They work in different areas of law enforcement in San Joaquin County yet were all worthy recipients of the Don I. Asher Memorial Law Day awards.
They were singled out Thursday at the Manteca Rotary Club meeting for their exemplary contributions in making Manteca and the surrounding communities a safer place to live.
Honored at the special event held at Isadore’s Restaurant were:
• Rob Armosino, Manteca Police Department’s Officer of the Year.
• Jared Pettitt, San Joaquin County Sheriff’s Detective of the Year.
• Richard Evans, SJC Probation Department’s Officer of the Year.
• Barbara Butler, California Highway Patrol (Stockton) Officer of the Year.
• Peggy Mitchell, SJC District Attorney Office’s Investigator of the Year.
The award each received is named in honor of Don I. Asher, who launched this recognition program many years ago.
Lieutenant Robert Buchwalter at the SJC District Attorney Investigations Bureau lauded Mitchell for her work in the Tracy torture and kidnapping case involving then 14-year-old Kyle, who was chained to a fireplace, burned, cut and nearly starved to death inside of a Tracy home.
A former detective for the Galt Police Department – she specialized in children’s and sexual abuse cases – Mitchell had only been with the DA office for three months when this high-profile case landed on her desk.
She’s now a criminal investigator for the Colusa County DA’s Office.
Another special guest was SJC Superior Court Judge Anthony Agbayani, who had the pleasure of introducing his longtime friend, Manteca police Chief Dave Bricker. Both grew up in Lathrop.
Bricker, in turn, announced his detective, Armosino, as the MPD Officer of the Year.
Armosino has been with the department since 2004, coming over from Escalon. He helped crack several burglaries and other crimes in Manteca while quietly going about his business, according to Bricker.
“This award means a lot to me,” said Armosino, who thanked his family and fellow officers.
Pettitt, who received praises by Sheriff Steve Moore, received his second-ever Asher Award. In 2007, he was honored as the department’s Officer of the Year. Pettitt has been with the SJC Sheriff’s Department for 10 years.
Capt. Janet Dial had the honor of announcing Butler as the CHP-Stockton award winner, praising the officer for her work with seniors.
Chief Probation Officer Patty Mazzilli recognized Evans for his efforts in special projects and staff training.
Evans is a unit supervisor.