2013 Employee Recognition Awards - Justice

GOLD - Lt. Shea Johnson of the Sheriff's Office

On October 22, 2013, the Board of Supervisors approved the submission of an application by the Santa Cruz County Sheriff's Office to the Board of State and Community Corrections to renovate the existing farm building at the Rountree Men's Medium Security Facility. Lt. Johnson was responsible for coordinating the preparation and submission of extremely detailed documents required as part of the State's application process. As a result of her outstanding efforts, the County was selected to receive $24.6 million to carry out this important project which will provide innovative programming for in-custody inmates to prepare them for successful re-entry into the community upon completion of their sentence.

Lt. Johnson devoted countless hours to this process, directed architects through a preliminary design, worked through the CEQA planning process, gathered historical site and title information, and managed staff and consultants in order to submit a strong grant application. She displayed exemplary leadership qualities throughout every phase of this work, was steady under pressure, motivated others to high performance, and never lost sight of the vision of the project while becoming an expert in all details associated with the grant process. Lt. Johnson's work will result in a new facility that will provide an opportunity for hundreds of incarcerated individuals to change their lives by participating in educational and life skills programs to help them be better prepared to reintegrate into the community after completing their sentence.

SILVER - Shared by members of the Homicide Unit in the District Attorney's Office:

Left to Right:
Joyce Angell
Greg Peinado
Sara Dabkowski
Steve Moore
Celia Rowland
Charlie Baum
Erika Ziegenhorn
Rafael Vasquez
Tara George
Jason Gill
Alex Byers
Michael Gilman

Not Pictured:
Johanna Schonfield
David Sherman
Ross Taylor
Rob Wade

While only a small percentage of the crimes reported in our community involve homicide, these cases represent the most complex, difficult, resource-intensive, and horrific crimes dealt with by the District Attorney's Office. Homicide cases are extremely traumatic for family members of victims and have enormous impacts on public safety in our community. While four highly trained and experienced prosecutors are routinely assigned to the Homicide Unit to ensure that each case is properly managed, the number of homicide trials this past year required additional personnel, which allowed the District Attorney's Office to complete a large volume of cases. The outstanding work of each of these employees resulted in a remarkably successful record of confronting violent crime and criminal offenses in the county.

Each member of the Homicide Unit performed all aspects of their work with a high degree of expertise, focus, and an unwavering commitment to ensuring a positive outcome that prosecutes criminals and protects the general welfare and safety of the community. They are each deserving of commendation and our sincere thanks for their outstanding work.


BRONZE - Shared by Hugo Calderon and Sarah Fletcher, members of the Probation Department's Juvenile Assessment and Intervention System and Correctional Assessment and Inventory System Implementation Team

Hugo and Sarah served as the key leaders of the Implementation Team responsible for the Probation Department's successful rollout of the Juvenile Assessment and Intervention System for juveniles and the Correctional Assessment and Inventory System for adults. Facing an influx of new clients associated with realignment and limited resources in the juvenile division, Hugo and Sarah consistently demonstrated their commitment to staff and clients throughout the implementation process. They spent countless hours transitioning Probation staff to use these tools, which help properly assess clients for both risk and need and also help ensure public safety. Their efforts included attending the initial training, serving as the liaisons to trainers and as the on-site support to staff, troubleshooting technical issues and solutions, and recruiting and supporting power users. The dedication of Sarah and Hugo to staff and clients was evident throughout this process, which enabled staff to complete more than 2,500 assessments in calendar year 2013.