MADERA COUNTY – Two of Madera County’s top public servants were honored Thursday, Oct. 31, at a luncheon sponsored by Madera County Law Enforcement Leaders Association, (MCLELA) at the Madera Golf and Country Club.
The MCLELA Board used its monthly “Meeting of the Minds” to pay tribute to Sylvia Rodriguez and Karren Sandusky.
Commander Sandusky, who retired last month, was recognized both for her service to Madera County, and also for her 30 year career.
Sandusky began in the Kings County Sheriff’s Department in 1984, where she worked Patrol, SWAT, Honor Guard, agricultural crimes and sexual assault investigations.
Ten years later she joined the Clovis Police Department. Upon promotion to Detective, Sandusky worked in Fraud/Forgery & Embezzlement, and served as CPD Hostage Negotiator. In her off-hours, she co-founded the Clovis Police Activities League (PAL).
In 2005, Sandusky was promoted to Special Agent Supervisor (SAS), Task Force Commander, with the Criminal Intelligence Bureau (CIB), Fresno Task Force. Her area of expertise was working on Outlaw Motorcycle Gangs.
In June of 2008, she was selected to command the California Department of Justice Joint Terrorism Task Force (JTTF) personnel statewide, and in 2010, ws chosen to supervise the Fresno Regional Office Special Investigations Team.
A year later, she joined Madera Area Drug Enforcement Task Force (MADNET) as Commander, and retired from duty Oct. 25, 2013.
Sandusky received a joint Senate Assembly Resolution from Shannon Picciano (District Representative for State Senator Anthony Cannella) and Mika Petrucci (District Representative for California State Assemblyman Frank Bigelow), for her three decades of service to the people of California.
The MCLELA also recognized Madera County’s outgoing State Parole Unit Supervisor, Agent Sylvia Rodriguez, for her service, excellence and commitment.
Supervisor Agent Sylvia Rodriguez was named Unit Supervisor in Merced, where she will continue to supervise a team of state parole agents.
Rodriguez started her career with the California Department of Corrections in 1997 as a correctional officer at Valley State Prison for Women. She joined the Parole Division in 2000 as a Parole Agent I, working in Fresno and Merced Counties until 2005.
In 2006 she was promoted to Assistant Unit Supervisor of the Madera Parole Unit and Unit Supervisor in 2007.
In July of 2013 she was assigned Unit Supervisor of the Merced Parole Unit.
In her acceptance speech, Supervisor Agent Rodriguez addressed the problems law enforcement agencies confront valley-wide. Borrowing from the “Doctors without Borders” concept, Rodriguez noted that criminal activity knows no boundaries. She touched on the continued cooperation among agencies in the region’s on-going efforts to tackle criminal activity, the core principle of the MCLELA board.
To borrow Sheriff John Anderson’s oft-repeated phrase, “No one agency can do it alone. The color of one’s uniform is irrelevant. If you wear a badge and carry a gun, you’re on the same team.”
In 2006, the MCLELA embarked on a regional effort to establish the County’s first ever Peace Officers Memorial. They met their goal one year later, when in May 2007, the Madera County’s Law Enforcement Leaders Association hosted the first county-wide memorial service in Madera’s Courthouse Park.
(Top photo from Left to Right BACK ROW: PIO Gregory Bergensen, VSP; Warden Ron Davis, VSP; Unit Supervisor Peter Lew, State Parole; Chief Probation Officer Rick Dupree, Madera County Probation
From Left to Right FRONT ROW: Lt. Craig Kunzler, California Highway Patrol Madera Area Commander; Chief of Police Steve Frazer, Madera PD; Chief of Police Jay Varney, Chowchilla PD; Sylvia Rodriguez, Unit Supervisor State Parole; Commander Karren Sandusky, CA DOJ Bureau of Investigation MADNET; Lt. Sandra Adams, California Highway Patrol Eastern Madera County Area Commander; Warden Deborah Johnson, CCWF; Sheriff John P. Anderson, Madera County; Captain Travis Wright, CCWF).