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March 30, 2012 > Newark Police Officers receive recognition

Newark Police Officers receive recognition

Submitted By City of Newark

Newark Police Chief Leal spoke at the March 22, 2012 Newark City Council meeting. In addition to the Police Department presentation, Reginald Manning, Area Port Director for the Port of San Francisco presented plaques to Police Chief Leal and Officer Ramos.

The following is the text of the address by Chief Leal:

In the early morning hours of February 7, 2012, Newark officers were dispatched to Mayhews Landing Road regarding "shots fired" reported by a concerned resident. First on scene was Sgt. John Kovach, who located the victim, off-duty U.S. Customs and Border Protection Officer Robert Smith, lying awkwardly against a fence and bleeding from multiple gunshot wounds in the upper torso. Sgt. Kovach immediately began to render first aid and noticed that Mr. Smith was having difficulty breathing, so he repositioned him in order to clear his airway. He then requested available first aid resources, knowing that our SWAT team and the FBI were in the area performing a high-risk search warrant.

In the meantime, Officer Karl Geser arrived on scene and immediately began to assist Sgt. Kovach by applying bandages and direct pressure to Mr. Smith's wounds in an effort to control his profuse bleeding.

As a result of Sgt. Kovach's request for first aid resources, Officer Randy Ramos arrived on scene with the medical kit he carries on Patrol and as a SWAT team member, and assisted with the medical treatment of Mr. Smith.

Prior to being hired by the Newark Police Department in June 2009, Officer Ramos served our country as a US Navy Hospital Corpsman (medic) for the United States Marines Corps. During his five year military career, he was deployed to Ramadi, Iraq; Okinawa, Japan; Guam; the Philippines; Iwo Jima; Korea; and Thailand.

Due to Officer Ramos' extensive training and combat experience, he was able to locate the life threatening injuries that Mr. Smith suffered. Officer Ramos continued to provide medical treatment to Mr. Smith on the ride to the hospital and even spent time in the operating room as surgery was being performed.

While his initial prognosis was not promising, Officer Ramos' quick thinking and medical training, along with Mr. Smith's strong will to live, carried him through and I am happy to say that he is now out of the hospital and recovering at home.

The Newark Police Department typically recognizes the good work of its members through certificates of commendation. I would like to present Sgt. Kovach with a Gold Award for his role in this incident. In addition to his quick response and appraisal of the situation, he also supervised the investigation, including preservation of the evidence, coordination of witness contacts, as well as closing of streets, in a calm and effective manner.

I would also like to present Officer Geser with a Gold Award for his actions during this highly stressful event. Officer Geser's efforts to control Mr. Smith's initial blood loss was crucial during this very time-sensitive situation.

When a member of this department performs a heroic or meritorious act, they can be nominated to receive one of three of our highest honors. The Distinguished Service Medal is given to those who, while serving in an official capacity, distinguish him or herself by some conspicuous act, meritorious service or contribution to the City of Newark, the Law Enforcement profession, or brings distinct credit to him or herself and/or the police department. I believe that Officer Ramos' actions truly deserve to be recognized in this fashion, so it is now my honor to present the Distinguished Service Medal to Officer Randy Ramos.

Along with this medal, Officer Ramos will be allowed to wear a blue and white citation ribbon on his uniform to signify his receiving this honor. We are currently in the initial stages of getting our citation ribbon program in place, so that will come later. He also receives a plaque that commemorates this honor.

I would also like to take this time to thank all of my staff, sworn and non-sworn, who responded to this crisis, including dispatchers, patrol officers, detectives, sergeants, and command staff. Your professionalism and genuine regard for human life is commendable and, of course, not surprising as we have the best people employed here at NPD.

I would be remiss if I did not recognize the outside agencies that provided support during the investigation and assisted in the eventual capture of the suspect. A big "thank you" to the Fremont Police Department, Union City Police Department, Homeland Security, FBI, U.S. Customs and Border Protection, the San Jose Evidence Response Team, and our Major Crimes Task Force.

In fact, these agencies could not be more accommodating as over 50 individuals were sent over to assist us and we appreciate each and every one of them for their hard work and dedication in monitoring and carrying out such a large scale investigation. Despite the chaotic nature of such an event, everyone worked together as a team to save a life and also apprehend the suspect in this case.

Congratulations to all of our award recipients for receiving these well-deserved accolades.

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