens’ primary duty is supervising the department Training Unit.  However, he has become very active in our community.  Sgt. Owens coordinates the Police Athletic League Program, which includes soccer, martial arts, basketball, and safety awareness classes for students.  In addition to teaching and coaching these programs, he also raises funds to support the activities and handles the administrative duties.  He is recognized throughout Escondido and has been praised and honored by several community groups as well as named our officer of the year in 2009.

Letty Garduno is the department Community Outreach Liaison.  Her primary duty is to work with the immigrant community to gain their trust and support for our police department.   Letty has worked hard to overcome negative perceptions by speaking to community groups, churches, schools, and any another venue where she has the opportunity to inform the immigrant community about the police department and our policies.  She has organized a Spanish Community Awareness Academy, has had a weekly column in the El Latino newspaper, and recently organized a peace march in collaboration with the faith community.   Letty’s work has greatly helped us build bridges of trust and support throughout our city.

On September 6, 2012, Officer Mario Sainz was awarded the prestigious ASIS Award in a Law Enforcement Day Ceremony held at the Admiral Baker Club and Banquet Center in San Diego.  Officer Sainz is one of the coordinators of the Escondido Police Athletic League. Officer Sainz is the lead instructor for the “safety academies”.  He has been conducting safety academies and safety lectures to students in the Escondido School District for over two years.  In the two past years, PAL staff has taught safety classes to over 2,000 children between the ages of 6-18 in the City of Escondido. The safety classes teach children how to avoid dangerous situations. Additionally, children are taught techniques to escape and get help if they were cornered by a dangerous person.  Additional areas covered are: gang awareness, drug and alcohol avoidance, abduction avoidance drills, fire safety, instructions on calling 911 and anti-bullying.

Congratulations are in order for all of the above police department personnel for the job well done and their individual commitments to the community.