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Sacramento Police Department

Friday, January 30, 2015

2009 Distinguished Service Award Recipients

Edwin Asahara

Officer Edwin Asahara is being recognized for his dedicated and valuable service to the Sacramento Police Department. He has been assigned to Regional Transit (RT) Police Services since 2002. In 2006, after working several years and seeing numerous robbery cases go unresolved, he saw a need to assist in addressing the robbery issues that affected RT riders. Officer Asahara voluntarily took it upon himself to perform the extensive task of coordinating investigative follow-up on RT Light Rail robberies. He developed an intensive follow-up process that has had a significant effect in the identification, and or, arrest of numerous criminals. While undertaking this project, Officer Asahara has developed personal expertise above and beyond that required for his assignment. He has conducted follow-up on approximately 106 robbery cases and has conducted at least 90 mugshot viewings from a mugshot book that he created. He has also done successful follow-up and identification on cases with unknown suspects that would have not otherwise had any further investigation by detectives. His direct efforts have resulted in the identification of 53 suspects, some responsible for multiple robberies, and the arrest of 29 of them. Overall, his follow-up efforts have resulted in over 159 suspects arrested by law enforcement agencies.

Officer Asahara's efforts have significantly improved the overall efficiency and productivity of the Sacramento Police Department. His superior quality of work coupled with his high level of productivity is recognized by the investigative divisions of both the Sacramento Police Department and the Sacramento Sheriff's Department.

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Alana Henley-Courville, Katherine Hutchison, Holly Kinney, Judy Kovanda, Kurt McCray, Shannon Price, Tawnya Zuckswert

Community Service Officers (CSO) Alana Henley-Courville, Katherine Hutchison, Holly Kinney, Kurt McCray, Judy Kovanda, Shannon Price, and former CSO Tawnya Zuckswert are being recognized for their dedicated and valuable service to the Sacramento Police Department. Assigned to Crime Prevention, these CSOs have dedicated themselves to providing not just crime prevention services to the community, but to being a vital public relations liaison between citizens and the Police Department as well. Although each CSO individually provides crime prevention presentations, environmental safety surveys, and other public relations related duties, the program in which they have excelled as a team has been the annual Holiday Experience project, a giving program which they created.

Each year during the holidays, the Crime Prevention CSOs dedicate countless hours of time, energy, and effort toward making the holidays special for those chosen families who would have otherwise gone without during the holiday season. They solicit our officers and their law enforcement partners for names of needy families; screen the families to ensure the need; coordinate with both internal and external donors; shop for the families to fulfill their wish lists; and coordinate volunteers to help wrap the hundreds of presents to be delivered. Then on delivery day, they execute the game plan that they've created with officers, donors, and citizens in tow to provide for the families. Their efforts on this annual project have been invaluable. Not only have these CSOs provided a sense of holiday for these families to share with each other, they have made a very positive impact with these families that might pay dividends for our Department in the future. In the last four years, over 100 families have been touched by this program.

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Pamela Seyffert

Sergeant Pamela Seyffert is being recognized for her dedicated and valuable service to the Sacramento Police Department. Assigned to the Vice Unit from 2006 to 2008, Sergeant Seyffert and an FBI partner ascertained that there were a high number of juvenile girls being exploited by adults in the sex-trade industry. Recognizing the importance of protecting the region's youth, Sergeant Seyffert and her team partnered with the FBI to create the Safe Streets Task Force to focus primarily on the FBI's Innocence Lost Initiative. Sergeant Seyffert led the task force through numerous child prostitution, sexual exploitation, and child pornography investigations in hopes of reducing the number of young girls being exploited in this industry.

Sergeant Seyffert became familiar with the many issues that lead juveniles to become victims in this trade. Her dedication resulted in victims being reunited with their families, enrolling in school, and recognizing the value of their own lives for the first time. As a result of Sergeant Seyffert's commitment, the task force recovered 59 juvenile victims and arrested 36 pimps and offenders who had exploited these victims. Because many of the juveniles were recovered after they had posted ads on MySpace, the task force began discussions with the website's administrators which resulted in the site's implementation of new rules with the intent of reducing the possibility of people using their site for these illegal purposes.

In addition to leading the task force to success, Sergeant Seyffert also took a personal interest in helping one particular victim who, after her pimp was arrested, still returned to life as a prostitute. Recognizing that the "system" had failed this juvenile the first time, Sergeant Seyffert dedicated numerous hours to personally try to help turn this young life around. She found appropriate housing for the juvenile and helped her enroll in school. She even bought her shoes for her homecoming dance and gave her a ride to the dance.

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