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SLCO Sheriff's Office Combined Leadership Employees of the Month - February 2018

13-Mar-2018, Written by SO Media Unit

February 2018 Employees of the Month

Fiscal Division

  • We nominate Tara Chidester for Employee of the Month for February 2018. The Prisoner Funds supervisors received and email from the Programs Lieutenant commending Tara for her fantastic customer service. The Lieutenant needed some information regarding a haircut for a prisoner who had submitted several grievances. The information request was made during the evening shift. Rather than advising Lt. Barrett to contact the Prisoner Funds supervisor the next day, Tara researched the haircut documentation and provided Lt. Barrett with the information she needed. We would like Tara to know that we commend her for always displaying a knowledgeable and cooperative attitude. 

Judicial Protection Division 

  • We nominate Deputy Cynthia Sanchez. On February 18th, while working at the Matheson courthouse, Deputy Sanchez received a call from one of the staff elevators in the building.  Judge Mills stated the elevator was stuck and asked if someone could help get her out.  Deputy Sanchez jumped into action to make all the appropriate notifications to the DFCM on call staff since it was a weekend. She also notified the elevator company to come out to assist. After about an hour, the Judge started to panic and became claustrophobic, so Deputy Sanchez called SLC fire department to respond in addition to the other notifications she had already made. After a little over an hour, the Judge was able to get out of the elevator with assistance from all involved emergency staff. After the event it came to my attention that Deputy Sanchez had stayed on the phone with the Judge the entire time she was in the elevator.  The phone contact was instrumental in helping the Judge to stay calm while waiting for a response. The Judge was so grateful she sent Deputy Sanchez a very nice email, as well as brought her brownies to show her appreciation. It is actions like this, which happen frequently with Deputy Sanchez, that reflect positively on her and The Office of the Sheriff.  Deputy Sanchez should be recognized and applauded for her upstanding work and commitment to excellent customer service and dedicated commitment to this profession. Deputy Sanchez’s attention to detail and dedication to serve the citizens of Salt Lake County with pride, are to be commended and are worthy of being named the February Judicial Protection Employee of the Month.
  • We nominate Deputy Holly Ziegenhorn. She was nominated by Lt. Aaron Torres and selected as the February 2018 Facilities Protection Division Employee of the Month. When Deputy Holly Ziegenhorn received a report of a man trying to enter the building afterhours, she investigated and after reviewing video saw that the individual was forcibly trying to enter through locked doors. Instead of just documenting the incident, Holly went many steps further to investigate several additional access control issues with the Galleria Walkway area. As this entrance is shared with the 111 Main building, her first step was to attempt to coordinate with their security team.  Holly then compiled a detailed explanation of all the problems with the area including the physical problems with the exterior gate.  She also added proposed solutions to the problems. The work she did and documented made it easy to readdress these ongoing access control issues with both CFA administration as well as 111 Main administration.  Holly’s response to this problem was a great example of the best way to address building issues and showed great professionalism. 

Health Services Division 

  • We nominate Erica Clark. She started in November 2017 as an EMT in Health Services. From the first day Erica has taken her position very seriously and has been dedicated to learning policy and procedure in this role of medical care. Erica quickly and efficiently learned Health Services new EMR system and was a key player in implementing the system. She is an advocate for the pt. and has used her skills in the care thereof. Erica is not complacent in her role as she daily returns to the pharmacy and goes above and beyond her expected role by helping the Pharm Techs and ordering providers resolve medication issues as they arise. Erica’s peers enjoy her positive attitude and cheerfulness she exhibits on a daily basis. Erica’s competence has not only been noticed by Health Services but recognition e-mails sent from Corrections that highlight and recognize Erica’s work ethics, professionalism, attitude and efficiency.  She does a great job representing Health Services and we feel needs to be recommended for this honor.  

Security Division 

  • We nominate Deputy Jodie Saenz-Brandenburg. She consistently shows great work ethic and professionalism. She has conducted training not only for the A squad and helped everyone know how to work court transport better, but conducted a Division wide training on guard duty and hospital policies. We received a letter of commendation from Deputy Jason Lloyd, who works in the Transportation unit, about Saenz. He stated that she is always helpful and works hard. She is willing to help take care of business no matter what is happening. When it is so easy to put up your hands and say “not my job” her approach is, let’s figure out what needs to be done and take care of it. For this we are nominating Deputy Saenz-Brandenburg for February Employee of the Month.
  • We nominate Deputy Corey Christensen and Deputy Jonathan Odekirk. On February 9, 2018, Deputy Christensen and Deputy Odekirk responded to an ISP client’s home after receiving information that the client was in crisis and heavily consuming alcohol. In addition to the probation violation for consuming alcohol, there was also substantial knowledge that this client’s health was poor and high risk for further medical complications. Deputy Christensen called for an additional deputy to assist and although it was the end of his shift, Deputy Odekirk responded without hesitation. Once on scene, the deputies discovered the client was unresponsive. After further intervention the deputies were able to get the client to respond, but she refused medical attention, or to go to detox. Due to the level of intoxication and foreseen behaviors, the Deputies believed there was a possibility of a domestic violence incident. The Deputies decided to stay on scene to prevent additional problems from occurring. UPD was called to assist for fear that the client would act out violently towards her husband evoking the need for a domestic violence inventory. Upon UPD Officers arrival, the Deputies along with UPD entered the home for further investigation to prevent any violence from occurring. During questioning, the client made threatening statements and it was decided to arrest her for intoxication. The client was arrested and taken to ADC without incident. It is notable that this incident was resolved safely due to the actions of both Deputies. Deputy Christensen and Deputy Odekirk are worthy of this recognition for the commendable actions to assist a citizen in need and without hesitation. It is examples like this and many others that show demonstrable comradery and reliability.
  • We nominate Deputy Benjamin Hanson. For the last year, Deputy Hanson has taken on a transportation need. Sargent Waldron asked him to manage the safe inventory and inspections for the Transportation Team. Deputy Hanson does daily inventory on the contents of the safe and spark tests all the Tasers. He also brings all the Tasers to the range for inspection and maintenance. Deputy Hanson has been diligent in doing this assignment, which includes keeping accurate logs, and tracking the contents of the safe when it is checked out. His help has allowed Sargent Waldron to focus on other unit needs and still maintain the integrity of the team’s weapons. Deputy Hanson is deserving of recognition for the efforts described, and is being recommended for the Employee of the Month in February to show our appreciation for his willingness to help and for his quality of work. 
  • We nominate Deputy Kenneth Gard, Deputy Heather Walker and Deputy Robert Holt. Deputies Gard, Walker and Holt were instrumental in the saving of human life by rendering emergency aid to a prisoner in dire need. On February 2, 2018 an M/CIRT response was called to 8D for a prisoner who was “non-responsive.”  Deputies Gard, Walker and Holt arrived and went straight to cell 8D13 where Prisoner Gutierrez, Michael was lying unconscious on the lower bunk, looking pale.  Staff on scene said he’d suffered some kind of fit, or seizure. When they could not rouse him, Gard, Walker and Holt moved him to the floor for better access.  While doing so, Deputy Gard was attentive enough to notice Gutierrez was not breathing and was turning blue.  Deputy Gard announced this to the others and not getting a pulse, they immediately began CPR.  There was trouble with some unfamiliar new medical equipment, but still, they kept doing CPR until relieved by medical staff. By the time Jail medical staff arrived to take over, they found Gutierrez revived, some color had returned, and he now had a pulse.  Gutierrez was transported to, and treated at a local hospital, where he made a full recovery. Our deputies reacted quickly, with the utmost professionalism, and in accordance with their training.  Through teamwork and perseverance, they were able to prevent the loss of life.  We proudly nominate Deputies Gard, Walker and Holt as February’s Employees of the Month.      

Support Division 

  • We nominate Aaron Larsen and Leroy Martinez. During the period of February 18- 21, a prisoner was continually making weapons and causing damage to the jail to obtain more contraband. On several occasions Larsen and Martinez were called for assistance to gain access for searches, and preventative measures. Each time Martinez and Larsen responded in a timely manner, and were very willing to assist in any way they could. Martinez and Larsen were asked to remove then replace sink / toilet fixtures, check toilets and air vents from the pipe chase, remove floor drains, drop header covers and drop light fixtures in an effort to assist with a thorough search of the area.  They were asked to go through specific cells to ensure all screws and fixtures were tightened and secure. They handled general repairs in the cells to aid in the detection of tampering by the prisoner. They were sure to gather specific information to perform their duties to the best of their abilities, often times offering suggestions which resulted in additional work for them. 
    We thank both of them for their actions and efforts in detecting contraband and deterring further damage to the facility. Larsen and Martinez showed willingness and a teamwork attitude in unusual circumstances, which is greatly appreciated.
  • We nominate Jail Clerk Nicole Koch and Jail Clerk Chad Wyllie. They have been tasked with representing the Support Division on JSTIC.  Part of the assignment is to create a bi-weekly newsletter to let the staff know about prisoners and situations that could pose a danger to their safety. They were directed to be more involved than what had previously been expected. Both Koch and Wyllie have taken the assignment and ran with it, by committing their time and energy in the development of a newsletter for Jail Support. The first two issues of the newsletter were distributed on February 14 and February 28.  Clerk Wyllie did an excellent job of devising a readable layout for our staff and documenting important information.  Clerk Koch reviewed the copy and made valuable suggestions regarding additional details or other items to include. Both of them have been invaluable asset for the Jail Support Division and to the STIO’s and they should each be commended for their commitment.   

Housing Division 

  •  We would like to nominate Sergeant Matthew Montoya for his leadership and organizational planning in the Corrections Training Officer (CTO) program, during the month of February 2018. Sergeant Montoya was tasked with providing scheduling and training for (26) new deputies assigned to the CTO program, in addition to his daily assignments as a Housing Sergeant. Sergeant Montoya coordinated daily meetings with his trainers to ensure each new deputy received consistent training with the CTO curriculum. Sergeant Montoya was also responsible for reviewing and approving each new deputy’s Daily Observation Report (DOR). Sergeant Montoya also coached personnel through personality conflicts and reminded the trainers to be patient and the new deputies to be receptive. Through Sergeant’s Montoya leadership, (25) of the new deputies successfully completed the CTO program, without any delays. Sergeant Montoya was recently transferred to the Security Division, but has offered to remain as a CTO Sergeant and assist the Housing Division through this transition. We consider our organization very fortunate to have Sergeant Montoya working with us. We would like to recognize his performance and show our gratitude for his professionalism by nominating him Employee of the Month for February 2018.