AUTO THEFT ADVISORY COMMITTEE (A.T.A.C.)
SAN DIEGO COUNTY VEHICLE THEFT
2010 RECOVERY OFFICER OF THE YEAR AWARDS PRESENTATION BRUNCH
Sponsored by the San Diego County Auto Theft Advisory Committee (A.T.A.C.), a partnership between law enforcement, insurance, and other auto related companies to reduce auto theft. A.T.A.C. is a subcommittee of the Western States Auto Theft Investigators Association, Southern Chapter.


21st Annual Awards Presentation Brunch

Wednesday, March 23, 2011 9:30 a.m. - The Prado at Balboa Park

Those participating included:
Pledge of Allegiance: Lieutenant Matt Guthrie, CHP Border Auto Theft
Invocation: Father Eric Menees, Anglican Church of the Resurrection, San Marcos
Introduction: Lieutenant Matt Guthrie, CHP Border Auto Theft
Mistress of Ceremonies: Ms. Monica Zech, El Cajon Public Information Officer
Guest Speaker:  Chief Pat Sprecco, El Cajon Police Department
Presentation of Awards: Lieutenant Matt Guthrie, CHP Border Auto Theft
  Rich Berg, Brandi Wade and Tiffany Jones, CHP Border Division

ATAC Chairperson Matt GuthrieATAC Chairperson CHP Border Division Lieutenant Matt Guthrie led the Pledge of Allegiance. 

Lieutenant Guthrie then introduced Father Eric Menees who gave the invocation.

Lieutenant Guthrie then explained that ATAC was a subcommittee of the Western States Auto Theft Investigators (WSATI) Association, allowing ATAC to provide donors with the benefits of a tax free organization.

Lieutenant Guthrie then introduced and thanked the San Diego County Auto Theft Advisory Committee members who put together the awards presentation; Ms. Martha Jones Joseph and Ms. Geraldine Gary of the Automobile Club of Southern California; Ms. Brandi Wade, and Ms. Tiffany Jones of the California Highway Patrol. 

Lieutenant Guthrie then thanked the sponsors of this year's awards presentation, the Automobile Club of Southern California, C & D Towing, LoJack Corporation, and the New Car Dealer's Association of San Diego.

Lieutenant Guthrie then wanted to thank all the ATAC members who volunteer their time each year.

Lieutenant Guthrie then held a raffle and recognized the Prado at Balboa Park for providing a gift certificate and the Sycuan Casino for providing a gift certificate for the raffle. 

Mistress of Ceremonies Monica ZechLieutenant Guthrie then introduced the Mistress of Ceremonies, Monica Zech. Ms. Zech has graciously emceed the event 19 out of the 21 years and has become an integral part of the Committee. She is the Public Information Officer for the City of El Cajon. She has been with the city for almost ten years. Prior to that, she was a TV and radio journalist for some 30 years before she made the switch to El Cajon. Her passion is her role as a Safety Educator. Her expertise is “driving Safety”, speaking to students, civic groups, company conferences and military bases.   Ms. Zech gave an opening address and spoke about this year's selection process.  Ms. Zech said that significant pro-active contributions by officers to reduce auto theft, combined with a higher emphasis on "rolling stolens" and significant case highlights were the elements of the criteria to be considered.  Ms. Zech welcomed everyone to avail themselves of the brunch.

After the buffet, Monica Zech then introduced the guest speaker, El Cajon Police Department Chief Pat Sprecco.

Monica Zech then announced the recipients as Lieutenant Matt Guthrie, with Rich Berg, Brandi Wade, and Tiffany Jones assisting, handed out the numerous award plaques and recognition certificates to each of the recipients.

This year's recipients are (alphabetically):
 

SAN DIEGO COUNTY 2010 RECOVERY OFFICER OF THE YEAR RECIPIENTS:
Corporal Damian Ballardo National City Police Department
Officer Dannie Bihum *5 San Diego Police Department, Eastern Division
Officer Steven Breakall *2 El Cajon Police Department
Deputy Nicholas Danza San Diego County Sheriff's Department, Vista Station
Deputy Eric Drogemuller *4 San Diego County Sheriff's Department, Alpine Station
Officer Rodney Fischer *3 San Diego Police Department, Traffic Division
Officer James Ford *4 San Diego Department, Southeastern Division
Officer Mark Hallmark *3 California Highway Patrol, El Cajon Area
Officer Tristan Holmes San Diego Police Department, Southern Division
Deputy Craig Hyer  San Diego County Sheriff's Department, Fallbrook Station
Deputy Shannon Justice *2 San Diego County Sheriff's Department, Lemon Grove Station
Officer Patrick Kelly San Diego Police Department, Central Division
Officer Nick Ketchum *2 San Diego Police Department, Western Division 
Officer Shawn O’Neill Coronado Police Department
Officer Daniel Paugh La Mesa Police Department
Officer Marco Perez San Diego Police Department, Northeastern Division
Deputy Andrew Peterson San Diego County Sheriff's Department, Poway Station
Officer Mark Peterson Escondido Police Department
Deputy Jason Philpot San Diego County Sheriff's Department, Santee Station
Officer Ricardo Pinon San Diego Police Department, Northwestern Division
Officer Arturo Portillo California Highway Patrol, San Diego Area
Officer Michael Roberts *10 Oceanside Police Department
Deputy Scott Roller San Diego County Sheriff's Department, Imperial Beach Station
Corporal Russell Ryan  San Diego County Sheriffs Department, San Marcos Station
Officer Edward Tugashov *2 Chula Vista Police Department
Officer Gary Voss San Diego Police Department, Northern Division
Officer Eddie Wallin *2 San Diego Police Department, Midcity Division
*# Indicates the Number of Times Nominated for an ATAC Award
In 2010, these 27 officers, representing almost every law enforcement agency in San Diego County, arrested a total of 101 vehicle theft suspects and recovered 614 vehicles with a total recovery value of $4,458,660.00.

The Top Five Honorees and Honorable Mention Recipient were:

Officer Steven Breakall of the El Cajon Police Department, was honored as the Officer recovering the most stolen vehicles in the entire county, 51 vehicles, including 8 "rolling stolens," resulting in 8 arrests, with a recovery value of $237,000.00.  This is Officer Breakall's second ATAC Award.  Officer Breakall has been with the El Cajon Police Department 4 1/2 years and was last year's 2nd place ATAC top vehicle theft recovery officer.  Officer Breakall has recovered 124 vehicles and arrested 28 suspects in the last 4 years. Chief Pat Sprecco, El Cajon Police Department, accepted the ATAC Perpetual Plaque which will remain at the department for the next year.

Deputy Shannon Justice, San Diego County Sheriff's Department, Lemon Grove Station, was honored as the Officer recovering the second most stolen vehicles in the county. This is Deputy Justice’s second nomination for an ATAC award.

Corporal Russell Ryan, San Diego County Sheriffs Department, San Marcos Station, was honored as the Officer recovering the third most stolen vehicles in the county.  This is his first nomination for an ATAC Award. 

Officer Mark Hallmark, California Highway Patrol, El Cajon Area, was honored as the Officer recovering the fourth most stolen vehicles in the county.  This is his 3rd nomination for an ATAC Award.

Deputy Jason Philpot, San Diego County Sheriff's Department, Santee Station, was honored as the Officer recovering the fifth most stolen vehicles in the county. This is his first nomination for an ATAC Award.

Officer James Ford, San Diego Police Department, Southeastern Division, was presented an Honorable Mention Award by ATAC.  He was recognized for his initiative, investigative ability, and relentless dedication to apprehending auto thieves.  This is his fourth nomination for an ATAC Award.

For Photos from the Awards Ceremony, Please Click Here

2010 San Diego ATAC Recovery Officer of the Year Committee Members, (l-r) Martha Jones, Tiffany Jones, Matt Guthrie, Brandi Wade, Geraldine Ward, Rich Berg

Special thanks to the following organizations for participating and sponsoring the San Diego County Auto Theft Advisory Committee (A.T.A.C.) and its Officer of the Year Program:

Automobile Club of Southern California
California Highway Patrol
LoJack Corporation
New Car Dealers Association of San Diego
San Diego County Regional Auto Theft Task Force
Western States Auto Theft Investigators, Southern Chapter

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