News Releases

CDCR Honors Employees at 38th Annual Medal of Valor Ceremony

Lieutenant Larry Faria receives highest honor for bravery

26 other employees recognized for heroic acts and dedicated public service

SACRAMENTO – The California Department of Corrections and Rehabilitation (CDCR) honored 27 employees today during its 38th annual Medal of Valor Ceremony. CDCR awards its employees for exceptional work that benefits the department and the community.

“Today we pay tribute to the courageous and unselfish actions of our employees who have risked their own safety to help others. It’s no surprise that many of our staff members continue to perform these acts year after year,” CDCR Secretary Jeff Macomber said. “Our colleagues demonstrate an unwavering commitment to their communities beyond their schedules and uniforms. We are forever grateful for their dedication.”

The Medal of Valor, CDCR’s highest award, is presented to employees who display conspicuous bravery or heroism far beyond the normal demands of correctional service. This year’s recipient is Lieutenant Larry Faria from the Office of Peace Officer Selection in Fresno.

On July 7, 2022, Lt. Faria witnessed a dramatic collision between a vehicle and a semi-tractor trailer while on his way to work. Lt. Faria ran to the scene and used a fire extinguisher to dampen the flames. When the fire persisted, he smashed the car’s window and pulled a young girl from the wreckage. His immediate and selfless actions saved her life.

Honorees this year work in a wide variety of disciplines throughout the state. Family members and colleagues attended the ceremony at Creekside Christian Church in Elk Grove.

Following is the complete list of employees honored:

Medal of Valor

The Medal of Valor is the Department’s highest award, earned by employees distinguishing themselves by conspicuous bravery or heroism above and beyond the normal demands of correctional service. The employee shall display great courage in the face of immediate life-threatening peril and with full knowledge of the risk involved. The act should show professional judgment and not jeopardize operations or the lives of others.

Lt. Larry Faria, Central Selection Center, Office of Peace Officer Selection, Fresno

Gold Star Medal

The Gold Star Medal is awarded for heroic deeds under extraordinary circumstances. The employee shall display courage in the face of immediate peril in acting to save the life of another person.

Duke Tamulonis, Maintenance Mechanic, California Rehabilitation Center, Norco

Scott Brady, Correctional Plant Manager II, California Rehabilitation Center, Norco

David Peebles, Correctional Officer, California Medical Facility, Vacaville

Ernie Cantu, Correctional Lieutenant, Pleasant Valley State Prison

Hector R. Macedo, Correctional Officer, Calipatria State Prison

Silver Star Medal

The Silver Star Medal is awarded for acts of bravery under extraordinary or unusual circumstances. The employee shall display courage in the face of potential peril while saving or attempting to save the life of another person or distinguish him/herself by performing in stressful situations with exceptional tactics or judgement.

Geoff Edwards, Correctional Officer, Centinela State Prison

Harold Gaskill, Correctional Officer, Ironwood State Prison

Jocelyn Davison, Correctional Sergeant, San Quentin State Prison

Bronze Star Medal

The Bronze Star is awarded for saving a life without placing oneself in peril. The employee shall have used proper training and tactics in a professional manner to save, or clearly contribute to saving, the life of another person.

Frank Norris, Correctional Counselor I, California State Prison, Solano

Richard Jones, Parole Agent II, Division of Adult Parole Operations, Long Beach

Anthony Fernandez, Correctional Officer/Investigative Support Unit (ISU) K9, Ironwood State Prison

Jason Castillo, Correctional Officer/ISU K9, California Institution for Men, Chino

Christopher Reyes, Correctional Officer/ISU K9, California Rehabilitation Center, Riverside

Priscilla Rodriguez, Registered Nurse, Kern Valley State Prison

Kristopher Sanborn, Parole Agent I, Division of Adult Parole Operations, Ceres

Felipe Valle, Correctional Officer, High Desert State Prison

Stephanie Mora, Correctional Officer, High Desert State Prison

Andrea Abad, Correctional Officer, High Desert State Prison

Yanira Hernandez, Correctional Officer, Richard J. Donovan Correctional Facility

Juan “Sammy” Farias, Correctional Officer, Sierra Conservation Center, Oakdale

Darryl  Nolan, Correctional Sergeant, Folsom State Prison

Benny Cornelsen, Supervising Social Worker, Salinas Valley State Prison 

Alan Meyer, Correctional Lieutenant, Salinas Valley State Prison 

Evan Bielanski, Correctional Sergeant, Salinas Valley State Prison 

Carlos Santos, Correctional Officer, Salinas Valley State Prison 

Joel Gomez, Correctional Lieutenant, Salinas Valley State Prison 

Professional-quality videos and b-roll available for download  

 

Medal of Valor Attendees
MOV awardees.
MOV Attendees
Bronze Star Medal Awardees.
CDCR Secretary Jeff Macomber and Medal of Valor recipient, Lieutenant Larry Faria
CDCR Secretary Jeff Macomber and Medal of Valor recipient, Lieutenant Larry Faria.
CDCR Secretary Jeff Macomber
CDCR Secretary Jeff Macomber honors employees who risked safety to help others.
CDCR awards its employees for exceptional work.
CDCR awards its employees for exceptional work.