COP volunteers honored for service

Nearly 40 members of the Madera County Sheriff’s Department Citizens on Patrol (COP) were honored April 11. The team, made up primarily of Mountain Area residents, provides deputies as well as Madera County residents and business owners a much needed and highly effective second set of eyes and ears.

COP President John Pelowski and Community Service Officer Joanne Evans hosted the event at the Coarsegold Community Center. Sheriff Jay Varney and County Supervisor Rick Farinelli attended, along with retired Sheriff John Anderson, now a representative for State Senator Anthony Cannella. This is the first year that Anderson, who is responsible for the creation of the Madera County COP program, attended the event as a civilian.

Pelowski discussed the dedication of the COP team.

“COP members put in 10,909 hours of time last year,” Pelowsi said. “It is an enormous savings to the Sheriff’s Department. The equivalent pay and benefits would be $327,270.”

Sheriff Varney thanked his volunteers, and expressed appreciation for the energy and passion they bring to their work.

Two special awards - “COP of the Year” and “Rookie of the Year” - were presented to Tom Landis and Doug Morton, respectively. Both men were honored with proclamations from the Madera County Board of Supervisors, as well as Assemblyman Frank Bigelow and Senator Cannella. Awards were also given for total hours served in 2014 as follows:

Lifetime Service (4000+ hours): Bart Nagel and Dave Myers.

Gold (500+ hours of service): Tom Landess (with more than 1,050 hours of service in 2014).

Silver (250-499 hours of service): Duayne Bowman, Doug Morton, Vonda Mullin, Rick Phillips, and Randy Taylor.

Bronze (100-249 hours of service): Wayne Bussberg, and Bob McLaskey.

Citizens on Patrol 2015 members: Bart Nagel, Richard Rhoan, Randy Brooks, Dave Myers, Susan Myers, Barbara Colliander, Carolyn (Sandy) Chaille, Howard McFarland, Joliene Mason, Henry Lara, Larry Mullin, Joseph Perry, Patricia Perry, Allen Narbaitz, Greg Wheeler, Jean Newman, John McCann, John Pelowski, Suzetta Pelowski, Randy Taylor, Wayne Bussberg, Jim Farr, Tom Landess, Denny Litten, Vonda Mullin, Larry Mattox, Mike Decker, Nancy McLaskey, Bob McLaskey, Doug Morton, Rick Phillips, Joyce Decker, Gary Murphy, Chris Pollock, Norman Swope, Jose Villegas.

- Madera County Sheriff’s Office