AUTO THEFT ADVISORY COMMITTEE (A.T.A.C.)
SAN DIEGO COUNTY VEHICLE THEFT
2015 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.


26th Annual Awards Presentation Brunch

Wednesday, March 16, 2016 9:30 a.m. - The Prado at Balboa Park

Those participating included:
Pledge of Allegiance: Lieutenant Jason Penner, California Highway Patrol Border Auto Theft
Invocation: Father Russell Martin, San Diego County Sheriff's Department
Introduction: Lieutenant Jason Penner, California Highway Patrol Border Auto Theft
Mistress of Ceremonies: Ms. Monica Zech, El Cajon Public Information Officer
Guest Speaker:  Chief Jim Abele, California Highway Patrol Border Division
Presentation of Awards: Lieutenant Jason Penner, California Highway Patrol Border Auto Theft
  Brandi Wade and Tiffany Jones, California Highway Patrol Border Division
ATAC Chairperson Lieutenant Jason PennerFather Russell Martin, San Diego County Sheriff's Department
ATAC Chairperson California Highway Patrol Border Division Lieutenant Jason Penner led the Pledge of Allegiance. 

Lieutenant Penner then introduced San Diego County Sheriff's Department Chaplain Father Russell Martin who gave the invocation.

Lieutenant Penner explained  that the Auto Theft Advisory Committee, or ATAC, is a partnership between law enforcement agencies, government, insurance companies, the San Diego New Car Dealer's Association, car rental companies, and other related businesses who share a common goal to reduce vehicle thefts in San Diego County.

Lieutenant Penner 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 non-profit organization.

Lieutenant Penner 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 Ward of the Automobile Club of Southern California; Ms. Brandi Wade, and Ms. Tiffany Jones of the California Highway Patrol. 

Lieutenant Penner then thanked the sponsors of this year's awards presentation, the Automobile Club of Southern California, Locator Technologies, LoJack Corporation, the Prado at Balboa Park, VINMonitor, and the Western States Auto Theft Investigators (WSATI).

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

Lieutenant Penner then held a raffle and recognized the Prado at Balboa Park for providing a gift certificate for the raffle, Leo Hamel Fine Jewelry & Estate Buyers for providing two gift certificates for the raffle, as well as the LoJack Corporation for providing a LoJack recovery system for the raffle.
Mistress of Ceremonies Monica Zech
Lieutenant Penner then introduced the Mistress of Ceremonies, Monica Zech. Ms. Zech who has graciously emceed our event 24 out of the 26 years and has become an integral part of our Committee.  Monica Zech is the Public Information Officer for the City of El Cajon. She’s been with the City for almost 15 years. A favorite part of her duties is providing safety education for the City, assisting police and fire.  Prior to her position with El Cajon, Monica was in broadcast news for almost 30 years.  Her interest and passion for safety began in 1984 when she was hired as San Diego’s first female air traffic reporter and first television air traffic reporter for the Automobile Club of Southern California, a position she held for 18 years.   Monica also freelances as a Safe Driving Educator, speaking locally and nationally.  She speaks regularly to companies, military bases, high schools and colleges, for Every 15 Minute programs, for driver education and traffic schools.  Obviously “safety is her passion” - she’s been providing her life saving messages for over 32 years - with over 50 safety and news awards to her credit.  She also credits “law enforcement” for playing a major role in educating her on what it takes to be safe! 
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.
Guest Speaker, California Highway Patrol Chief Jim Abele
After the buffet, Monica Zech then introduced the guest speaker, California Highway Patrol Border Division Chief Jim Abele.

Monica Zech then announced the recipients as Lieutenant Jason Penner, with 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 2015 RECOVERY OFFICER OF THE YEAR RECIPIENTS:
Deputy Jared Anderson San Diego County Sheriff's Department, Valley Center Station
Officer Bryan Baker San Diego Police Department, Mid-City Division
Officer Dannie Bihum *10 San Diego Police Department, Eastern Division
Officer Steven Bourasa *4 San Diego Police Department, Northeastern Division
Deputy James Breneman *4 San Diego County Sheriff's Department, Ramona Station
Deputy Aaron Brooke San Diego County Sheriff's Department, Santee Station
Deputy Alexander Brust San Diego County Sheriff's Department, Vista Station
Officer Joe Camacho *3 National City Police Department
Deputy Ricardo Carlon San Diego County Sheriff's Department, San Marcos
Agent Eric Carter *2 Chula Vista Police Department
Officer John Cortez *2 San Diego Police Department, Southeastern Division
Officer Jason Darby San Diego Police Department, Northern Division
Officer TJ Dunn Oceanside Police Department
Officer Carlos Gaytan *2 La Mesa Police Department
Officer Cody Green *2 Carlsbad Police Department
Officer Mark Hallmark *7 California Highway Patrol, El Cajon Area
Deputy Derrick Jones San Diego County Sheriff's Department, Poway Station
Corporal Devin A. Kusler *4 San Diego County Sheriff's Department, Alpine Station
Officer Leo Lozano California Highway Patrol, San Diego Area
Deputy Evan McCormick San Diego County Sheriff's Department, Coastal Station
Officer Daniel Oxley *2 California Highway Patrol, Oceanside Area
Officer Terrence Pizzuti Escondido Police Department
Officer Brian Rollefson San Diego Police Department, Southern Division
Officer Roger Stonier *9 San Diego Police Department, Central Division
Corporal Michael Svec San Diego State University Police Department
Officer Jordan Walker El Cajon Police Department
Officer Eddie Wallin *4 San Diego Police Department, Western Division
Officer Brian Wray Coronado Police Department
Deputy Jesus Yniquez San Diego County Sheriff's Department, Rancho San Diego Station
Deputy Terence York San Diego County Sheriff's Department, Fallbrook Station
*# Indicates the Number of Times Nominated for an ATAC Award
In 2015, these 30 officers, representing almost every law enforcement agency in San Diego County, arrested a total of 138 vehicle theft suspects and recovered 568 vehicles with a total recovery value of $4,243,324.00.

The Top Five Honorees were:

Corporal Devin Kusler, San Diego County Sheriff's Department, Alpine Station, was honored as the Officer recovering the most stolen vehicles in the entire county.  Corporal Kusler has been with the Sheriff’s Department for 7.5 years and has led stolen vehicle recoveries for the last 4 years at each station he has worked.  Corporal Kusler was last year’s ATAC Top Vehicle Theft recovery Officer of the year for 2014.  He has been the recipient of six 10851 awards and received his Master 10851 pin earlier this year. For 2015, Corporal Kusler recovered a total of 30 vehicles, including 14 occupied stolen vehicles resulting in 16 arrest, with a recovery value of $263,600.  This is Corporal Kusler’s fourth ATAC award.  Congratulations Corporal Kusler and thank you for your dedication to the citizens of San Diego County. Lieutenant Mario Zermeno, San Diego County Sheriff's Department, accepted the ATAC Perpetual Plaque which will remain at the department for the next year.

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

Deputy Aaron Brooke, San Diego County Sheriff's Department, Sante Station, was honored as the Officer recovering the third most stolen vehicles in the county. This is Deputy Brooke’s First nomination for an ATAC award.

Deputy Jared Anderson, San Diego County Sheriff's Department, Valley Center Station, was honored as the Officer recovering the fourth most stolen vehicles in the county.  This is Deputy Anderson’s first nomination for an ATAC award.

Deputy Alexander Brust, San Diego County Sheriff's Department, Vista Station, was honored as the Officer recovering the fifth most stolen vehicles in the county.  This is Deputy Brust’s first nomination for an ATAC award.

For Photos from the Awards Ceremony, Please Click Here

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
Locator Technologies, LLC
California Highway Patrol
LoJack Corporation
CARFAX for Police
The Prado at Balboa Park
Enterprise Rent-A-Car
VINMonitor
Leo Hamel Fine Jewelry & Estate Buyers
Western States Auto Theft Investigators, Southern Chapter

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