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Dan Fairchild was named "Police Officer of the Year" and Eric Holly named "Firefighter of the Year" at Saturday evening at the annual Law & Order Night sponsored by the Ceres American Legion Post 491.

The event, held at the Ceres American Legion Memorial Building, also included recognition of Patricia Johnson as "Support Person of the Year."

Eleven officers in the Ceres Police "A Squad" all signed a statement nominating Fairchild as an exceptional officer who has "performed at a level above and beynd what is expected. Fairchild has led CPD in arrests and was in the top percentage in all other department statistics. "He has a knack for removing dangerous weapons from our city streets, including illegal handguns, rifles and submachine guns," read a statement signed by the collective officers.

Fairchild also was noted for the first to volunteer for tough assignments. His peers stated that "gang members, drug dealers and auto thieves are no match for the aggressive policing style of this officer. He has a balance about him though that allows him to shift gears and speak to community groups and school children."

Fairchild joined Ceres Police Department two years ago, coming up from Atwater Police where he served for three and a half years.

"His work ethic and morals set a high standard for policing in our community," noted the peers who nominated him. "In his off-duty time he is a fixture around the Police Department offering his help to whoever needs it. Daniel also enjoys playing softball for the Stanislaus County Police softball team. He is described as friendly, enthusiastic and always displays a positive can-do attitude."

Nominees for "Police Officer of the Year" were Fairchild, Jason Brock, Trenton Johnson and Derek Perry.

Captain Eric Holly was named "Firefighter of the Year." He was nominated for his hard work as the training officer and countless hours as the local 3636 union president. It was noted that Holly is constantly at the station while off duty doing work. Holly has implemented and standardized fire department training program and has brought Ceres up to date with requirements.

Records clerk Patricia Johnson was named "Support Person of the Year." Johnson was described as a "wealth of knowledge" and the "go-to person when questions need to be answered in records." She was also recognized for never calling in sick, always on time and ready to work before her shift starts. Her work ethic has resulted in her thorough and error-free performance and she was called a "quick study" who can pick up on a task after being shown once. Patti abstains from gossip and always has a laugh to share for others who are having a rough day.

Others nominated for "Support Person of the Year" were Patty Maloy, Carissa Higginbotham and Teresa Tejeda.

Police chaplain Joel Richards was presented the "Chaplain of the Year Award."

The event also provided the opportunity for Director of Public Safety Art deWerk the chance to issue the oath of office for eight new recently hired employees. They are:

• Officer Freddie Ortiz, hired April 7, 2009;

• Reserve Officer Katie Manica who started on Aug. 12, 2009;

• Intern firefighter Justin Rossiter, June 15, 2009;

• Intern firefighter Matthew McKay, June 15, 2009;

• Intern Firefighter Derrik Ohls, Sept. 1, 2009;

• Intern Firefighter Tony Nascimento, Oct. 9, 2009;

• Intern Firefighter Matthew Borges-Herzog, Jan. 30, 2010.

• Firefighter Carlos Hampton, who was hired as an Intern Firefighter on May 22, 2008 but became a full-time on Jan. 10, 2010.