AUTO THEFT ADVISORY COMMITTEE (A.T.A.C.)
SAN DIEGO COUNTY VEHICLE THEFT
2017 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.


28th Annual Awards Presentation Brunch

Wednesday, March 14, 2018 9:30 a.m. - The Prado at Balboa Park

Those participating included:
Pledge of Allegiance: Lieutenant Tom Eglin, California Highway Patrol Border Auto Theft
Invocation: Chaplain Herb Smith, San Diego County Sheriff's Department
Introduction: Lieutenant Tom Eglin, California Highway Patrol Border Auto Theft
Mistress of Ceremonies: Ms. Monica Zech, El Cajon Public Information Officer
Guest Speaker:  Chief Manuel Rodriguez, National City Police Department
Presentation of Awards: Lieutenant Tom Eglin, California Highway Patrol Border Auto Theft
Brandi Wade, California Highway Patrol Border Division
Tiffany Jones, California Highway Patrol Border Division

ATAC Chairperson CHP Border Lieutenant Tom EglinATAC Chairperson, California Highway Patrol Border Division Lieutenant Tom Eglin, led the Pledge of Allegiance. 

Lieutenant Eglin then introduced San Diego County Sheriff's Department Chaplain Herb Smith who gave the invocation.

Lieutenant Eglin 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 Eglin 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 Eglin 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 Eglin then thanked the sponsors of this year's awards presentation, the Automobile Club of Southern California, Avis Budget Group, Ball Automotive Group, California Highway Patrol, CARFAX for Police, Enterprise Rent-A-Car, Frank Motors Group, Leo Hamel Fine Jewelry & Estate Sales, LBA Investigations, Locator Technologies, LoJack Corporation, New Car Dealers Association San Diego, RSM Consulting, the Prado at Balboa Park, and the Western States Auto Theft Investigators (WSATI), Southern Chapter.

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

Lieutenant Eglin recognized one of the original committee members who started San Diego ATAC back in 1990, Retired CHP Sergeant Benny Price

Lieutenant Eglin then held a raffle and recognized the Prado at Balboa Park for providing a gift certificate for the raffle, as well as the LoJack Corporation for providing a LoJack recovery system for the raffle.

Mistress of Ceremonies, Monica ZechLieutenant Eglin then introduced the Mistress of Ceremonies, Monica Zech. Ms. Zech has graciously emceed our event 26 out of the 28 years and has become an integral part of our Committee.  Monica has more over 40 years in media communications, both in broadcasting and her current position as Public Information Officer for the City of El Cajon.  Her career encompasses many firsts — she was the first woman in San Diego County to work as an air traffic reporter for Automobile Club of Southern California and San Diego’s first Television air traffic reporter, working for both Channel 10 and Channel 39, and ten local radio stations.  

Shortly after she began her work as an air traffic reporter, Ms. Zech saw the need for driving safety education and soon spoke to students, parents, community members and the military both locally and nationally on driving issues.  Ms. Zech has touched countless lives with her community service and in her professional capacity.  She has delivered over 6,000 lectures on aggressive driving, texting while driving, and driving under the influence of alcohol and other drugs.  She knows the dangers of unsafe driving first-hand.  Her family has been impacted twice by DUI drivers.  She herself was almost paralyzed in a crash with a stop sign runner in 2003, but, she speaks on behalf of all those killed and injured in preventable crashes.

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 Chief Manuel Rodriguez, National City Police DepartmentAfter the buffet, Monica Zech then introduced the guest speaker, National City Police Department Chief Manuel Rodriguez, who gave a short speech.

Following Chief Rodriguez' speech, Monica Zech then announced the San Diego County 2017 Recovery Officer of the Year recipients as Lieutenant Jason Eglin, 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 2017 RECOVERY OFFICER OF THE YEAR RECIPIENTS:
Officer Bryan Baker *3 San Diego Police Department, Mid-City Division
Officer Dannie Bihum *12 San Diego Police Department, Eastern Division
Deputy James Breneman *5 San Diego County Sheriff's Department, Ramona Station
Deputy David Bruner San Diego County Sheriff's Department, Lemon Grove Station
Officer Christopher Bunch California Highway Patrol, El Cajon Area
Officer Marco Calderilla *2 San Diego Police Department, Northern Division
Deputy Scott Crane *4 San Diego County Sheriff's Department, San Marcos Station
Officer Johnathan Deering *3 Chula Vista Police Department
Officer Kevin EngelkeCoronado Police Department
Officer David EstradaOceanside Police Department
Officer Carlos Gaytan *4 La Mesa Police Department
Deputy Robert HarrellSan Diego County Sheriff's Department, Fallbrook Station
Officer Robert HenrySan Diego Police Department, Southern Division
Officer Nate HortonCarlsbad Police Department
Officer Justin HudnallSan Diego Police Department, Southeastern Division
Officer Jayson Hughes *2 California Highway Patrol, Oceanside Area
Officer Eric HungarterSan Diego Police Department, Western Division
Deputy Derrick Jones *3 San Diego County Sheriff's Department, Poway Station
Deputy Robert KastelicSan Diego County Sheriff's Department, Santee Station
Corporal Devin A. Kusler *6 San Diego County Sheriff's Department, Alpine Station
Officer Paul McClain San Diego State University Police Department
Deputy Robert Miller  San Diego County Sheriff's Department, North Coastal Station
Officer Rowdy Pauu National City Police Department
Deputy Cody Roberts San Diego County Sheriff's Department, Vista Station
Deputy Carlos RuedaSan Diego County Sheriff's Department, Imperial Beach Station
Deputy Mike Saunders *2 San Diego County Sheriff's Department, Lakeside Station
Deputy Scott Seaman San Diego County Sheriff's Department, Rancho San Diego Station
Officer Kevin Speicher  San Diego Police Department, Northeastern Division
Deputy Olivia Steinmeyer  San Diego County Sheriff's Department, Valley Center Station
Officer Roger Stonier *11 San Diego Police Department, Central Division
Officer Richard VargasCalifornia Highway Patrol, San Diego Area
Officer Jordan Walker *2 El Cajon Police Department
Officer Andrew Wyse *4 Escondido Police Department
*# Indicates the Number of Times Nominated for an ATAC Award
In 2017, these 33 officers, representing almost every law enforcement agency in San Diego County, arrested a total of 139 vehicle theft suspects and recovered 553 vehicles with a total recovery value of $4,148,413.

The Top Five Honorees were:

Officer Jordan Walker, El Cajon Police Department, was honored as the Officer recovering the most stolen vehicles in the entire county.  Officer Walker joined the El Cajon Police Department in 2013.  His current assignment is with the K9 Unit with his partner, K9 Jester.  Officer Walker was the Rookie of the Year in 2013 and was the recipient of a 2015 ATAC nomination.  One of the 38 vehicles recovered in 2017 by Officer Walker was taken during a residential burglary.  Due to Officer Walker's recovery of this vehicle, the residential burglary case was able to be solved.  Officer Walker was named Officer of the Month for August 2017 for his hard work and dedication to finding stolen vehicles.  In 2017, Officer Walker recovered a total of 38 vehicles, including 9 occupied stolen vehicles, with a recovery value of $307,800.  This is Officer Walker's first ATAC award and 2nd nomination.  El Cajon Police Department Chief Jeff Davis accepted the Auto Theft Advisory Committee's perpetual plaque which will remain at El Cajon Police Department until next year's ATAC Awards.  

Corporal Devin Kusler, San Diego County Sheriff's Department, Rancho Alpine Station, was honored as the Officer recovering the second most stolen vehicles in the county.  This is Deputy Kusler's sixth nomination for an ATAC award.  

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

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

Officer Bryan Baker, San Diego Police Department, Mid-City Division, was honored as the Officer recovering the fifth most stolen vehicles in the county.  This is Baker’s third nomination for an ATAC award.  

Congratulations to all our San Diego County Award recipients.  Thank you for your dedication to the citizens of San Diego County.  Your efforts are making a difference.

San Diego County ATAC 2017 Recovery Officer of the Year Recipients
San Diego County 2017 Recovery Officer of the Year Recipients

For Additional 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
Kemper Services Group
Avis Budget Group
Leo Hamel Fine Jewelry & Estate Buyers
Ball Automotive Group
Locator Technologies, LLC
California Highway Patrol
LoJack Corporation
CARFAX for Police
New Car Dealers Association San Diego County
Enterprise Rent-A-Car
RSM Consulting
Frank Motors Group
The Prado at Balboa Park
Western States Auto Theft Investigators, Southern Chapter

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