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UC Davis Police honor retiring MPD community service officer

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UC Davis Police honor retiring MPD community service officer

Andrea Contreras – backbone to Manteca's police canine unit – has been lauded "Citizen of the Year" by the U.C. Davis Police Department in addition to receiving a citation from the Cali...

GLENN KAHL/The Bulletin

POSTED February 2, 2010 1:52 a.m.
Andrea Contreras has been recognized as “Citizen of the Year” for her years of devoted support to police canine operations in the western states just as she accepted a golden handshake in Manteca.

The Manteca Police Department community service officer was singled out for her efforts Friday by the University of California Police Department at its 17th Annual Appreciation Awards luncheon where she received a trophy that read, “You Make the Difference.”

She was also recognized by the California State Senate with a certificate of recognition.

Contreras was instrumental in the establishment of the Faithful Partner Canine Memorial that was established 10 years ago in 2000 on the Davis campus by the Western States Canine Association. She served on the board of directors of that group as secretary and vice president.  The memorial stands as a monument for all 15 police dogs in California that have been lost in the line of duty.

She credits Manteca Canine Officer Grant Flory and retired canine Sgt. Gary Lee for getting her involved in the program some 20 years ago working all the local canine trials and attending most others held throughout the state.  She also provided much of the photography work for various departments as well as updating the Western States Canine Association website.

Sgt. Lee continues to supervise dog training operations in Manteca and Stockton.

The initial dedication of the memorial took place in 2000, but because of campus construction under way at Davis the next ceremony was not able to be held until last year.

“I just love what I do,” she said. “I guess I am just a wanna-be.”
She said the canine unit has been great to her over the years, even helping her train her personal dogs.

“When my dog “Taj” was diagnosed with cancer, 200 canine units donated a lot of personal money to support an experimental treatment – over some $20,000,” she said.  Sadly though her German Shepherd finally succumbed to the disease.

Contreras plans to stay totally involved with the Western States Canine Association in her retirement that will take her to some nine to 10 trials statewide this year including South Lake Tahoe and Reno.

In Reno it will be a first conference for that city in mid-October followed by a two-day police dog trial drawing canine competitors  from the western states.
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