Community member Jose Hernandez (left) is recognized by King City Police Chief Keith Boyd with a certificate of commendation during the King City Council meeting on Aug. 10. Hernandez helped an elderly resident in need with a ride to Soledad. (Sean Roney/Staff)

KING CITY — King City Police Chief Keith Boyd honored numerous personnel from King City Police Department during the Aug. 10 King City Council meeting, after the Covid-19 pandemic delayed the ability to host individual ceremonies throughout the past year.

“One thing Covid delayed was our ability to come together to celebrate the employees of the police department for what they do day-in and day-out for the community,” Boyd said.

Boyd first recognized Jose Hernandez, a community member from Pine Canyon who works in King City, with the Certificate of Commendation. Hernandez overheard an elderly citizen who missed his bus to Soledad and clocked out of work to give the man a ride while asking nothing in return on May 2.

“The community member had difficulty walking and did not have any other means of travel to get to Soledad,” Boyd said. “We want to thank (Hernandez) for what he did for our community and just wanting to give. It’s that spirit of giving … that goes a long way.”

A lifesaving medal was awarded to Sgt. Brennan Lux and Officers Stephen Phillips and Daisy Gurley for their role in saving a woman who was unconscious outside an apartment building on Bassett Street on April 30. The police found the woman in medical distress and administered CPR and Narcan until medical response arrived.

King City Police Officer Daisy Gurley (from left) and Officer Stephen Phillips are presented with a lifesaving medal by Police Chief Keith Boyd at the Aug. 10 council meeting for having saved an unconscious woman with quick medical response. (Sean Roney/Staff)

“Through the efforts of staff in providing emergency life-saving medical aid, the woman was later transferred to Natividad Medical Center for further care,” Boyd said.

A medal of merit was awarded to Sgt. Anthony Shaw, Phillips and Officer Matt Dillon.

“This is a tough one because in the end it was an unfortunate event for our community and they … put themselves in danger in an effort to try to rescue during an event,” Boyd said.

On Nov. 7, 2020, just after midnight, Shaw, Phillips and Dillon responded to a structure fire on South First Street.

“While responding to the scene, they were advised by Monterey County Communications that two children were possibly trapped inside,” Boyd explained.

Upon arrival, Phillips broke down a fence and used one of its boards to force entry into the burning trailer through a window.

“He attempted to enter the trailer and yelled for the children, but was pushed back by the flames,” Boyd said.

Phillips attempted to fight the fire with an extinguisher and then with a garden hose, but continued to be forced back.

“Facing great risk to their personal safety, Sgt. Shaw, Officer Phillips and Officer Dillon made numerous attempts to enter the burning trailer and to locate and rescue the children,” Boyd said.

After being pushed back the last time, Dillon continued to fight the flames as Shaw and Phillips evacuated neighboring trailers. The children were not saved during the incident.

Unit citations were awarded to the Major Crimes Unit members Sgt. Ryan Kenedy, Sgt. Joshue Partida, Sgt. John Dow, Sgt. Steve Kennedy (retired), Capt. Alan Rowe (retired) and Field Training Program members Shaw, Phillips and Officers Juan Rodriguez, Scott Baughman and Herbert Bowen.

Teresita Garcia was named Monterey County Peace Officers Association 2020 Support Services Employee of the Year.    

A certificate of commendation was bestowed upon Animal Control Officer Dixie Gould, Police Clerk Elisa Martinez, Garcia, Capt. Rory Lakind, Dow, Sgt. Kenedy, Lux, Sgt. Joshue Partida, Shaw, Baughman, Dillon, Gurley, Phillips and Officers Michael Rice, Juan Rodriguez and Yvonne Texis-Flores.

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Sean Roney is a freelance reporter for King City Rustler and Salinas Valley Tribune, a unified publication of Greenfield News, Soledad Bee and Gonzales Tribune. He covers general news for the Salinas Valley communities in South Monterey County.


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