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Saddleback Valley Elks Awards Recipient - Civilian Employee of the Year

Community Services Officer Cheryl Waters

Cheryl has worked for the Orange County Sheriff’s Department since September of 2001 and been with the City of Laguna Niguel for so long that no one seems to know for sure when she started, not even her!

Cheryl is compassionate, kind-hearted, and positive. She understands the ins and outs of the City of Laguna Niguel and is deeply dedicated to it. She is the coordinator for the Police Auxiliary Citizens’ Team, or PACT, Laguna Niguel’s retired volunteers who are also deeply dedicated to the city.

Again words that describe Cheryl are compassionate, kind-hearted, positive, thorough, knowledgeable, professional, courteous, friendly, and faithful. One of the words that best describes Cheryl, however, is brave, because in 2013 Cheryl fought a fight for her life with breast cancer all the while maintaining all of these wonderful qualities. Cheryl is the kind of person that while going through all the worst that life can throw at her, will reach out to you, and even though she’s hurting, still bring light into a dark room and give you something positive to hold onto.

It is for these reasons and many more that Cheryl was chosen by her peers and supervisors to receive this honor from the Elk’s. Cheryl’s continued sacrifice and service to the Orange County Sheriff’s Department and the citizens of Laguna Niguel is very much appreciated and we are very grateful for her ongoing dedication to the community.

Saddleback Valley Elks Awards Recipient - Deputy of the Year

Rotary Top Cop Recipient
Deputy Chad Davis

This year, staff and supervisors for the City of Laguna Niguel nominated Deputy Chad Davis for Deputy of the Year.

Chad has worked for the Sheriff’s Department since August of 2004 and was assigned to the City of Laguna Niguel in 2011. He was quickly identified as one of the hardest working and most conscientious deputies in the city. During his time in Laguna Niguel he has become a Field Training Officer, a Drug Recognition Expert, a member of the Community Services Unit, a member of the Bike Patrol Team, and a member of the Critical Incident Response Team. Words used by his peers and supervisors when talking about Chad are, “The Hardest Working, Motivated, Role Model, Second to None, Professionalism, Upbeat, Positive and Awesome”.

Deputy Davis continues to serve the Orange County Sheriff’s Department and the citizens of Laguna Niguel every single day with utmost care and professionalism and we could not be more proud to have him represent our city.

American Legion Medal of Merit Recipients

Crime Prevention Specialist’s Brittany Plano and Kimberly Sawyer

Brittany Plano and Kimberly Sawyer were hired by Laguna Niguel Police Services as Crime Prevention Specialists in October and December 2012, brought a lot of valuable experience from their previous jobs, but walked into a program that had been floundering.

They were given the city’s vision of what crime prevention should be and instructed to be creative in their approach to improving the Crime Prevention Program. With little to go on except a vision and a crime prevention manual, Brittany and Kimberly hit the floor running. The two split assignments evenly but worked together as a team to accomplish their goals.

Brittany immediately took over the Neighborhood Watch program, initiating neighborhood watch meetings and encouraging members of this community to become Block Captains in their neighborhoods. Brittany and Kimberly presented their programs to the communities and adapted each presentation to the neighborhood they were addressing. They also held Block Captain training nights which included guest speakers on the many different topics. To their credit, they conducted 22 Neighborhood Watch meetings and also added 40 new Block Captains.

Brittany coordinates Police Service’s quarterly newsletter, “The Laguna Niguel Neighborhood News”, which is sent to every resident in our City. Brittany, Kimberly and the rest of the staff conduct research of relevant topics and then publish them in the newsletter, which includes informative articles on Crime Prevention, Safety, and other City related events.

Brittany coordinates other programs such as National Prescription Medication Take Back Day and National Night Out, and along with Kimberly acquired a prescription drug disposal bin for Police Services, allowing local residents to easily dispose of 100 pounds of prescription medication last year.

They both work closely with the Orange County Sheriff’s Department, Orange County Fire Authority, Mission Viejo Animal Services and many other public, private and non-profit organizations organizing and presenting all of Laguna Niguel’s crime prevention programs.

Kimberly took over coordination of the Laguna Niguel Citizen’s Academy and re-established the City’s Business Watch Program. Her years of experience were immediately noticed. Her attention to detail and organization skills were phenomenal as she recreated the programs, making them a complete success.

In addition to their crime prevention duties, Kimberly and Brittany assist with, organize, and work special events within the City of Laguna Niguel, including the Holiday Christmas Parade, Scams Workshop, Laguna Niguel Mooning, La Dolce Vita Festival, and Technology Presentation for PACT, and Character Counts. They also update and enhance “Virtual Briefing” for our deputies and investigators, keeping them up-to-date on growing crime trends and complaints.

Brittany and Kimberly were a great addition to Laguna Niguel Police Services, and for their amazing dedication and hard work re-establishing the city’s crime prevention programs they were awarded the South Orange County American Legion’s Medal of Merit.