BLACKFOOT — Members of the Greater Blackfoot Chamber of Commerce honored six lawmen and three fire fighters on Wednesday.
President Derek Preece, well known for his stories, said he and his wife went to bed on Tuesday night and immediately fell asleep, comfortable in the knowledge that their family and their belongings were protected.
“We have an awesome group of people — men and women — who do what it takes to keep our community and our county safe,” said Preece.
Honored were Paul Newbold, Andrew Adrignola and Alan Bollschweiler from the Blackfoot Police Department; Forrest VanBuren, Devon Trujillo and Chuck Carroll from the Bingham County Sheriff’s Office; and Kim Getsinger, David Lewis and Branden Wall from the Blackfoot City Fire Department.
Chief David Moore gave a brief summary of each of the BPD officers’ accomplishments.
“Paul has had many opportunities to assist other law enforcement agencies all across the state during his career,” Moore said, noting that Newbold began his career in 1980. “His knowledge had been invaluable and instrumental in solving many cases throughout the region.”
Newbold, the supervisor of the Blackfoot Police/Bingham County Joint Detective Division, sits of the board of the Bingham County Crisis Center. “He has been actively involved in their growth over the years,” Moore said.
Adrignola, who started in 2008, “has been recognized for everything from being considerate and helpful on accident scenes, domestic violence calls and civil stand-bys and also to have the ability of turning a routine traffic stop into a major drug bust.”
Bollschweiler, who has 21 years of law enforcement experience, “recently served on special assignment for three months in the Detective Division during the summer. He adapted quickly to this role and was an important asset in an officer-involved critical incident in Idaho Falls for which (BPD) were assigned as the lead investigative agency.
“Alan’s work ethic is commendable and he is an excellent example to the junior members of the department,” Moore added.
Sheriff Dave Johnson noted that two of his officers were attending to other duties after returning from Iraq where they served with the 116th Cavalry Brigade last year.
Caroll, who started in 1993, has worked for the Detective Division for 13 years. In October of 2009 the Idaho National Guard asked him to take a leave of absence so he could help prepare his fellow soldiers for their deployment to Iraq.
Van Buren has worked as a detention deputy since 2008. He shipped out to Iraq and just recently returned. He and his wife of a year, Gabrielle Young, are on their long-awaited honeymoon.
Trujillo is also a detention deputy. He and his wife are spending time together hunting.
“What do all three of these men have in common?” Johnson asked. “They not only chose a career where they serve and protect the public, but they also elected to enlist in a lifestyle of protecting our country. They put their lives on the line at home and abroad.
“This is why we recognize these three men today,” Johnson said. “They stand for freedom, something we all cherish and hold dear.”
Fire Chief Kevin Gray said of Getsinger, “he retired from the Idaho Falls Fire Department, but didn’t like sitting still so he joined our department. He’s been a great addition to our department because he’s an experienced medic and shares his knowledge with the others.”
Capt. Dave Stallings said of Lewis, “he’s a solid and dependable fireman with a get-it-done attitude.”
Capt. Kurt Astle said of Wall, “he works hard to maintain and improve our standards and is a real advocate for our guys.”