Deputy brings home honor for safety efforts in Corbett

by: OUTLOOK FILE PHOTO: JIM CLARK - On duty, Graziano cruises in his patrol car through Corbett.Multnomah County Deputy Joe “Rocky” Graziano has earned himself an award for leading two major community safety efforts over the past year in Corbett.

Every year the Oregon Peace Officers Association recognizes police officers who have distinguished themselves through bravery, heroism and exemplary public service.

On Friday, Nov. 8, the police organization held its 44th annual awards banquet at the Spirit Mountain Casino in Grand Ronde.

by: OUTLOOK FILE PHOTO: JIM CLARK - Deputy Joe Rocky GrazianoThere Graziano was one of four officers who received the Oregon Peace Officers’ Public Safety Award, for his exemplary leadership within the state police department.

The Public Service Award is awarded to officers who distinguish themselves by unusual acts in the performance of police duties or acts that rise above the expected norms of police or community service.

A 20-year veteran police officer, Graziano has served as Corbett’s community resource officer for the past four years. His most recent efforts to enhance safety and security for Corbett residents and visitors, and reduce crime in the area, were recognized.

“It is evident that ensuring community safety is the heart of Deputy Graziano,” read the Oregon Peace Officers Association’s awards announcement.

“His determination and continued efforts demonstrate the high quality of service the Multnomah County Sheriff’s Office places on its outlying communities and the citizens they serve,” the announcement said.

Citizen’s Patrol

As the entryway to the Columbia River National Scenic Area, the small community of Corbett attracts more than 2 million visitors per year, but the police presence is minimal.

Harnessing local resources to ensure greater safety coverage in the area, Graziano created the “Corbett Volunteer Citizen’s Patrol.”

The group’s goal is to deter criminal activity by acting as a visible presence in the community.

Graziano established the groups’ mission, wrote the proper protocol and coordinated the training program for the Citizen’s Patrol.

He helped organize and train the 30 or so citizen volunteers who make up the patrol group.

Citizens were trained in parking enforcement, patrol tactics, interactions with the mentally ill, trauma prevention and disaster preparedness.

School safety response plan

The second project Deputy Graziano is recognized for involves school safety.

Following two highly publicized shootings locally and nationally, Graziano met with school officials in Corbett as well as other members of the Multnomah County Sheriff’s Office and public safety partners to discuss their concerns related to security at the school.

In response, Graziano developed a safety response plan and held trainings for school staff.

He also helped develop and instruct an “active-shooter” response simulation for deputies and school staff at the school, and he conducted several two-hour trainings for community groups, public schools, summer camp facilities, community colleges and public safety agencies.

A problem solver

and good friend

Graziano received positive feedback from the community for his instruction.

Capt. Monte Reiser of the Multnomah County Sheriff’s Office wrote in Graziano’s nomination for the award, “Deputy Graziano’s personalized service delivery has established him as a well-respected problem solver and good friend to many citizens and visitors to the Corbett area.”

Reiser continued, “The development of these two separate programs has already had a positive impact and will continue to positively improve the quality of life to our community in the future.”

Founded in 1968, membership in the Oregon Peace Officers Association is open to all law enforcement-related professionals of any rank. It is one of Oregon’s largest law enforcement associations with nearly 1,500 federal, state and local members.

Communications Supervisor Ronda Griffin of the La Grande Police Department, and Communications Specialist Tina Holt and Senior Officer Larry Shryer of the Salem Police Department also received Public Safety Awards at the banquet.

According to its website, the Oregon Peace Officers Association is the only statewide organization to hold an annual awards ceremony specifically honoring those law enforcement professionals who have gone above and beyond the call of duty.

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