Captain Rob Huss
Government and Media Relations
(360) 596-4010 – office
(360) 596-4015 – fax

*** For Immediate Release***

Date: May 6, 2015
Contact: Sergeant Kent Hitchings
Phone: (360) 432-7503
Twitter: @wastatepatrol

WSP Honors Fallen Employees, Celebrates Good Work Done in Their Names
- Honoring those lost by living up to the standard they set -

Shelton -- Governor Jay Inslee joined Chief John R. Batiste today at the Washington State Patrol Training Academy in Shelton for a ceremony in remembrance of WSP employees who have made the ultimate sacrifice for the citizens of Washington.

Following the memorial, the 2015 WSP Awards Ceremony was held, honoring employees from all corners of the agency who served with distinction in 2014.

The agency purposely holds the memorial and awards ceremonies on the same day.

"We want to remember our fallen for how they lived, not for how they died," Chief Batiste said. "It's fitting that we should honor those lost in service to the citizens of Washington State, and then honor those who picked up the banner and continued the important work they were doing."

Since the creation of the Washington State Patrol in 1921, twenty-eight individuals have lost their lives in the line of duty. The names and brief biographies of the 28 fallen WSP officers can be found here.

Wednesday's Memorial Ceremony consisted of a 21-gun salute and the name of each fallen officer called out as the flag was lowered to half-staff. Each time a name was called a bell was sounded in their honor. This was followed by the sound of Taps echoing throughout the academy grounds.

An eternal flame burns in front of the memorial erected at the academy engraved with the names of these heroes.

"We gather on this day to let the families of our fallen know that we will never forget their sacrifice. But we also honor our fallen every single day by delivering Service with Humility in a way that we hope would make them proud," Batiste said.

At the agency Awards Ceremony, the following employees were recognized for distinguished conduct during calendar year 2014.

2014 Annual Award Winners

2014 Chief Will Bachofner Award - Trooper of the Year
Trooper Michael B. Johnson District 5
2014 District Troopers of the Year
Trooper James A. Meldrum District 1
Trooper Jason D. Kraus District 2
Trooper Jody M. Metz District 3
Trooper Joseph B. Pass District 4
Trooper Joel C. Anderson District 6
Trooper Brandon S. Hyatt District 7
Trooper Keith P. Nestor District 8
2014 Certified Technical Specialist of the Year
Trooper Ryan A. Sauve District 3
2014 District Certified Technical Specialists of the Year
Trooper Scott A. Kirkeby District 1
Trooper Lewis R. Stevens District 4
Trooper Michael S. Huhta District 5
Trooper Darren W. Wilkes District 6
Trooper Heather A. Axtman District 7
Trooper Michael L. Welander District 8
2014 Looking Beyond the Traffic Stop Award
Trooper Joshua J. Merritt District 8
2014 District Looking Beyond the Traffic Stop Awards
Trooper Joshua T. Griffith District 2
Trooper Donald A. Field District 4
Trooper Joshua A. Winborne District 5
2014 Commercial Vehicle Division Trooper of the Year
Trooper Andrew Pelleberg Spokane
2014 CVEO/CVO of the Year
CVEO 1 Patrick J. Sagdahl Tacoma
2014 Port of Entry CVEO/CVO of the Year
CVEO 1 Thomas Byrnes  Ridgefield POE
2014 Detective of the Year
Detective John W. Garden Criminal Investigation Division
2014 VIN Officer of the Year
Officer Donna S. LaMarca Criminal Investigation Division
2014 Communications Officer of the Year:
CO 1 Tyler N. Oliver District 4
2014 District Communications Officers of the Year
CO 2 Stacie L. Huibregts District 1
CO 2 David A. Ingram District 2
CO 2 Nicole M. Downey District 3
CO 2 Thomas R. Adams District 5
CO 2 Lori H. Smith District 6
CO 1 Kate M. Whisler District 7
CO 2 Kara D. Nichols District 8
2014 Excellence in Safety Award
Trooper William A. Finn District 5
2014 Chief's Volunteer Service Award
Dr. Marc Reiswig Investigative Services Bureau
2014 Civil Service Employees of the Year
Ms. Violeta Navarro Investigative Services Bureau
Mr. Weldon W. Wilson Government and Media Relations
2014 Bureau Civil Service Employees of the Year
Mr. Gary D. Armstrong  Commercial Vehicle Enforcement Bureau
Ms. Karen L. Cline Budget and Fiscal Services
Ms. Kaelyn N. Eisenmann Technical Services Bureau
DSFM Melissa R. Gannie Fire Protection Bureau
Ms. Jamie L. Hawkins Field Operations Bureau
Ms. Sarah Holmes Forensic Laboratory Services Bureau