For their arrest of an armed man who kidnapped his 9-year-old son in Alaska, then burned down his family home, detectives Brian Miller and Jeff DeForest were honored by the Santa Barbara Citizens Council on Crime with the H. Thomas Guerry Award for Valor. After the U.S. Marshals told the SBPD that the train the man and his son were on would be passing through Santa Barbara, the detectives waited for it at the downtown depot and safely took the suspect into custody.
Also recognized were Detectives Sergio Arias and Brian Guerra of the Lompoc Police Department. Earlier this year they were working in the city’s gang suppression unit when they attempted to make a traffic stop on a vehicle occupied by two known gang members. When the car stopped the suspects ran out, and Arias and Guerra gave chase on foot down an alley. Though one of the suspects fired a shot during the pursuit, the detectives continued on. The gang members then entered a nearby house, while the family inside fled out the front door. After a standoff, the suspects eventually surrendered to the Lompoc Police Department SWAT team without further incident.