press release - 09191301

Attorney General Kamala Harris


Attorney General Kamala Harris



Deputies and Citizens Honored


Deputies and Citizens Honored

Attorney General Recognizes Individuals for Outstanding Service


Santa Barbara - September 19th, 2013

Law enforcement leaders from Santa Barbara, Ventura and San Luis Obispo counties gathered at Earl Warren Showgrounds today, September 19, 2013, for a regional Zone meeting hosted by the Attorney General’s Office and the Santa Barbara County Sheriff’s Office. The group met to discuss public safety priorities and advancements in law enforcement technology.  The gathering was also an opportunity for the Attorney General, Kamala D. Harris, to recognize certain individuals for their outstanding courage and community service. 

Santa Barbara County Sheriff Bill Brown said, “We are pleased to host Attorney General Kamala Harris in bringing together law enforcement officials from the Tri-County area. The Attorney General continues to make collaboration with local law enforcement a top priority.”

Attorney General Harris presented awards to individuals from the California Highway Patrol, Santa Barbara County Sheriff’s Office, the Ventura County District Attorney’s Office, and two citizens from Santa Barbara County.

Santa Barbara County Sheriff’s Senior Deputy Christopher Gottschall, who also received the prestigious H. Thomas Guerry Medal of Valor Award in May, was among those honored.   Senior Deputy Gottschall responded alone to a shots fired call in October of 2012. He confronted and shot an armed suspect who brandished a loaded handgun, potentially saving many lives.

Santa Barbara County Sheriff’s Deputy Julio Gutierrez, along with former University of California – Santa Barbara Police Department Corporal Kevin Kilgore, both received an Attorney General’s award for rescuing a woman who was drowning at Goleta Beach in March of 2013 and then applying life-saving measures to the victim until paramedics arrived.

Santa Barbara County Sheriff’s Custody Sergeant Timothy Morgan, assigned to the Transportation Unit, was given the Attorney General’s award for the courage he displayed during a viscous attack by an inmate armed with a home-made stabbing instrument that occurred in October of 2011.  Despite receiving significant injuries in the premeditated attack, Custody Sgt. Morgan fought back and subdued the suspect. Morgan was transported to the hospital for medical treatment, but returned to work the same day.  He is credited for his resolute response to the attack and his commitment to public safety.

Santa Barbara County resident Rick Roney received an Attorney General’s award for the significant role he has played in working to reduce the recidivism rate in Santa Barbara County. Mr. Roney, a retired business executive, was instrumental in starting the Santa Barbara County Reentry Project, which was designed to assist parolees with resources upon their initial year of release.  The project paved the way for securing grant funding for two full-time Day Reporting Centers within Santa Barbara County. Mr. Roney also served as the Chairman of the Sheriff‘s Blue Ribbon Commission on Jail Overcrowding.

Another Santa Barbara County citizen, nominated by the Sheriff’s Office, also received an Attorney General’s Award.  U.S. Air Force Airman David Russell was recognized for his quick thinking in September of 2012 when he heard gunfire and came upon a homicide scene in Orcutt.  Mr. Russell managed to get the gunman’s license plate number and direct a citizen to call 9-1-1.  He also provided first aid to two shooting victims until paramedics arrived.  His decisive action is credited with helping save the life of one victim, and for providing the Sheriff’s Office with vital information that led to the capture of the murder suspect.

The Attorney General, who is the top law enforcement official for the most populous state in the nation, hands out a select few awards once per year for each county at the regional Zone meeting. 

For Media Inquires Contact PIO Kelly Hoover


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