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Published by it, 2019-11-27 19:26:53

Employee Newsletter 11-2019

Employee Newsletter 11-2019




Vernon Police Sergeant Bobby Baker began his ca- Up-to-the-Minute News
reer as a Police Officer in the City of Vernon in 1964
when he followed in his father’s footsteps and at- Remember to follow our Facebook, Instagram, and
tended the Los Angeles County Sheriff’s Academy at Twitter accounts for all of the latest City related news
the age of 20. His father, Officer Robert Baker, was a and events! We can be found on:
Police Officer for the Vernon Police Department from
1954 until he retired in 1970. @CityofVernonCA
On April 24, 1976, Sergeant Bobby Baker was on his @city_of_vernon
way to the Vernon Police Department to begin his
shift. As he drove on Bandini Boulevard through the
intersection of Soto Street, a vehicle traveling on
Soto Street drove through the intersection against
a solid red light. The vehicle struck Sergeant Baker’s
personal vehicle, causing it to spin within the inter-
section. Sergeant Baker was transported to a local
hospital and eventually succumbed to his injuries. Af-
ter the accident, the driver of the other vehicle fled
the scene and was never captured for the hit and
run collision that took Sergeant Baker’s life.

Sergeant Baker was survived by his wife Barbara and
his 6-year-old son Brian. Brian eventually followed in
his father’s footsteps and became a Vernon Police
Officer in 1994, and is currently a Lieutenant at the
Downey Police Department. In a letter written shortly
after Sergeant Baker’s passing, Vernon Police Chief
Spencer Hogan wrote, “Bob was a fine young man.
He was a credit to himself and his family; also to his
uniform and the police service. He will be greatly
missed by his peers in blue, personal friends and my-

Lt. Baker and Mayor Ybarra revealed the new Baker
Way street sign on November 5th. Every day, thou-
sands of police officers throughout the country leave
their families to go to work not knowing if they will
make it back home to their loved ones. Dedicating
the west driveway of Vernon City Hall, which is used
by police department personnel, stands to not only
honor Sergeant Baker for his service to the City, but
it will serve as an ever-present reminder of the daily
sacrifice these brave men, women and their families
make to keep the City safe.

The Latest...

Employee Tree Lighting Ceremony and Ugly
Sweater Contest to be Held on December 5th!

The holidays are upon us, so let the celebrations begin!
Join us on the 2nd floor of City Hall, in the Customer
Service Lobby, on December 5th at 3:00 pm for Ver-
non’s 2nd Annual Ugly Holiday Sweater Contest! In
keeping with the festive holiday spirit, employees are
encouraged to wear their UGLIEST holiday sweater on
this occassion. Participants’ sweaters will be judged
and the UGLIEST will win a prize to be announced at
the City’s Holiday Celebration on December 12th! Be
creative and don’t be afraid to get ugly!

Following the ugly sweater festivities, a joint communi-
ty/employee tree lighting ceremony, will be hosted in
the evening from 5:00pm - 7:00pm. Snow will cover the
City Hall lawn and guests will be treated to coffee, hot
cocoa, and sweet snacks.

We are thrilled to celebrate the season with all of you
and wish everyone Happy Holidays!

Vernon’s 2019 Holiday Celebration is Near!

The City of Vernon is happy to announce its upcom-
ing Employee Service Awards and Holiday Celebra-
tion Event! Join your fellow employees and their spe-
cial guests for an evening of dinner, dancing, and
raffle giveaways. The event will be held on:

Thursday, December 12, 2019
5:00 pm - 11:00 pm
Commerce Doubletree Hotel

This annual employee appreciation event recognizes
all employees that have reached service milestones
this year, announces VEEP Award recipients, and the
winner for the Ugly Holiday Sweater Contest!

Please contact Human Resources with any ques-
tions. RSVPs were due by Thursday, November 21st,
but please contact HR if you missed the deadline
and wish to attend!

To increase your odds of winning a fantastic raffle
prize, please deliver an unwrapped toy (minimum
retail value of $10) to Human Resources by Monday,
December 9th, to earn one additional raffle ticket!

It is the season to reflect on the year and celebrate
our personal and collective achievements. We hope
to see you there!

The Latest...


Vernon Fire has partnered with ABC7 for the 27th Annual Spark of Love Toy Drive! This campaign collects new,
unwrapped toys and sports equipment for the underserved children in our communities. Any donations from
our Vernon employees would be appreciated!

This year’s drive runs through December 24th. Toys collected in the Los Angeles, San Bernardino, Orange, Ven-
tura, and Riverside counties are distributed locally. Last year alone, “Spark of Love” collected close to 500,000
toys within the five counties. Our goal is to exceed last year’s contribution amounts!

Donation boxes are located at all Fire Stations and at Vernon City Hall. Please join ABC7 and Firefighters across
the Southland in making this season a little brighter for thousands of local boys and girls who may otherwise go
without a gift. Through the Spark of Love Toy Drive, the spirit of giving will be felt throughout the communities
we live and work, deep in the hearts children.

Vernon’s own Operation Santa will ensure that toys are delivered to all Vernon children. Last year, an impres-
sive parade of police and fire vehicles with lights and sirens ablaze made its way through Vernon streets, stop-
ping in every residential area. Vernon PD and Vernon Fire will continue the Operation Santa tradition in 2019
with your generous donations! Thanks in advance, everyone!



30 Years

Todd A. Hewett, Fire Captain; Ruben Herrera, Warehouse Worker; William R. Foltz, Jr., Fire Captain;
Jeffrey S. Graves, Fire Captain; Daniel A. Kimes, Fire Captain; Dean A. Richens, Fire Captain

25 Years

Anthony R. Hinojos, Sr. Water Maintenance Worker; Paul T. Johnson, Fire Engineer;
Michael S. Langer, Fire Captain; Victor M. Modesto, Fleet Supervisor; Lawrence M. Muno, Firefighter;

Armando Hinojos, Utilities Dispatcher (pictured on left)

20 Years

Sergio A. Canales, Assistant Planner; Cerissa M. Diaz, Lead Police Dispatcher

15 Years

Jeremy A. Cross, Police Sergeant; Paul J. Hallenberg, Firefighter/Paramedic;
Jonathan D. Sudduth, Firefighter/Paramedic; Jonathan E. Van Oeffelen, Firefighter;

Gabriel A. Martinez, Police Sergeant

10 Years

Miguel A. Hernandez, Jr., Police Officer; Aaron E. Cass, Fire Captain; David K. Kawasaki, Firefighter/Paramedic;
Jeff R. Schauster, Firefighter/Paramedic; Manuel Vazquez, Firefighter/Paramedic;
Ruben Rodriguez, Associate Resource Scheduler

5 Years

Stephanie D. Aceves, Police Dispatcher; Hema P. Patel, City Attorney;
Lisa H. Umeda, Utilities Compliance Administrator; Lilia Hernandez, Executive Assistant to the City Administrator;

Dwight Pierce, Facilities Maintenance Worker (pictured on right)

New Hires, Promotions, and Retirements
New Hires

John Cordova, Public Works Superintendent; Jim Enriquez, Interim Fire Chief;
Cynthia Maciel, Community Services Officer; Diana Gonzales, Council Member;

Melissa Nano, Environmental Health Specialist; Lisa Pope, City Clerk;
Zuleima Vazquez, Police Records Technician; Scott Williams, Director of Finance


Manuel Garcia, Utilities Operation Manager; Derek Meyer, Fire Engineer;
Matthew Holtzendorff, Fire Engineer; Aaron Cass, Fire Captain; Devina Reynolds, Firefighter/Paramedic


Mauro Trujillo, Water Foreman; Bruce English, Fire Chief; William Fox, Director of Finance;
Stephen Agon, Fire Captain; Douglas Barker, Firefighter; Jose Cervantes, Sr. Warehouse Worker;
Thomas Egan, Firefighter/Paramedic; Christopher Hanson,Fire Engineer; David Koltvet, Fire Engineer;

David Moore, Fire Captain; Rory Moore, Fire Captain; Jeffrey Neely, Fire Engineer;
Vincent Rodriguez, Public Works Superintendent; Michael Rogers, Fire Engineer; Steven Ruffoni, Fire Captain;

Martin Sanchez, Street Maintenance Worker; Todd Schoenig, Fire Battalion Chief;
Barry Schoolmeester, Firefighter; Jeffrey Smith, Fire Engineer; William Wilson, Sr. Fire Code Inspector

EVENTS Employees showed their Halloween spirit by hosting our
Vernon Elementary neighbors (on October 30th and
31st) and participating in the various employee con-
tests on Halloween day! It was great to see everyone
take part in the fun in such elaborate, creative ways!

Employee Halloween Spooktacular!


Department Highlights

Each day, employees are hard at work making a difference in their respective depart-
ments. In this section, we will highlight a few of the accomplishments, happenings, and
newsworthy events that have taken place over the last several months.


Vernon Public Utilities (VPU) was one of a handful of munic-
ipal utilities honored at this year’s American Public Power
Association’s Engineering & Operations (E&O) Conference.
Again, VPU achieved Diamond Level recognition as a Reli-
able Public Power Provider (RP3)! The RP3 award is given to
those utilities who demonstrate proficiency in four key areas:
safety, reliability, workforce development, and system im-
provement. Applications are reviewed by an independent
18-member subject matter expert panel representing 11 dif-
ferent types of organizations. Only 13% of all public utilities
have earned the RP3 designation and far fewer reach the
Diamond Level standard.

In addition to the RP3 award, VPU was also recognized for
its outstanding safety record during the 2018 calendar year.
VPU received First Place in the APPA 2018 Safety Award of Ex-
cellence for group category D, as well as being the recipient
of the 2019 Safety Award from the American Public Gas As-
sociation. VPU had zero OSHA incidences in 2017 and 2018.

Congratulations VPU for these amazing accolades!


It is not often that snow is present in Southern
California, but the Power Plant was dressed
in white powdery snow for participants of the
annual SCPPA Legislative and Regulatory Staff
Tour on July 24th. VPU hosted a tour of the his-
toric Power Plant for attendees which included
Assemblymember Santiago’s Office, the Air Re-
sources Board, and the California Energy Com-

VPU displayed a variety of products made in
Vernon, including snow and an ice sculpture
generously donated by Arctic Ice. Other gen-
erous donations came from Popcornopolis,
Tapatio, Crown Poly, Gavina, Mikawaya, and
Millenium Products. Vernon business leaders Ju-
liet Goff (KalPlastics) and Doug Rawson (Superi-
or Lithographics) spoke about the value of the
City and its services.

Not only did the tour showcase companies in
Vernon, but attendees left with knowledge of
Vernon’s impact on the regional economy.

Vernon Means Business

Business and industry is what we’re all about here in Vernon! This section is designed to sin-
gle out a business (or potential for business in this case) in Vernon and highlight their unique op-
eration. In this edition, we are acknowledging the City’s new Prologis business facilities!

Prologis Vernon Business Center

Brand New Construction in the Heart of Southern California

Vernon means business! Two industrial facilities totaling over 346K square feet of space are currently under con-
struction on Boyle Avenue. Modern construction in the heart of LA County is rare, but it is happening in Vernon!
Our historic City is ready to welcome new businesses to its “exclusively industrial” community! It is anticipated
that this project will attract a wide variety of occupiers. The state-of-the-art buildings will be leaders in the com-
mercial submarket due to their modern construction.

Vernon offers several advantages for businesses. It is a prime location just outside of downtown Los Angeles
and in close proximity to LAX, the ports of Los Angeles and Long Beach, and the Alameda corridor. Additionally,
the City is thriving and continues to be one of the lowest cost cities in the country for business operations.

Dubbed as the Prologis Vernon Business Center 1 and 2, the facilities are 114k square feet and 232k square feet
respectively and will each feature more than 10k square feet of corporate office build out. As with all Prologis
developments, the buildings will be constructed to meet or exceed the latest sustainable development stan-



On June 4th, the Vernon Police Department part-
nered with the Huntington Park Police Department
for a 3.5 mile run through southeast Los Angeles. Of-
ficers carried the Special Olympics “Flame of Hope”
as the “Guardians of the Flame” to raise awareness
and funds for the Special Olympics.

Over 97,000 law enforcement members carry the
“Flame of Hope” annually. The flame symbolizes
courage and is a celebration of diversity that unites
communities around the globe.

Participating in the Special Olympics “Flame of
Hope” Run is another example of how Vernon gives
back to its community.

Pink Patch Project Continues to Raise
Awareness and Funding for Breast Cancer

In June, the Vernon Police Department released its
2019 Pink Patch in support of the Pink Patch Project.
The 2019 patch honors the worker population of Ver-
non, featuring the Chemist and Blacksmith from the
City of Vernon City Seal. Approximately 550 law en-
forcement agencies in 5 countries participate in the
program that aims to raise awareness and funding for
breast cancer research.

August 9th was “Pink Patch Night” at Dodger Stadi-
um and Chief Miranda threw out the ceremonial first
pitch! Thank you VPD for your continued support of
this important cause!


Family Game Night Filled with Fun!

Vernon hosted its 2nd Annual Family Game Night for Vernon residents on August 8th! Attendees enjoyed raffle
prizes throughout the night, burgers and fries from the Habit Burger Grill, backpack giveaways, and giant lawn
games! It proved to be a fun-filled summer evening for all!


Vernon Hosts Arbor Day Tree Planting Event

On Saturday, September 21st, Vernon celebrated Arbor Day with its first ever community tree planting event.
About 50 volunteers of all ages worked tirelessly to plant 75 trees throughout Vernon, kicking off the City’s ef-
forts to Green the City! As part of the, the City acknowledged the memory and legacy of John Van de Kamp,
former Attorney General of California and faithful champion for Vernon, by planting and dedicating a tree in
his honor.

Trees reduce greenhouse gas emissions, save energy, clean water and air, provide aesthetic and habitat
value, and improve public health. As part of its commitment to promote the well-being of present and future
generations, the City will continue to plant trees.

This event was a success because of our many volunteers and partners - CAL FIRE Urban & Community For-
estry, California Department of Forestry and Fire Protection, the California Urban Forests Council, West Coast
Arborists, Inc., Western Chapter of the International Society of Arboriculture, and the Holy Angels Catholic
Church of the Deaf. We thank you all!


Star Wars Comes to City Hall for Vernon’s 3rd
Annual Halloween Spooktacular!

For the third consecutive year, the City of Vernon held a day of fun-filled activities for the local school and com-
munity during its Spooktacular Halloween festivities.

During business hours, City Hall staff welcomed Vernon Elementary students for a special tour of select depart-
mental Halloween mazes on October 30th and 31st. Staff created a fun experience for our elementary school
neighbors all in the spirit of Halloween!

On the evening of October 30th, the City’s community Halloween Spooktacular was attended by over 350
people - Vernon residents, Vernon City Elementary School families, and members of the surrounding commu-
nity. Guests enjoyed raffles, Halloween crafts, trick or treating, a photo booth, and a special Halloween maze
hosted by the Vernon Police Department. Courtesy of Vernon PD, Star Wars was effectively brought to life with
appearances by Darth Vader, Stormtroopers, and Jedis!


Below are images of Vernon Elementary’s visit to City Hall and the City’s evening Halloween event on the City
Hall Lawn. All images were captured over the course of the City’s two-day Halloween Spooktacular festivites.


More images of the City’s community Halloween Spooktacular are shown below. The City’s out-
reach events continue to gain popularity amongst Vernon residents and the neighboring cities.



December 5

Employee Holiday Ugly Sweater Contest and Tree Lighting Ceremony @ 3:00 pm
Community Tree Lighting Ceremony Outreach Event @ 5:00 pm - 7:00 pm

December 12

Employee Holiday Celebration and Employee Recognition Event @ 5:00 pm - 11:00 pm

December 19

Operation Santa Toy Delivery

December 24

Spark of Love Toy Drive Ends

December 24

City Hall Closed - In observance of Christmas Eve Holiday

December 25

City Hall Closed - In observance of Christmas Day Holiday

December 31

City Hall Closed - In observance of New Year’s Eve Holiday


January 1

City Hall Closed - In observance of New Year’s Day Holiday

January 20

City Hall Closed - In observance of Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. Holiday


February 17

City Hall Closed - In observance of Presidents’ Day Holiday

Happy Holidays and Happy New Year City of Vernon!

Let’s make the next edition great! Offer your interesting news and events for the employee
newsletter. We want to hear your stories! Please submit inquiries, stories, or photos to Diana

Figueroa. The next publication is due to be released in or around February 2020.

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