Eleven Modesto police officers will receive public safety officer medals of valor from Gov. Jerry Brown during a ceremony Thursday in Sacramento. The officers were among those who responded to the shooting deaths of Stanislaus County Sheriffs Deputy Bob Paris and locksmith Glendon Engert as they attempted to evict a tenant April 12, 2012, in the 2100 block of Chrysler Drive in Modesto. When the Modesto officers arrived at the scene, the status of both men shot was unknown, and the location of the gunman was also unknown. The officers risked their lives attempting to rescue Paris and Engert.
Being honored are Sgts. Rick Applegate, Patrick Kimes, Scott Meyers and Ivan Valencia, Detective Eric Beffa, and officers Joseph Bottoms, Jonathan Griffith, Gary Guffey, Frank Inacio, Robert Reyna and Richard Rodarte.
The Public Safety Officer Medal of Valor Act of 2003 gives the governor the authority to award the Medal of Valor to public safety officers who are cited by the state attorney general for extraordinary valor beyond the call of duty. The attorney generals office receives nominations from public safety agencies. These nominations are reviewed by the Medal of Valor Review Board, which makes a recommendation to the attorney general.
Seven firefighters from Ceres participated in the 9/11 Memorial Climb in Sacramentos Renaissance Tower last week. Each of the firefighters ascended 343 steps, a number chosen to reflect the number of firefighters who died during the terrorist attacks in 2001. Each firefighter wore full gear while climbing the 110 flights of stairs, and each shook hands with retired New York firefighter Jeff Cool before ringing a fire bell. The event raises money for the families of victims.
Engineer Dominic Magagnini made the climb for the third time. Engineers Juan Montes and Billy Finley, firefighters David Steenburgh and Christopher Steenburgh and Capt. Josh Cummings all completed it for the second time, while it was the first time for Capt. Jeff Serpa.
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