Manteca Police Sergeant Wayne Miller along with four other law enforcement officers from various departments serving Manteca and the South County were selected as “Officers of the Year” by the Manteca Rotary club at its noon luncheon Thursday at Isadore’s Restaurant.
Detective Linda Jimenez was presented to the club members by Sheriff Steve Moore to receive one of the five annual Judge Don I. Asher Memorial Officer of the Year awards.
San Joaquin County Probation Unit supervisor Michelle Cantlin was presented with her plaque by Chief Probation Officer Stephanie James. James Bojko, an investigator for the District Attorney’s Office, was introduced by his supervisor Chief Investigator Ken Melgoza before the presentation. The selected California Highway Patrol officer Douglas Carraway was called to the podium with Chief Rob Patrick who made the presentation and told of his officer’s accomplishments.
Sgt. Miller was lauded by Manteca Police Chief Nick Obligacion for his dedication during the past year for his focus on the investigation of crimes against persons, homicides, serious assaults, robberies and serious elder abuse cases.
Sheriff’s Detective Jimenez was credited by Sheriff Moore for her professionalism in the investigation of two unrelated deaths of newborn infants within several months of each other at the hands of their teenage mothers who somehow concealed their pregnancies from their unsuspecting parents.
Jimenez is a 12-year member of the Sheriff’s Office and began her career as a Field Evidence Technician. In 1999 she went through POST training at the Ray Simon Criminal Justice Training Center in Modesto becoming a deputy sheriff first assigned to patrol division with Lathrop Police Services. Her husband Paul is a Lodi police officer and they have one five-year-old son.
County Probation Unit Supervisor Michelle Cantlin was nominated by five of her peers from her department seen as unprecedented in the past years of the award as well as having the recognition and support of Probation Administration.
Her supervisor told Rotarians that one of Michelle’s greatest strengths is that she has amazing organization skills, and whenever there is a project, she is able to formulate a plan of action to get it accomplished in an effective and efficient manner. The previous backlog in processing offenders has been eliminated and the unit is now reportedly running smoothly from her direction.
The officers serving under her were quoted as saying that she cares about them and makes sure they go home safely each night, that they don’t lose their integrity while performing their jobs. They also voiced their appreciation that she trusts them and is supportive of all of her officers while maintaining a good sense of humor.
District Attorney Investigator James Bojko was credited with the investigations of more than 30 murder cases that resulted in successful prosecutions. Many of those cases involved violent street gang crimes with witnesses and victims who were reluctant to come forward and cooperate with district attorney investigators, according to Chief Investigator Kenneth Melgoza.
“Often, homicide cases require working nights and weekends to accomplish the mission and Investigator Bojko does so without complaint. The past two years have been very difficult as a result of budget cuts, which resulted in a loss of 14 DA investigators at a time when violent crime has increased throughout the community,” Melgoza said.
Bojko is currently assigned to the Child Abduction Unit.
CHP Officer Douglas Carraway joined the Highway Patrol in 1991 and with his first assignment in the West Los Angeles area in Southern California for some three years before transfers to northern California offices and to Stockton in 2008.
He worked the last four years on day shift in the Manteca and South County areas and has issued more citations to drivers on cell phones than any other officer working out of the Stockton CHP office.
Carraway has investigated several fatal vehicle collisions during the past year being credited with his calm and professional demeanor in approaching those chaotic crash scenes.
Chief Rob Patrick added, “He is always willing to go above and beyond to do the right thing and serve the members of his community – his evaluations reflect his superior commitment to serving the public.”
Carraway and his wife Antoinette have four daughters.
The Judge Don I. Asher awards were organized again this year by Manteca attorney and Rotarian John Brinton.