The State Worker

Chronicling civil-service life for California state workers

September 26, 2013
Jerry Brown honors California Highway Patrol officer, others

Thumbnail image for 130926-MC_VALOR_01.jpgGov. Jerry Brown this morning recognized a California Highway Patrol officer for an act of bravery that likely saved a man's life last year at the risk of the officer's own well-being.

Officer Dane Norem was on patrol out of the CHP's Riverside office on Oct. 25 when he responded to a call about a man threatening to jump off the La Sierra overpass on Highway 91.

Norem arrived in time to see Javier Hernandez Rios, then 45, climbing the overpass fence. The officer grabbed Hernandez to keep him from jumping and was stabbed nine times -- including in the eye -- with a utility knife. Despite the attack, Norem held onto the man's leg long enough for help to arrive.

"It is without a doubt, his courage, dedication, and quick thinking are what helped save a man's life, even when his own life was in jeopardy," CHP Commissioner Joe Farrow said in a press statement.

Hernandez, who was found to be under the influence of drugs, was arrested and charged with several crimes including the attempted murder of a law enforcement officer.

Brown awarded Norem with the 2012 Governor's Public Safety Officer Medal of Valor, the highest honor the state can bestow on its public safety employees.

The ceremony in the Governor's Council Room also recognized 13 other men for heroic acts, including 11 Modesto Police Department officers who risked their lives to retrieve two shooting victims as well as a San Diego police officer and San Diego sheriff's deputy who were involved in a shootout.

From the Modesto Police Department:
Sgt. Rick Applegate
Sgt. Patrick Kimes
Sgt. Scott Myers
Sgt. Ivan Valencia
Detective Eric Beffa
Officer Joseph Bottoms
Officer Jonathan Griffith
Officer Gary Guffey
Officer Frank Inacio
Officer Robert Reyna
Officer Richard Rodarte

From the San Diego Sheriff's Department
Dep. Michael Spears

From the San Diego Police Department
Officer Michael DeWitt

PHOTO: The Governor's Public Safety Medal of Valor. The Sacramento Bee/Manny Crisostomo

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About The State Worker

Jon Ortiz The Author

Jon Ortiz launched The State Worker blog and a companion column in 2008 to cover state government from the perspective of California government employees. Every day he filters the news through a single question: "What does this mean for state workers?" Join Ortiz for updates and debate on state pay, benefits, pensions, contracts and jobs. Contact him at (916) 321-1043 and at


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