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Officer Awarded for Heroism in Naked Burglar Case

Detectives Lauded for Work on Operation Gator Roll


Santa Barbara police officer Tyler Larson won the Thomas Guerry Award for uncommon valor for his role in disarming and arresting Philip Matovich, recently sentenced to eight years behind bars for breaking into a Westside Santa Barbara home, stripping naked, and holding a knife to the neck of one of the residents. A team of six detectives won the Superior Performance award for their roll in orchestrating Operation Gator Roll, conducted last year, in which 227 gang members were arrested on a variety of state and federal charges. In what was the single biggest law enforcement action since the riots of Isla Vista, more than 400 law enforcement personnel from multiple agencies conducted sweeps on the homes of suspected Santa Barbara gang members.

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