Manteca Police Officer David Bright was recognized as employee of the year while Deputy Public Works Director George Montross was honored as humanitarian of the year during the City of Manteca’s 47th annual employee recognition banquet Saturday at the Manteca Golf Course Clubhouse.
The employee of the year is nominated by fellow workers while the city employee humanitarian award is bestowed by the Jeff Burkhardt Foundation.
“Detective Bright has a tremendous amount of inner drive,” noted Police Chief Jodie Estarziau. “He performs his work out of a sense of personal responsibility and duty, without seeking attention or reward for his hard work.
David Bright was hired in 2004 as a police officer for the Manteca Police Department. In 2007, he was assigned to the Traffic Unit where he excelled. He became a member of the department’s Major Accident Investigation Team (MAIT). In 2010, Bright tested for and was selected to be part of the SWAT team that he still serves on. After being part of the Traffic Unit for seven years, Bright went back to patrol for a short period of time before applying for and being selected to work in the Investigations Unit.
Bright is currently assigned to investigate crimes of Child Abuse and Sexual Assault. His nomination was not the result of one particular case Bright has investigated, but was in recognition of his consistency, thoroughness and teamwork.
The investigation of these cases requires a great deal of diligence and tact on the part of the investigator. The police chief said Bright is always up to the task and conducts thorough, impartial investigations that get to the truth. Estarziau added that Bright always goes above and beyond what is required or expected of him and noted, “He is polite and professional, but is not afraid to show he cares. He displays empathy to victims and family members.”
Bright has participated in human trafficking sting operations with allied law enforcement agencies. These operations have led to the recovery of human trafficking victims and pimps who take advantage of them. Bright also proactively monitors social media sites known for illicit activity.
“Detective Bright is a true team player,” Estarziau said. “No matter how busy he is with his own case load, he is always willing to help his fellow detectives with their cases.”
The chief noted the detective is praised by others for his teamwork, reliability, experience and initiative.
Bright has brought new fitness training programs to the SWAT team.
The most recent employees of the year were Jon Lucas, 2012; Jose Jasso, 2013; Scott Heaton, 2014; Pennie Arounsack Marques/Byron Decker, 2015; and Thomas Shipman, 2016.
The 2017 Jeff Burkhardt Foundation’s Humanitarian of the Year is George Montross, the Deputy Director for Public Works.
He was chosen as this year’s recipient because of his dedication to the Manteca community. Known as Mr. Manteca by his family and friends, Montross is a true example of what it means to go over and beyond the call of duty. He lives and breathes Manteca, he is an around the clock employee and is never too busy to help fellow employees or customers.
In making the award, it was noted “George is such a positive person to be around and always knows how to turn something negative into a positive.”
Montross is a past president and current member of the noon-time Kiwanis as well as the advisor for the Sierra High School Kiwanis. He is an avid gardener and rock collector ad well as loves to study geology. Montross lives in Manteca with his wife Julie and their two children Gillian and George Jr.
Prior Humanitarian of year winners include Mike Kelly, 2012; Rob White, 2013; Brandy Clark, 2014; Sterrie McLeod, 2015; and Stephen Schluer, 2016.