VFW hosts awards night
Awards given were:
-- Police officer of the year: Gary L. Myers, a 29-year veteran, works day-shift patrol at the Janesville Police Department.
He trains new officers on how to use the radar gun, is the department's primary accident reconstruction expert, is a sniper for the SWAT team and is well-versed on squad car computer software and often is asked to help others with technical issues.
Myers' personnel file is full of compliments from residents, supervisors and professional contacts. He has an excellent attitude and work ethic and performs his duties in a professional manner while always being respectful to citizens and coworkers.
-- Correctional officer of the year: Myra Sanchez works at the jail and community corrections division, where she is assigned to the Community Corrections Bureau Workender Division.
She volunteers for shifts during staff shortages and is respected by her peers.
Sanchez, who is working toward a master's degree in public administration, first worked as a department community service officer and later as a Rock County juvenile detention officer.
She has been a member of the Rock County Gang Intelligence Unit since 2006, is an active member of Rock County's Diversity Committee and the Diversity Speakers Subcommittee plus has the ability to interpret and translate, often helping other agencies.
Sanchez was instrumental in translating all the jail forms from English to Spanish to help other correctional officers when they are dealing with inmates who don't speak English.
-- Deputy of the year: Matthew Pyne was hired as a correctional officer for the Rock County Sheriff's Office in 1992. After completing the Law Enforcement Academy at Blackhawk Technical College, he was hired as a deputy in 1998. He works first-shift patrol.
He is a member of the department's boat patrol and recreational safety team, is lead boater safety instructor and is field training officer for new deputies.
While off duty, Pyne spent many hours restoring an All-Terrain Vehicle and airboat for the department's recreational safety team.
-- Firefighter of the year: Ron Bomkamp has been a driver/operator, emergency medical technician, acting officer and instructor since being hired by the Janesville Fire Department in 2001.
He has revised the department's performance standards manual, updated certification testing procedures, developed a water rescue resource manual and helps with recruit training and other annual training initiatives.
Bomkamp has trained as a diesel and heavy equipment mechanic, volunteered to attend training and now services hydraulic rescue tools.
He is a member of the department's equipment and training committees.
n Paramedic of the year: Carl Marino has been a firefighter, paramedic, rescue diver and paramedic preceptor since joining the Janesville Fire Department in 2008.
He also is a certified diver, a certified fire instructor and driver/operator plus a volunteer member of the fire department in Edgerton, where he lives.
-- Life memberships in the VFW National Home for Children: VFW Post 1621 Commander Brian Rickman, Janesville, who has been leading the local post and will attend the department convention in June, and VFW auxiliary member Julie Martin, Janesville, who has been mailing cards to families of deceased veterans and get-well cards to local post members who are ill.
-- Loyalty recipient: Jim Bausch, Janesville, who volunteers to help the post with projects, such as membership, bingo and cleaning.
-- Citizen Community Service Award: Tom Stehura, Janesville, who is post adjutant. He also is president of the Janesville Patriot Society and among local veterans who worked to create the Veterans Walkway at Traxler Park. Stehura, a former Janesville City Council member, also is active in other community projects.
-- Certificate of Appreciation: Andrew J. Monari and James E. Weadge, both of Janesville, in recognition for their work helping maintain the local post building and grounds.