Ofc. Todd Green, Sgt. Tom Longtine, records clerk Jaime Amsbaugh, Det. Kyle Torgerson, admin assistant Louise Emry, Sgt. Rob Hoag, records clerk Heather Tower, Ofc. Tobie Johnston, Ofc. Eric Alfano, and Ofc. Buddy Mahlum. Photo by Ray Still

Ofc. Todd Green, Sgt. Tom Longtine, records clerk Jaime Amsbaugh, Det. Kyle Torgerson, admin assistant Louise Emry, Sgt. Rob Hoag, records clerk Heather Tower, Ofc. Tobie Johnston, Ofc. Eric Alfano, and Ofc. Buddy Mahlum. Photo by Ray Still

Bonney Lake police honored at annual awards presentation

Officers who have reached their 10, 20, and even 25 year mark of working with the BLPD were presented with certificates of service, and several officers were honored for their lifesaving efforts last year.

The Bonney Lake Police Department honored its women and men in blue last week during the regular council meeting.

Police Chief Dana Powers led the Jan. 22 ceremony, which happens annually at the start of every year.

“This job gets increasingly tougher,” she said before introducing the night’s recipients of various service awards. “But who you see here, they’re honorable men and women who work extremely tirelessly for the safety and wellbeing of the city of Bonney Lake.”

First up were records clerks Jaime Amsbaugh and Heather Tower, patrol officer Tobie Johnston and Assistant Chief James Keller for serving 10 years with the Bonney Lake Police Department.

Detectives Bob Kocher, Brian Byerley and Kyle Torgenson were then honored for their 15 years of service.

Sergeant Tom Longtine was presented with a plaque for his 20 years of service, and officer Vince Sainati, who is now retired, received a pin for his quarter-of-a-century-long term with the department.

Powers also celebrated her 25 years of service with the Bonney Lake Police Department this year.

Police Department Assistant Louise Emry received the Commitment to the Community Award for her 16 years of service.

“She’s choosing to retire and leave me, which is going to be a huge hole in our department,” Powers said. “She does so much for this city, so much for our community and our department.”

Officer Buddy Malhum was next, and was given the 2017 Outstanding Service Award.

“I looked at all his stats, and he was basically No. 1 in every category we could have,” Powers said.

The highlight of the night was the Lifesaving Merit Awards.

First was Sergeant Rob Hoag and Officer Johnston, who responded to March 31, 2017 report of a Bonney Lake man, 63, having a heart attack. Being first on the scene, the officers performed CPR and used a defibrillator. When paramedics arrived, they continued to give the man aid for approximately 45 more minutes before he was revived.

Another award went to Officers Todd Green and Justin Paulson, who responded to a heart attack report on Sept. 5.

Jack Tatarian, the victim, was at the ceremony and thanks the officers for helping save his life.

“Thank you for being there, especially for my family and my kids,” he said. “I appreciate the policemen and policewomen, the team, the paramedics, everybody that was at my house that night.”

Tatarian received medical aid for 38 minutes before being revived.

Officer Ryan Harberts, Sergent Ryan Boyle, and Green also received a letter of commendation for their work during this incident keeping the family calm.

Finally came the Medal of Merit, which was awarded to Officers Eric Alfano and Green for their efforts to save a drowning man in Lake Tapps last summer.

On July 30, Peter Talaga, 22, swam out to the red buoys marking the swimming area and went under the water.

Alfano, who was on the department’s boat in the area, immediately responded and dove into the water to search for Talaga.

Green was on patrol when the call came in, and he also searched for Talaga before East Pierce Fire and Rescue came on the scene with two divers.

Divers found Talaga approximately 20 to 25 minutes after he disappeared.

“It’s amazing work that you guys do. I’m so proud to have you guys on our team,” Powers said.

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