Six Santa Barbara police officers and Sheriff’s deputies received this year’s H. Thomas Guerry Award for Valor for their cool-headed handling of two separate incidents involving violently self-destructive suspects. On July 13, Sergeant Mike McGrew and Officer Bryce Ford with the SBPD helped successfully detain a male suspect who, following a domestic disturbance, cut his own throat and then fled from police in an RV, causing nine traffic collisions across the city. Ford was dragged by the RV, and McGrew broke his foot in the chaos, but they made the arrest without any further harm to people or property. On November 8, Deputy Brian Flick, Deputy Todd Lefemine, Senior Deputy Neil Gowing, Sergeant Brian Dickey with the Sheriff’s Office responded to Tom’s Gas Station in Buellton, where a suicidal man had doused himself and a truck with gasoline and was pacing about with a lighter and fuel canister in hand. Deputy Flick spoke calmly with the man as the other three slowly corralled him away from the gas pumps and into a parking lot, where he was taken into custody without further incident.


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