Honoring law and order
by Sam Matthews
Feb 08, 2013 | 6584 views | 1 1 comments | 36 36 recommendations | email to a friend | print
Public-safety officers from seven Tracy-area departments will be recognized as Officers and Firefighters of the Year on Saturday, Feb. 9, during the American Legion’s annual Law and Order Night.

The program will begin in the Legion Hall, 1960 Tracy Blvd., at 6 p.m. with a social hour, followed by dinner and awards presentations at 7.

John Treantos, commander of the Legion’s James McDermott Post, will serve as master of ceremonies.

At the conclusion of the presentations, judges will select an officer and a firefighter to represent this area in statewide competition.

Tickets, available at the door, are $10.

The public-safety awards will go to:

Officer Matthew Massod Officer Matthew Massod of the California Highway Patrol Tracy unit has been part of the CHP since 2005. Massod has been with the local unit since 2008.

He is a member of Tracy CHP’s Special Enforcement Unit. During 2012, he issued 2,184 citations, helping the unit show a 27 percent reduction in traffic collisions compared to 2008, when he arrived.

Last May, Massod pursued and captured a dangerous felon wanted for an assault with a deadly weapon on a police officer.

Detective Ricardo Hernandez

Detective Ricardo Hernandez of the Tracy Police Department is a former Marine who became a police officer in Livingston in 2001 and joined the Tracy force in 2003.

Hernandez has been a field-training officer and defensive-tactics instructor, worked in the directed-patrol unit and is a SWAT team leader.

He is assigned to the general investigations unit and is the department’s gang investigator. He is also a member of the Tracy force’s newly formed honor guard.

Deputy Steven Buettner

Deputy Steven Buettner is a veteran of 27 years with the San Joaquin County Sheriff’s Department.

Buettner is the south county day-shift patrol officer and has handled a number of major investigations. In the past year, he handled 590 documented reports and 34 arrests.

Following a Nov. 5 interrupted burglary of platinum wire at the Owens-Illinois glass-container plant near Tracy, he determined the identity of two suspects through a handgun left behind in the suspects’ abandoned car and through fingerprints obtained at the scene.

Capt. John Babcock

A member of Tracy Fire Department since 2000, Capt. John Babcock has served as an engine company captain and as prevention captain.

Over the past 30 years, first at the Morada Fire Department northeast of Stockton and then in Tracy, he has been a mentor to many younger firefighters.

Lt. Alfonso Martes

Lt. Alfonso Martes is an 11-year veteran of the Defense Distribution Depot San Joaquin Police Department.

He received special recognition for the arrest of a suspect believed to be growing marijuana in a housing unit at the depot’s Sharpe facility in Lathrop.

Off-duty, Martes has been active as an adult leader for Sea Cadets.

Firefighter-paramedic Jesus Ortega III

Jesus Ortega III serves with the Defense Distribution Depot San Joaquin Fire Department. He became a firefighter while serving in the U.S. Air Force and has more than 15 years of duty in the fire service.

Ortega, also a paramedic, joined the Defense Logistics Agency depot’s fire department four years ago. He has been instrumental in the development of the advanced life-support program soon to be implemented at the depot.

A master sergeant in the Air Force Reserve, he currently is on active duty in Mississippi.

Capt. Mark Del Barba

Since 2001, Capt. Mark Del Barba of the Deuel Vocational Institution Fire Department has served as administrative segregation officer, investigative unit officer, assistant gang investigator, range master and terrorism-liaison officer at the prison east of Tracy.

He has been in the DVI fire service since 2010 and was credited with using life-saving measures to revive a 58-year-old woman who had collapsed after a full cardiac arrest at Stockton Metropolitan Airport.

• Contact Sam Matthews at 830-4234 or shm@tracypress.com.
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February 08, 2013

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