Everett police honor citizens, officers

EVERETT — Stories about strangers standing by while others fall victim to crime are all too common. This story is different.

A woman was loading groceries into her car in a grocery store parking lot on March 16, 2009, when a man grabbed the purse she was holding. The woman held on. The man dragged her across the parking lot. George Smith heard her scream. He grabbed a jug of laundry soap — the 96-load size — and hit the suspect on the head.

Then Bret Schuh and Yorik Cade chased the suspect and held him down until police arrived. For their swift actions, the three were awarded Everett Police Department Citizen Commendations at the department’s annual awards ceremony held April 21.

Officer Butch Rockwell received the Brian DiBucci Award. The award is named after a young Everett police officer who died in 1999 after falling 100 feet from a highway overpass during a foot chase.

Rockwell, who lives in Arlington, joined the Everett police in 2007. He served as a sheriff’s deputy in Florida before that.

“This is something where I felt I could make a difference,” he said of his career.

Rockwell is a gang resource officer and works with kids. One time, a little girl wrote him a letter to say she was sorry for the way she acted. Rockwell was moved.

“It’s times like this when you realize what the job is really about,” he said.

Master police officer Ursula Clifton was awarded a Medal of Merit. On July 23, she responded to a high-speed car crash on Evergreen Way. The car, with two people in it, had been ripped in half. Clifton could see that the passenger was badly hurt and was bleeding severely from the neck. She worked to stop the bleeding while a fire burned at her feet.

Clifton has been a police officer since 1995, but she was part of the Everett Police Department for much longer. That’s where her father and uncle served. Since she was a girl, Clifton has known that is where she belongs, she said.

As a master police officer, she is responsible for training new officers.

“What I find most rewarding is being able to serve as a resource for my crew,” she said.

Recipients of Everett Police Department awards

Those honored by the Everett Police Department:

Detective Duane Wantland: Investigator of the Year

Kevin Fagerstrom: Supervisor of the Year

Officer Butch Rockwell: Brian DiBucci Award

Officer Suzanne Eviston: Certificate of Merit

Officer Renea Wardlaw: Certificate of Merit, Letter of Commendation

Sgt. Robert Goetz: Certificate of Merit

Officer Edward Golden: Certificate of Merit

Master police officer Bill Lange: Certificate of Merit

Detective Tim Morgan: Certificate of Merit

Sgt. Dan O’Neill: Certificate of Merit

Doug Bartells: Citizen Commendation

Kory Bustad: Citizen Commendation

Justin Byrd: Citizen Commendation

Matthew Harbst: Citizen Commendation

Yorik Cade: Citizen Commendation

Bret Schuh: Citizen Commendation

George Smith: Citizen Commendation

Steven Donley: Citizen Commendation

Angela Wallace: Citizen Commendation

Jim Ferguson: Citizen Commendation

Jeremiah Graham: Citizen Commendation

Levi Graham: Citizen Commendation

James Hill: Citizen Commendation

Detective Chris Roberts: Certificate of Merit

Officer Mike Atwood: Letter of Commendation

Officer Steve Brenneman: Letter of Commendation

Officer Randy Marrs: Letter of Commendation

Detective Andy Williams: Letter of Commendation

Lt. Mike Franckowiak: Letter of Commendation

Officer Nathan Wallace: Medal of Merit

Master police officer Ursula Clifton: Medal of Merit

Neil Shannon: Volunteer of the Year

Administrative secretary Sharlene Johnson: Civilian Employee of the Year, Letter of Commendation

Aaron Snell: Officer of the Year

Pat Masters: Citizen Commendation

Kate Reardon: Citizen Commendation

Master police officer Greg Sutherland: Letter of Commendation

Detective Kevin Allen: Letter of Commendation

Detective Dick Callaghan: Letter of Commendation

Detective Phil Erickson: Letter of Commendation

Detective Gary Fortin: Letter of Commendation

Detective Tim O’Hara: Letter of Commendation

Detective John Zeka: Letter of Commendation

Officer Brandon Gill: Letter of Commendation

Police specialist Deb Richardson: Letter of Commendation

Seniors Against Crime volunteers: Ove Bergan, Chet Brown, John Chatterton, Harold Griffiths, Heather Hanson, Gene Hasson, Ian Jones, Marion Lockleer, Charles Moore, Bill Searcy, Neal Shannon, Vi Shannon, Margo Spencer, Fran Taralli, Sam Taralli.

Katya Yefimova: 425-339-3452, kyefimova@heraldnet.com

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