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January 21, 2011 > County board honors police

County board honors police

Submitted by Daryl Sequeira, Milpitas PD
Photo Courtesy of Milpitas PD

On Tuesday, January 11 Milpitas Police Officers Mitch Timko and Abbie Serrano were among 13 law enforcement officers honored by the Santa Clara County Board of Supervisors as 2010 Crisis Intervention Team (CIT) Officers of the Year.

Officers Serrano and Timko were recognized for their efforts to defuse and end a highly dangerous encounter with an armed, mentally distraught woman last year. On January 16 last year, a woman entered a Milpitas Church holding a loaded revolver to her head, and ordered the parishioners to leave. Officer Mitch Timko engaged the woman in conversation for two hours, during which time the woman told Officer Timko to shoot her. Officer Timko's calm and sincere manner and non-stop conversation with the woman over two hours eventually convinced her to put down the gun, which was cocked and ready to be fired.

Officer Abbie Serrano, a hostage negotiator and CIT trained officer, continued the dialogue convincing the subject to relinquish the gun. It was later discovered that the woman left a suicide note in her car. As a result of the actions of these two officers, the woman survived this acute crisis, and received mental health care.

Police Chief Dennis Graham credits teamwork for the successful outcome of this emergency, stating, "Both Abbie and Mitch played a key role in this situation, and by working together and with the many other officers present, they ensured that nobody was hurt and that the woman involved got the help she so desperately needed."

Officer Serrano became a police officer in Milpitas in July of 2000, and has served as a Crisis Negotiator, Field Training Officer, Field Evidence Technician, and Life Support Instructor. Officer Timko joined the Milpitas Police Department in December of 2001, and has served in Patrol Services his entire career. Milpitas Police Department wishes to congratulate Officers Serrano and Timko on this well deserved honor.

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