Laguna Beach Police Department Awards and Recognition Banquet

On Monday, March 18, approximately 130 esteemed guests attended the 2023 Laguna Beach Police Department’s Awards and Recognition Banquet. The attendees were comprised of police staff, city leadership, community members, and representatives from the Laguna Beach Police and Community Foundation who helped sponsor the event (

The banquet was filled with many celebratory moments as nominees were honored for their outstanding contributions in 2023.  Nineteen awards were given in 10 different categories. Notable among these awards were the prestigious Lifesaving Award, Medal of Courage and Unit Team Awards, which highlighted exceptional acts of bravery and teamwork within the department.

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Photos courtesy of LBPD

(L–R) Laguna Beach Councilmember Mark Orgill, Laguna Beach Councilmember Bob Whalen, Laguna Beach Mayor Sue Kempf, Supervisor of the Year David Gensemer, Officer of the Year Antonio Manzano, Professional Staff of the Year Community Services Officer Rosie Santana (and K9 Cooper), Laguna Beach Councilmember Alex Rounaghi and Laguna Beach Police Chief Jeff Calvert

Corporal Antonio Manzano received the esteemed title of Officer of the Year, a testament to his exemplary service and dedication to upholding the values of the Laguna Beach Police Department. Additionally, Community Services Officer Rosie Santana, accompanied by her loyal canine companion Cooper, was lauded as the Professional Staff Member of the Year, and Sergeant David Gensemer was honored with the title of Supervisor of the Year, reflecting his exceptional guidance and mentorship within the department.

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Officer Gordon French’s daughter, Linda O’Keefe (center), husband Tom O’Keefe (on left) and Chief Jeff Calvert, who awarded the Police Cross to Gordon G. French, posthumously

The morning also held a poignant moment for Fallen Officer Gordon G. French as he was posthumously awarded the Police Cross, a symbol of his ultimate sacrifice in the line of duty. In a touching gesture, his daughter, Linda O’Keefe, graciously accepted a plaque on behalf of the police department, ensuring that Officer French’s memory continues to be honored and cherished by all.

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Supervisor of the Year David Gensemer (on right) with Professional Staff Member of the Year Rosie Santana

The Laguna Beach Police Department extends its heartfelt gratitude to all attendees, and congratulates each awardee for their remarkable achievements and unwavering commitment to serving and protecting the community.

Special Recognition to the following nominees:

Officer of the Year – Corporal Antonio Manzano

Professional Staff Member of the Year – Community Services Officer Rosie Santana

Supervisor of the Year – Sergeant David Gensemer

Medal of Courage – Detective Ryan Radel, Officer Matthew Meyer, Sergeant William Downing

Lifesaving Medal – Park Ranger James Kirk-Johnson, Officer Zach Oblea and Officer Danny Lopez

Police Commendation Awards – Detective Alan Cintas, HLO Zach Oblea, Officer Thomas Heib, Corporal Alex Diaz, Sergeant Zach Fillers, Lieutenant Jason Farris, Dispatcher Kamille Carruthers, Dispatcher Cassie Dove, Corporal Thomas McGuire/K9 Rudy, Cpl. Priscilla Angeloni/K9 Bear, Park Ranger Aureliano Becerra, Park Ranger James Kirk-Johnson, Park Ranger Daryl Byrd, Records Specialist Crystal Carter, Park Ranger Colin McNamara and Officer David Huynh

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(L-R) Sergeant Randy Bitonti, Detective Michaela Milone, Detective Mike Lee, Detective Joy Butterfield, Detective Corporal Tanner Flagstad, Detective Corporal Ryan Radel, Chief Jeff Calvert and Captain Mike Peters at podium (Unit Team Award)

Unit Team Awards – Officer Daniel Lopez, Officer David Huynh, Officer Jeremiah Kennedy, Officer Matthew Meyer, Officer Pablo Ladislao, Lieutenant Jason Farris, Sergeant Mike Short, Detectives Tanner Flagstad, Joy Butterfield, Michael Lee, Elizabeth Gutierrez, Ryan Radel, Michaela Milone and Sergeant Randy Bitonti, Sergeant Fred Yeilding, Officer Ashley Krotine and Cold Case Detective Daron Wyatt

Distinguish Service Awards – Community Services Officer Nicole Rice, Officer Brian Griep, Officer Ashley Krotine and Sergeant William Downing

Crime Fighter Awards – Officer Thomas Heib and Detective Tanner Flagstad

Police Cross Medal – Fallen Officer Gordon French

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