Post Commander John Treantos Jr. served as the master of ceremonies at the Legion Hall, 1960 Tracy Blvd., and paid honor to the firefighters and officers of the year from seven local agencies.
This year’s recipients were Tracy police officer Mike Reyna, Tracy fire Engineer Andrew Sansaver, San Joaquin County Sheriff’s Deputy Anthony Reynoso, California Highway Patrol officer Maurice Hughes, Deuel Vocational Institution officer Jimmy Rubio and Defense Logistics Agency San Joaquin firefighter Andrea Kiser and police Lt. Jonathan DeSilva.
After each honoree received a plaque from legion officials and recognition by local government officials, including San Joaquin County Supervisor Bob Elliott, a judging panel of three chose Reyna and Sansaver to be the Legion’s south county representatives at the state competition in June.
“I wasn’t expecting that,” Reyna said after the announcement. “What an honor — wow. All the people are so deserving, it’s humbling.”
Tracy police Chief Gary Hampton introduced Reyna to the more than 100 people in attendance Saturday.
“Mike has done a lot in the city of Tracy,” Hampton said. “His dedication to law enforcement, his dedication to the department — he quietly goes about his commitment and dedication. He goes above and beyond expectation.”
Hampton said one of the Tracy police officers who nominated Reyna said of him, “He embodies the soul of the law enforcement profession.”
Reyna began working at the Tracy Police Department in 1991. He served as a training officer for 10 years, a Drug Abuse Resistance Education instructor for seven and a K-9 team member for six. For the past seven years, he has been a member of the crisis negotiation team.
Addressing the gathering, Reyna said he understood that the badge on his chest did not guarantee him respect. That, he said, had to be earned.
In addition to thanking his family, he expressed gratitude to Tracy firefighters for their collaboration on the job and thanked his fellow officers.
“We work in a job where our life depends upon each other,” he said to the Tracy officers.
“I love you guys.”
Division Chief Dave Bramell of Tracy fire department introduced Sansaver, who will represent the south county in the firefighter category.
Bramell said Sansaver, who joined the department in May 2009 and was promoted to engineer two weeks ago, was the firefighter with the least tenure but was still highly respected by his fellows and was honored as the firefighter of the year.
The division chief said the best way to describe Sansaver was as a role model: caring, thoughtful and humble.
“He’s the kind of man you hope your sons grow up to be and your daughters marry,” Bramell said.
Sansaver oversees the department’s yearly ladder testing, organizes the annual pancake breakfast and is a department EMS instructor and adviser to the Explorer program.
Sansaver became emotional as he thanked his family and fellow firefighters when he went to the podium to receive his recognition.
“To my brothers in the back (of the room), if you trust me when things go south in a fire, that’s all I really want,” he said. “We support each other 100 percent. It’s overwhelming to be voted on by the guys who I respect the most.”
• Contact Denise Ellen Rizzo at 830-4225 or firstname.lastname@example.org.