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Galt Herald

Kohler Is Officer of Year

Mar 27, 2024 04:27PM ● By Matthew Malone

Cpl. Nicholas Kohler, center, was named officer of the year. He is joined by, from left, Lt. Brian Azevedo, Capt. Richard Small, Police Chief Brian Kalinowski and Lt. John Rocha. Photo by Matthew Malone

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GALT, CA (MPG) - The Galt Police Department recognized the dedicated work of its staff and volunteers on March 14 at its annual awards ceremony.
Cpl. Nicholas Kohler was named Officer of the Year. Galt Police Chief Brian Kalinowski presented the award.
“I would say that’s an incredible honor because those that were nominated and those who weren’t even nominated,” Kalinowski said, “we have an excellent group of officers who support this community and this organization each and every day.”
Testimonials from Kohler’s colleagues praised his “can-do attitude,” saying that he “takes on tasks with no hesitation or complaints” and that his hostage-negotiation experience has been helpful on several calls.
“Nick is an incredible individual. I call him Superman. And he’s not bad on the golf course” Kalinowski said. “Nick is part of the glue that holds this organization together.”
Other individuals recognized were Community Service Officer Julio Roque as Volunteer of the Year, community service officer Colby Cuthbertson as Professional Staff Member of the Year and Sheree Grijalva as Dispatcher of the Year.
Kalinowski presented the Chief’s Leadership Commendation to Sgt. Rod Fisher, honoring the latter’s contributions to the department. As Fisher nears retirement, the police chief said he wanted Fisher to know that his efforts “don’t go unnoticed.”
Besides mentorship provided to newer personnel and work on a contract that affected police operations, Kalinowski highlighted Fisher’s advocacy to start the department’s honor guard.
“That was Rod’s passion and his desire to get that started,” Kalinowski said. “And he was presented a lot of roadblocks but he persevered negotiating, hustled, whatever it took to … make things go forward and be successful and have a group of honor guard members who, in my opinion, are second to none in Sacramento County.”
Fourteen officers received Lifesaving Awards for actions critical in saving a life. Capt. Richard Small said all the awards this year were based on responses to opioid overdoses. In every case, an officer administered naloxone to reverse the effects of the overdose, and in some instances, they also performed CPR until medical help arrived.
The recipients were Officers Garrick Jurado, Michael Little, Andrew Robison, Andrew Ramirez, Zachary Oden, Austin Steele, Jared Spinelli, Ruben Patino, Diego Ochoa and Marie Valdez; Cpls. Megan Robinson, Young Hammack and Gregory Steele; and Sgt. Rachelle Hansen.
Small said the Sacramento County coroner estimates the number of opioid deaths in the county in 2023 to be more than 300 and the captain commended the officers for keeping the number from getting higher.
Officer Andrew Ramirez was chosen for the Mothers Against Drunk Driving DUI Award, which honors the officer who has made the most arrests for driving under the influence.
“I don’t have to remind anybody in this room about the effects that DUI driving has had on this community and specifically this department,” Small told attendees. Galt Officer Harminder Grewal died in 2021 following a collision with a pickup whose driver was under the influence. “That makes this award that much more significant and important to all of us here.”
The department recognized four retiring members of the Citizens Assisting Police Services (CAPS) volunteer program. Each member devoted thousands of hours to service. Bob and Terry Esparza volunteered for more than 4,000 hours and more than 3,000 hours, respectively. David Rutt contributed more than 1,000 hours and Jim Spratt volunteered more than 7,000 hours. H