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Officer Jobe Dickinson was dispatched to a report of an armed robbery and observed a vehicle that was believed to be involved in three other robbery incidents that occurred earlier in the night. After evading Officer Dickinson, the suspect collided with two other vehicles at an intersection. Dickinson immediately responded to the area to assist at the scene and as he approached, saw four male occupants fleeing their vehicle. One of the suspects attempted to carjack another vehicle to make his escape. Officer Dickinson initiated a foot pursuit and coordinated the response of several other patrol units, capturing that suspect before he could victimize any other citizens. Ultimately, three of the four suspects were captured that evening and the fourth was identified and captured on a later date. In addition, several items of evidence were recovered; including money that was taken in at least one robbery as well as weapons and clothing that were used during the other robberies.
Firefighter Ty Cobb was returning home on I-10 after working an overtime shift when he encountered traffic beginning to slow near the downtown area. The slowing was caused by a pick-up truck traveling the wrong way, entering the off ramp of Congress and colliding head on with a sedan. As a result of the collision, one passenger was ejected and another was trapped in a burning car. Cobb instinctively rushed to render aid to the burning vehicle. Unable to get the doors open, he entered through the rear window and assessed the driver. With the help of other bystanders, he was able to free the door to remove the crash victim. Cobb continued to render medical care, providing ventilations until additional personnel arrived at the scene. Cobb represented the very best of what a Firefighter should be, putting the lives of others before his own.
Agent Roberto Heredia was involved in rescue which began with an alien arrest. The detainee reported that a companion was left near the Atascosa Mountains near Nogales, Arizona. The companion was suffering from heat related distress and was unable to walk. Due to the extreme heat and treacherous terrain, the suspect was unwilling to lead agents to the location of the other alien. After an unsuccessful helicopter search, Heredia persisted and hiked up the mountains on one of the hottest days recorded in 2011. After a few hours, Heredia heard faint cries for help and notified a search crew. With nowhere to land a helicopter, Heredia provided aid and carried the semi-conscious and combative alien back through the rugged terrain. His brave actions saved the victim’s life and Heredia proved to be an exemplary agent and leader.
While stationed in Afghanistan, SSgt Aaron Escalante was called by the Afghan National Army to investigate a compound known to house top Taliban commanders. Without hesitation, he and his Military Working Dog, Mushe, entered the deadly site together. After a thorough assessment, Escalante was able detect not only the location of hidden explosives but also an intricate web of terrorist activities supported by an arsenal of rockets, grenades and AK-47s. After removing the dangerous materials, the compound was secured and suspended of all terrorist operations. Escalante’s heroism and valor proves he is an asset to our military.
Dan Gutierrez, an officer for the Department of Public Safety got a call for the abduction of an infant on October 13, 2010.His work on the Child Predator Apprehension Team prepared him to deal with the armed and dangerous offender. After a violent confrontation, Gutierrez managed to rescue the child while keeping his partners safe.
Nicole Crowson, a deputy for Pima County Sheriff's Department was responding to a robbery on April 1st, 2011. The suspect fled the scene and his car collided with another vehicle carrying a family. The impact of the crash sent the family's car through the garage of a nearby home and into a tree. With the accelerator pinned and smoke building, Crowson quickly pulled the family members out of the car and away from the flames.
Tyler Menke, a firefighter for Tucson Fire Department was on scene for a helicopter crash on July 28, 2010. The helicopter was on fire but Menke disappeared from sight as he walked into the flames. He emerged carrying a man still connected to his seat and the victim was rushed to hospital. Although the victim later died, his family was able to say goodbye because of Menke's heroic actions.
We are proud to have Tyler Menke, Nicole Crowson and Dan Gutierrez as our 2011 recipients of "Hero of the Year."