Officer of the Year

This honor and accompanying plaque are awarded to an officer assigned to operations who, for the calendar year, has consistently exemplified the mission, vision, and values of the Westminster Police Department during the entire calendar year.

 Areas of emphasis that will be considered in the selection process for these awards include:

  • Level of productivity in the specific assignment of the officer/employee
  • Participation in community based projects (POPs, Special Events, etc)
  • Participation in committees, work groups, and projects
  • Level of teamwork demonstrated with other employees
  • Excellence demonstrated during specific project(s) and/or investigations
  • Participation in other projects or events that tend to promote the Westminster Police Department in a positive manner
  • Respected by their peers and other department employees


Officer Samuel Gradilla was named 2017 Officer of the Year. Gradilla is currently assigned to West Command and works night cover shift.

“Sam has a tremendous work ethic, which can be clearly seen in his level of productivity,” WPOA President Mike Ogawa said at the recent WPD Awards Banquet. “In 2017, Officer Gradilla made 87 arrests, conducted 333 enforcement-related stops, wrote 300 crime reports and always was there for his partners to help them out when things got busy.

“Sam is the definition of a team player, he will always stay over when patrol is short-staffed, will always volunteer to help out on special operations, and always comes to work with a positive attitude.”

Ogawa gave an example of Gradilla’s willingness to help.

“He came into the station to finish a report at night and detectives were scrambling to find people to help with a homicide investigation surveillance at such a late hour. Without hesitation Sam volunteered to help out and completed a 12-hour surveillance, which helped lead to arrests in the case,” Ogawa said.