The officers included Rico Aranda, who was severely injured in the incident last May, which started in Eloy when the suspect fired a shot at an officer who had pulled him over in a stolen vehicle. The subsequent pursuit ended near the SanTan Motorplex in Gilbert, but Chandler Police Department Officer Chris Farrar was killed when his vehicle was struck in the chase. Aranda's vehicle also was struck.
The Gilbert officers cited in the award are Sgt. Mikel Curtis, Sgt. Kyle Peterson and officers Aranda, Philip Adami, Scott Carner, Bryan Heppel, Sean Johnson and Brandon Larrate.
A Maricopa County grand jury indicted Jonathon Altland Jr. in the case.
Also winning municipal awards were Budget Director Kelly Pfost as Employee of the Year and the Citizens Transportation Task Force as the Municipal Volunteers of the Year. The task force largely put together in an advisory capacity the $515 million streets, transportation and infrastructure bond package approved by voters earlier this month.
Other award winners included:
Geneva Clay Community Volunteer Award: Deb Carr
Beautification Award: Gilbert Parks and Recreation Department for the Gilbert Regional Park
Higley USD Educator of the Year, Rebecca Rodriguez, Williams Field High School
HUSD Support Staff of the Year, Kristen Ramos, Higley Traditional Academy
HUSD Volunteer of the Year: Travis Smith, Williams Field High School
Chandler Gilbert Community College Educator of the Year: Brad Bates, Chemistry
CGCC Staff Member of the Year: Nadia Faucon, technology support specialist
Gilbert Public Schools Dr. Walter Delecki Educator of the Year: Shawn Abele, instructional technology coordinator
GPS Mrs. Sharon Orr Support Staff of the Year: Ellen Baird, equipment specialist
GPS Mrs. Shelia Rogers Uggetti Volunteer of the Year: Sarah Bunn, PTSO president, Settler’s Point Elementary
Spirit of Business Award: Nova Home Loans
Visionary Award: Bryce Bunker, Gilbert Memorial Park Cemetery and Funeral Home
Leon Uhlhorn Chairman’s Award: Chris Spear, Traction Point