The Tustin Chamber of Commerce has selected their “Officer of the Month” for February, 2012. In a press release from the city, the Chamber named Officer Eric Kent as Tustin Police Officer of the Month. According to Tustin Chief of Police, Scott Jordan, Officer Kent was selected based on his “dedication, perseverance and continued service to the community of Tustin.”
Officer Kent was cited for a specific incident that occurred February 8, 2012. He was patrolling the area of Lyon and McFadden on the outskirts of town, an area known for criminal and gang activity. He contacted a vehicle with four subjects in it after stopping for cause. He noticed the odor of alcohol coming from the vehicle interior and requested assistance. From the press release:
As Officer Kent spoke with the occupants of the vehicle, he became suspicious of the right front passenger because he was extremely nervous and sweating. The subject also kept moving around and reaching down to the floorboard. Once another officer arrived, Officer Kent removed the driver from the vehicle, conducted a pat down search for weapons and had him sit on the curb. Officer Kent approached the front passenger side of the vehicle to contact the right front passenger. When Officer Kent asked the subject to exit the vehicle, the subject hesitated and then began fumbling with something on the floorboard. The subject suddenly threw his hands up and said, “I have a gun.” Officer Kent opened the passenger door and a shotgun fell to the ground. All occupants of the vehicle were arrested without incident.
The press release goes on to tell about the passenger lying about his name and probation status. The suspect had ammunition in his possession and stated that he was a gang member and had the shotgun for protection against other gangs. Because of Kent’s observation and awareness, another dangerous gang member and was probably be an illegal weapon (it was sawed off) have both been taken off the street.
We like to think we have a nice, safe, town to live in. And, we do, thanks to Chief of Police Scott Jordan and his team. Officer Eric Kent is one of the professionals that work our streets everyday so that we can feel a bit safer when we tuck our kids into bed at night. I often walk in the early morning before the sun comes up. When I see our police either parked in a quiet corner or passing on patrol, I always feel a bit safer knowing they are there. Not every city in Orange County can say that.
Congratulations, Officer Eric Kent from Our Town Tustin. Thanks for being there and making a difference. If you would like more information on Officer Eric Kent and the award, click here.