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LAPD Central Division Honors Its Own

By Ed Fuentes
Published: Thursday, February 25, 2010, at 04:49PM
IMGP6059 Ed Fuentes

Commanding Officer Blake Chow, Deputy Chief Sergio Diaz, Reserve Officer of the Year Ali Bashar, and Councilwoman Jan Perry.

The Central City Police Boosters held its annual Police Recognition Day Luncheon and Awards Ceremony today, honoring officers and civilian staff who helped improve public safety in Downtown Los Angeles.

“Crime stats are down,” said LAPD Chief Charlie Beck, who slipped in an unscheduled appearance between the keynote speaker, Councilwoman Jan Perry, and Central's Commanding Officer, Captain Todd Chamberlain. “These are the people who help make it happen for Central Division and for the community.”

Downtown's revival hasn't yet reached the point where the changes made over the last decade aren't a topic for conversation. “The difference between now and then is spectacular," said Beck.

Those honored at the event, which took place at the Wilshire Grand hotel, included Detective Joshua Riggs as Detective of the Year; Officer Anthony Guitierrez as Police Officer of the Year; Secretary Honore Rausch as Civilian Employee of the Year; and Diana Ugalde as Citizen Volunteer of the Year.

Sgt. Kasie Chavez was awarded the 2009 Supervisor of the Year for her assigned service overseeing Central Area’s Safer Cities Initiative (SCI) Task Force.

Downtown’s changes were also reflected by 2009 Reserve Officer of the Year Ali Bashar, who organizes reserve officers that stand watch at the Downtown Art Walk to ensure public safety.

While less about about strict enforcement, and more about crowd management, Bashar said that the assignment has been a way for LAPD to be a part of the Downtown commmunity. “And there is never a shortage of officers who want to join Art Walk," he noted.

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