Ten members of the LVMPD were honored with 2021 Top Cops Awards from the National Association of Police Organizations (NAPO) at a ceremony in Washington, D.C., on October 15. Captain Dori Koren, Sergeant Erik Perkett, Detective Aaron Denson, and Officers Logan Jex, TJ Keller, Keaton Courtley, Carl Loskill, Kyle Quimiro and Shay Mikalonis were recognized for their courage on the night of June 1, 2020, when Officer Mikalonis was shot in the neck and critically wounded during a protest.
The Department has an impressive number of Top Cop recipients, and this year was no exception. Sheriff Joseph Lombardo accepted an award on behalf of the entire Department, which was honored for its heroic response to 1 October. Sergeant Josh Bitsko, Sergeant Greg Everett, SWAT Officer Levi Hancock, Officer Richard Golgart, Officer Casey Clarkson and Officer Brady Cook were also recognized for their valiant efforts during the 1 October shooting. We congratulate everyone in the Department for coming together and exhibiting strength and resiliency in the aftermath of one of the most devastating events in our city’s history.
On May 12, Metro Officers Dave Corbin and Samuel Solorio Jr. received Honorable Mention awards at the 24th Annual NAPO Top Cops ceremony during Police Week in Washington, D.C. On January 26, 2016, Officer Solorio came to the aid of Officer Corbin after suspect Gilberto Gutierrez sped through the streets of Las Vegas in a stolen car. Officers placed Stop Sticks on the road, puncturing the car’s tires and causing Gutierrez to crash and flee the scene on foot. Officer Solorio heard the call as he was leaving work and raced in his personal vehicle to help Officer Corbin, who was by himself.
It is a great honor to nominate the Las Vegas Metropolitan Police Department for the Top Cops Award. Officer Brett Brosnahan, Officer Tim Gross, Officer Zachery Beal, Officer Troy Nicol, Officer Ryan Fryman, Officer Greg Stinnett, Officer John Bethard, Officer David Corbin, Sergeant Kurt McKenzie and Sergeant Christopher O’Brien will graciously accept the award on behalf of the LVMPD family.
In 1962, President Kennedy proclaimed May 15 as National Peace Officers Memorial Day, and the calendar week in which May 15 falls as National Police Week. Established by a joint resolution of Congress in 1962, National Police Week pays special recognition to those law enforcement officers who have lost their lives in the line of duty for the safety and protection of others. Since that time, recognition has been given to officers who have made the ultimate sacrifice while protecting the men, women and children of the community they swore an oath to.
On September 9, 2011, a routine call for service at a Walmart store in our Las Vegas Valley turned out to be far from routine. Officers were dispatched to a possible credit card caper based on suspicion by the Walmart security. Security at the Walmart called Metro to advise that a couple was putting some $4,000 worth of high-end electronics in shopping carts. There was concern they might try to pay with a stolen credit card. First, two officers, Mike Ramirez and John Able, tried to make contact with the two suspects, one male and one female.
Police Week 2011 was an amazing event that every officer should attend. That’s a pretty bold statement, but it’s the truth. I have been a sworn officer in Nevada since 1996. In that time, I have attended way too many funerals. I’ll be honest with you, I cry at every one. It physically hurts to lose a brother or sister. At every tragic event the same statement is made: We will never forget.
For several years now, my wife, Michelle, has been attempting to influence (a kinder way of saying “coerce”) me into attending National Police Week in Washington, DC. This year I ran out excuses, made the trip with her — and it was a wonderful experience I think every law enforcement officer should participate in it, at least once. The highlight of this trip for me was the presentation of the Top Cops Awards.