club officials presented the awards
"Tonight is a little difficult for me," Spreine said. "It is the
last time I will stand here as your chief. But that won't diminish my
pride. Nothing in my life has been more gratifying that to serve this
Spreine will retire in October and move to Sequim, Wa. with his
wife, Linda, who retired from law enforcement in January.
Club President Katy Moss presented the Medal of Merit to Falenki,
who will celebrate 20 years with the department in August.
"Ted is the first Laguna Beach officer to be named officer of the
year twice," guest speaker Judge Gary Paer said.
Paer specially acknowledged Falencki's role in the city's DUI
"There are two ways to do checkpoints: the right way and the wrong
way," Paer said. "There are no gray areas. Ted is an expert. His bio
is quite impressive. He is an asset to the police department and as
residents, we are lucky to have him."
Besides checkpoints, Falenki has also been assigned as canine
handler, Explorer Post advisor, special events coordinator and
assistant range master. He has patrolled the city on foot, bicycle
and in cars and all-terrain vehicles.
Falencki has earned three previous Medals of Merit and a Medal of
Courage for his role in saving the life of a fellow officer fighting
an armed suspect.
Falencki's family traveled from Las Vegas to attend the banquet.
Wallock's family didn't have to come as far. His brother, Greg, is
a Laguna Beach police officer and his-sister-in-law, Coleen, is the
department's community service officer and a banquet committee
member. Brother Jeff is a police officer in Orange. Only oldest
brother Dave missed the banquet, but wife, Patty, mom, Anne, and dad,
Dave Sr. were seated front and center to see their son recognized.
Club member Zolita Scott made the presentation to Wallock, who has
only been with the department for two years.
"It's quite an accomplishment after being in the department such a
short time," Spreine said.
Motorcycle Officer Robert Van Gorder received the Police Cross
Medal for injuries he received while chasing down a fleeing felon.