On May 6, 2016, the following Washington State Patrol employees were presented awards related to Public Service Recognition Week by the Washington State Offices of Financial Management and the Secretary of State Kim Wyman.

Communications Officer 4 (CO4) Laurie Langlois, Communications Division/Tacoma, received the Leadership Award for her strategic, visionary, and committed service to the Washington State Patrol. CO4 Langlois worked with Pierce County to secure funding for the latest 9-1-1 phone system technology (VIPER). This system will position District 1 to receive text to 9-1-1 calls in the near future. CO4 Langlois has worked with Thurston County 9-1-1 to help them with developing Amber Alert procedures, while coaching children’s sports for the YMCA and supporting the YWCA Shelter and their special events. CO4 Langlois also volunteers as the WSP coordinator for the Organ & Tissue Donation Program. She is an inspiration to her staff and recognizes the talent and effort in her supervisors and empowers them to lead.

Ms. Arel Solie, Homeland Security Section Commander, received the Leadership Award for her commitment to service, her leadership, and her dedicated service to the state of Washington. Ms. Solie was specifically recognized for her work overseeing emergency management operations. She is known and respected for her vision and dedication at the State Emergency Operations Center, and is a powerful contributor at several emergency management centers around the state; especially at the King County Emergency Management Center. Ms. Solie led her team during two wildfire emergency activations in north central Washington in 2015, serving twelve-hour shifts for several weeks on end and coordinating effective response efforts from multiple agencies. Ms. Solie was also a powerful and effective voice supporting the Washington State Fusion Center’s counterterrorism efforts as well as crime prevention and law enforcement service for the Washington State Ferry system. She fought passionately for competitive grand dollars; securing new grants while protecting existing grant funds which supported state and local emergency services.

Trooper Sergio Cervantes serves as a Field Operations Trooper in Kennewick, Washington, received the Extra Mile Individual Award.  In addition to working the road, Trooper Cervantes is dedicated to providing outreach to the Hispanic Community in Washington.  He serves as the WSP El Protector, providing bilingual/bicultural public education through dialogue with the Hispanic/Latino community, rather than focusing on specific enforcement measures. In 2015, he provided numerous radio interviews across the state. Additionally, he met with numerous Hispanic groups in various communities putting a positive face on Law Enforcement and providing educational outreach. Trooper Cervantes partnered with Commercial Vehicle Officers to create bi-lingual literature to educate farm exempt drivers. A need was identified to reach out to drivers of farm trucks, who often do not speak English, to educate them on matters related to load securement, fatigued driving, and various other traffic safety issues. This bilingual approach had been missing from the WSP until Trooper Cervantes began this Problem Oriented Public Safety project. Trooper Cervantes is a member of the WSP SWAT and also has the additional responsibility of being a Belt Weapons Instructor, endeavoring to provide training to his fellow troopers on officer safety, use of force, and firearms. After the events of September 11, 2001, Trooper Cervantes joined the Washington Army National Guard.  In 2009, while deployed in Iraq, he received a rare battlefield commission to the rank of lieutenant. Today, he serves as a captain and company commander in the Washington Army National Guard’s 81st Brigade.  Trooper Sergio Cervantes is a true public servant who serves the citizens of Washington with distinction.

Maintenance Mechanic 1 Viorel M. Mihai goes beyond the expectations placed on his position which is why he won the Extra Mile Individual Award. Vio is supposed to do light maintenance and supervise the contracted cleanings and landscapers.  Vio does this and more. Vio was unsatisfied with the quality of work provided by the contractors at the Bremerton Headquarters, so he took on the tasks himself; resulting in $1,500 per month savings to taxpayers. Vio does all of the maintenance himself at eight offices and nine remote scale houses; from Naselle in the south, to Forks in the north. Vio supervises the work done by the contractors at the remote offices; however Vio does most of the work himself which would be normally done by contractors, to include the light maintenance.  Also, many of these tasks require a separate contract or assistance from the Property Management Division. This year Vio discovered a storm water issue at the Bremerton Office where rain water was invading the building. Vio investigated and revealed that the upper parking lot drain had failed and was diverting water toward the building. Vio was unwilling to let the issue wait for assistance, so he dug up the old drain, replaced the failed line, and resurfaced the parking lot drain cover to keep the water moving away from the building. At the Poulsbo office a tree came down in a wind storm. The building was not hit, but the parking lot was blocked. Vio responded by clearing enough of the tree to allow cars to exit, and then assisted DOT in removing the larger portions of the tree. These are only brief examples of the work Vio does to keep the WSP running, while also saving the citizens money. Vio takes pride in the District and always makes sure the building and the landscaping look outstanding.

Please help us in congratulating these four employees for their special accomplishments.