The Loop Newspaper - Tehachapi's Online Community News & Entertainment Guide

By Pat Doody 

Honoring the Thin Blue Line


2017 recipients of the Tehachapi Police Foundation Awards Dinner: Civilian Employee of the Year, Matthew Murphy. Civilian Volunteer of the Year, Edris Reed. Tehachapi City Police Officer of the Year, Alejandra Barajas. Explorer of the Year, Anthoney Cole.

At their first banquet, Honoring the Thin Blue Line, the Tehachapi Police Foundation and over 400 guests honored four special individuals who were selected by their Police Department supervisors and peers as the best of 2016-2017. Each honoree was presented with a Certificate of Recognition from the City and from the offices of Zack Scrivner, Vince Fong, Jean Fuller and Kevin McCarthy. Mayor Ed Grimes and City Manager Greg Garrett were both on had to congratulate the honorees.

The Officer of the Year was awarded to Alejandro Barajas. The award is given to an officer who exhibits high moral character, who habitually gives more than is asked of him and works for the greater good of the department and the community. Barajas came to Tehachapi from the Arvin Police Department two years ago. As Tehachapi's School Resource Officer (SRO), he is responsible for all six school campuses. He assisted the school district in the development of the school site safety plan. Last year Barajas handled over 1100 incidents, more that any other officer, and processed 160 criminal cases (second in the district). He is obviously devoted to Tehachapi youth. In his off time, he is an Explorer advisor and coaches the THS cross country and track team. He holds a Bachelors Degree in Business from University of LaVerne and has plans to complete a Master's as well.

Matthew Murphy received the Civilian Employee of the Year award. In November of 2015, the Police Department made the decision to stop outsourcing dispatch. Matthew was hired to set up and manage this new service. Within six months he had built and staffed the department, coordinated with a variety of state agencies and established procedures. Chief Kroeger said that, in his opinion, Murphy established the most efficient and professional dispatch in Kern County. Kroeger added that AT&T had called Tehachapi their most professional and successful transition.

The Explorer of the Year award went to Anthony Cole who joined the Explorers in August of 2013. He is a senior at Tehachapi High School and plans to complete his Associates Degree at Bakersfield College and then attend a four year college. He was elevated to Corporal in 2015 and in 2016 was part of the Explorer Team that won second place at the Explorer competition held at Federal Way, Wash. He distinguished himself with his tactical knowledge and attention to detail. Explorer mentor Amelia Thompson added that Anthony is very dedicated and has donated hundreds of hours to his post.

Tehachapi City Mayor Ed Grimes explained the significance of these awards to upwards of 140 guests in attendance. "What a shining example of the community we live in" said the Mayor.

The recipient of the Volunteer of the Year award was Edris Reed who has been a Tehachapi resident since 1964. Until retiring recently, she had been a police volunteer since 2008 when our current Tehachapi Police Department was only a year old. For over eight years Edris transported evidence and documents to court in Mojave and was secretary for the volunteer department. She has donated over 3000 hours to the department. Chief Kroeger said that when he started, he thought she was a full time employee. He added that Edris has always been a favorite with the department because she always brought in chocolates.

Following the presentations, Mistress of Ceremonies and Foundation Vice President Kim Nixon helped to raffle off a painting of an American/Thin Blue Line flag which was created by her daughter. To everyone's amazement, Kim's husband, Mike won the painting. He, in turn, donated it to the Police Department.


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