Several dozen police officers were honored at the Mesa Police Department’s 14th annual awards banquet Friday night. Civilian employees and residents who went out of their way to serve the community also earned recognition.
Several officers took home the Medal of Honor, which is the department’s top award.
Officer James Francis was honored for his actions on April 20 when he responded to an armed robbery at the Tempe Schools Credit Union, 2136 E. Baseline Road in Mesa. During the investigation, a pursuit began and shots were fired at Francis. Two shots went through the front window of Francis’ patrol car, but he continued the chase until the arrest was made.
For their work in an Aug. 18 standoff on U.S. 60 near Loop 101, Sgts. Don Rudd, Warren Solomon and Lee White, and officers James Derivan, Ken Moushey and John LaFontaine received medals.
A police chase ended after Robert Floyd Miles, who had an infant in his car, crashed into a wall.
When he refused to comply with orders, officers fired a Taser, bean bag gun and a diversionary device before a K-9 allowed them to rescue the child and take Miles into custody.
Officer Dan Engle received the Medal of Honor for actions that date back to June 27, 2005, when he responded to a report that shots had been fired at Eighth Street and Country Club Drive.
After he found a man dead, Engle got in his squad car and continued west on Eighth Street. The assailant fired two rounds at Engle’s car, penetrating his windshield and hitting him with shrapnel. Engle returned fire and the 22-year-old man was killed.
Also among the top honors is the Medal of Distinction, which went to officers David Enriquez and Travis Dangerfield for their actions on Sept. 21. On that date, they were dispatched to Sixth Street and Stapley Drive where they encountered a fire. They entered the home and rescued two children.
Detectives Domenick Kaufman and John Sharkey were named Sworn Employees of the Year for their work on the Barrington Estates quintuple homicide case.