press release - 05211301

44th Annual H. Thomas Guerry Awards

Santa Barbara County - May 21st, 2013

Date:        May 21, 2013

From:       Santa Barbara Citizens Council on Crime

For:          Immediate Release

Contact:    Bob Hart   (805) 680-7610  




The 44th Annual H. Thomas Guerry Awards Ceremony will be held on Wednesday, May 22, 2012, at 4:30 P.M. in the Santa Barbara County Board of Supervisor’s Hearing Room, 4th Floor, County Administration Building, 105 East Anapamu.


PRESS CONFERENCE:  3:00 PM Wednesday, 5/22/13


A press conference is scheduled for Wed, May 22nd, at 3:00 PM at the Arch of the County Court House, Anacapa Street entrance.  .  This year’s recipients of the H. THOMAS GUERRY AWARDS FOR VALOR will be available for interviews and photos from 3:00 to 3:30 PM


The H. Thomas Guerry Award for VALOR:


Sr. Dep. Christopher Gotschall          Santa Barbara Co. Sheriff’s Office

Officer Ryan Smith                                 UCSB Police Dept.




Officer Isaac Clocherty                         California Highway Patrol

Sr. Dep. D.A. Ann Bramsen                 SB County DA’s Office

Officer Douglas Klug                                          Santa Barbara Police Dept.

Officer Keld Hove                                    Santa Barbara Police Dept.

Sgt Charles Strange                                Lompoc Police Dept

Lieutenant Bob Mott                                Santa Barbara Co. Sheriff’s Office

Corporal Matt Sterns                               UCSB Police Dept.

Sr. Dep. Prob. Off. Todd Malesich                 SB County Probation

Detective Michael Parker                     Santa Maria Police Dept.

Sr. Deputy Christopher Gotschall, Santa Barbara County Sheriff’s Office


During the early morning hours on October 6, 2012, Senior Deputy Gotschall was on a traffic enforcement stop in the area of Turnpike Road and Hollister Avenue when he heard gunshots coming from an adjacent neighborhood. While clearing the traffic stop, he advised the Emergency Communications Center and other responding law enforcement units how to deploy in the area.


As Senior Deputy Gotschall drove in to the residential neighborhood in the area of Andrita and Rosemead, he was confronted with a male exiting a vehicle holding a semi­ automatic handgun. Senior Deputy Gotschall immediately advised other responding units of his observations and exited his patrol unit, verbally ordering the man to drop the weapon while at the same time advising several other people in the area who had been attending a large party to flee for their safety. When the suspect turned in his direction, Senior Deputy Gotschall shot him and neutralized the threat.


It was later determined that the suspect had armed himself with a gun and gone to the residence to confront family and friends. Had it not been for Senior Deputy Gotschall's experience, tactics and decisive action, many innocent people could have been seriously injured or killed that morning.


In recognition of his bravery and resolute action, Sheriffs Senior Deputy Christopher Gotschall will be awarded the H. Thomas Guerry Award for Valor.




Officer Ryan Smith, University Police Department, UCSB


On Saturday, November 17, 2012, at about 01:12am Officer Ryan Smith was on mutual aid uniformed patrol with Corporal Greg Smorodinsky in the Isla Vista area of Acorn Park on El Embarcadero.  Both officers had just observed several males assaulting a single male.  Officer Smith took one male into custody while Corporal Smorodinsky checked on the injured male as paramedics responded.


While addressing the needs of the assault victim, gunshots rang out from the adjacent 6500 block of Sabado Tarde.  Recognizing the seriousness of the situation and potential deadly threat to the community, Officer Smith immediately ran towards the location where the gunshots were heard, soon followed by Corporal Smorodinsky who resolved the assault victim’s medical treatment.


While running, Officer Smith notified dispatch of hearing the gunshots and the location so other units could begin to respond.  Additional gunshots were heard across the Isla Vista community by all responding law enforcement.


As he arrived in the Sabado Tarde area, Officer Smith observed one male fleeing the area in the opposite direction of the other pedestrians.  The male ran in between apartment buildings going south.  Officer Smith, with the help of Corporal Smorodinsky, established an initial perimeter. As officers and deputies arrived on foot, bike and vehicle, Officer Smith directed these resources to a wider perimeter, encompassing the area the subject was observed and the gunshots heard.


Officer Smith continuously worked with the Santa Barbara Sheriff’s Department Isla Vista Foot Patrol (IVFP) sergeant, providing descriptions, direction last seen, and other pertinent information necessary for conducting an on-going operation.  Officer Smith, along with IVFP personnel, provided cover and scene containment as additional resources  (additional UCSB PD police officers, SBSO Goleta units, and SBSO’s Special Enforcement Team (SET), were brought into the area.  During this time, a male subject was seen exiting an apartment via a back window.  This subject was detained and it was later determined he was the active shooter.  Officer Smith continued to provide assistance with scene containment, directions for resources, as well as helping to evacuate nearby residents.


The Santa Barbara Sheriff’s Special Enforcement Team (SET) arrived and took over the operations. Officer Smith was to assist and provide information in the Bearcat. Additionally, it was determined that SET needed a medic for their team.  Cpl. Smorodinsky, who just completed his Tactical Medical class was assigned to the SET team and took a position in the Bearcat armored vehicle.   


Officer Smith remained with his assignments until the conclusion of the operation which resulted in the arrest of the detained subject. Officer Smith completed an extremely detailed report on his observations and recommendations for charges.  This report was reviewed by supervisors and detectives who commended him for the detail and quality of his work.


Based on the continuous involvement from the initial gunshots, to the containment of the scene, to the arrest and subsequent reports, Officer Smith showed an extreme level of dedication, leadership and superior patrol skills.  Even when recognizing the imminent danger to himself and the public, he did not hesitate to rush forward and address the threat. 


As a result of Officer Smith’s actions and in a clear demonstration of mutual aid law enforcement support from all responding partners, the suspect was apprehended and the community is a safer place.   Officer Smith is recognized for his leadership role and actions in the November 17 2012 Isla Vista Shots Fired cased.

For his bravery and excellent police work, Officer Ryan Smith will receive the H. Thomas Guerry Award for Valor from the Santa Barbara Citizens Council on Crime.


For all Media Inquiries Please Contact:

PIO Kelly Hoover

Business Hours: (805) 681-4100

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