Sr. Officer Jeremy Watson honored as Kiwanis Law Day Officer of the Year
By Peggy Kelly
Santa Paula News
Published: September 21, 2012
He has been lauded for rushing into a burning building to make sure everyone was out and honored for his efforts to get drunk drivers off the road.
Now, Santa Paula Police Senior Officer Jeremy Watson has been named the Kiwanis Law Day Officer of the Year.
Watson received his honor at a Ventura-based banquet, where officers from throughout Ventura County received the top honor from each Kiwanis Club. Kiwanis Club of Santa Paula President Ralph Reyes was among those on hand when Watson received the award.
“The award,” said Interim Police Chief Ishmael Cordero, “was given by his peers... this year we did it differently.... When I was president of the Santa Paula Police Officers Association” at the time the award was being decided, Cordero said, “I wanted to change it. Instead of a popularity vote we came up with a questionnaire, give us a reason why an officer should get the award” based on community involvement, “police involvement and involvement with our police association.”
Of those nominated for the award, Cordero said the SPPOA award committee “voted for Jeremy... he’s been on the force now for about 10 years, including Reserve Officer time.” And during his SPPD career Watson has demonstrated “outstanding qualities... well, he’s a Marine. He’s a young officer, but during his time here with us he has shown leadership traits and taking responsibility.”
Cordero said Watson “knows his policies and procedures, knows the law and law enforcement. He’s a hard-charger, dependable, and when Jeremy is asked to step into certain roles he does.... Jeremy is an excellent officer.”
In May 2010, Watson and other SPPD officers as well as the police department itself were honored by Mothers Against Drunk Drivers Los Angeles/Ventura County Chapter. Watson as well as SPPD Officer Randy Haumann and Officer Larry Johnson were lauded for exceptional enforcement efforts relating to drivers under the influence of drugs and/or alcohol, arresting 198 drivers for DUI in 2009 alone. That same year the SPPD arrested almost 300 impaired drivers, and the city experienced a 24 percent reduction in roadway crashes in 2009 compared to 2008.
Watson received a Police Officers Association of Ventura County Medal of Merit in 2009 for actions above and beyond the call of duty, rushing into a burning two-story rehabilitation/residential center to make sure the residents - including those on the second floor - were evacuated. Watson joined the SPPD in March 2003 as a Reserve officer and two years later was hired as a full-time officer.