Deputy District Attorney Brandon Jebens tackles challenges head-on, according to his supervisor.
Whether he is attending training in handling domestic violence cases at his own expense, or dealing with uncooperative witnesses in trial, Jebens will do whatever it takes to complete a job well, according to Santa Barbara County District Attorney Joyce Dudley.
Jebens, who works out of the district attorney’s Lompoc office, was one of eight local law enforcement officers or employees honored this week at an awards dinner at the Santa Maria Elks Lodge.
Area agencies each picked an officer or employee of the year to receive an award.
The Elks hosted the 40th Annual Law Enforcement Appreciation Night on Wednesday, which drew community leaders as well as members of law enforcement.
Despite dealing with difficult witnesses in a case he prosecuted recently, Dudley said, Jebens earned an attempted-murder conviction that resulted in a life sentence for the assailant.
“This man can never ever hurt another victim because of the heroic actions of Brandon,” she added.
Stepping up the podium, Jebens deflected some of the praise.
“The DA’s office really doesn’t work on one person alone,” he said, noting that he relies on the others in the office.
Santa Maria Police Chief Danny Macagni praised Officer Mark Streker as a “highly effective and tenacious investigator”. Macagni said that Streker is skilled at dealing with reluctant witnesses in gang crime cases.
For his part, Streker said that the Gang Task Force works closely with the Narcotics Task Force, which is a big help, as well as the District Attorney’s Office.
The Guadalupe Police Department’s officer of the year is actually the long-time office manager, Rebecca Robles.
Chief George Mitchell said Robles was selected by her peers, and has worked with the city for almost 40 years.
Robles was hired as the Police Department’s first records clerk, Mitchell noted.
“She keeps the department running,” Mitchell said, adding that Robles also ensures the department stays in compliance.
The other award winners were: Senior Deputy Probation Officer William Roberts, California Highway Patrol maintenance worker George Stankevich, Vandenberg Air Force Base Senior Airman Steven D. Koster, FBI Special Agent Bradley Peterson and Sheriff’s Department Detective Christopher Gotschall.