On Wednesday evening, June 21st, Commander Rey Reyna took pride in recognizing the extraordinary efforts of two of the Los Banos Police Departments finest; officer Eduardo Solis and Sergeant Ivan Mendez. Officer Eduardo Solis grew up in Los Banos and is a 12-year veteran with the Los Banos Police Department. He began his career in 2005 as a CSO and was promoted to Officer in 2007 after graduating from the Police academy. As a police officer, Officer Solis has been assigned to patrol and the Special Services Unit as a Detective, gang officer and Detective Officer in Charge.
Sergeant Mendez is a Dos Palos native who began his career with us in 2001 as a CSO. He was promoted to Officer in 2003 after successfully completing the police academy. Sergeant Mendez has been involved in a number of assignments over the years, starting with Detective in 2005. He’s been assigned to the gang unit, County wide drug task force and Detective Officer in Charge. In 2010, He was promoted to the rank of Sergeant and during that time he has supervised both a patrol team and the Departments Detectives unit. Sarge has his hands in a number of collateral duties including jail supervisor and training manager. Ivan…for that matter… both of these young men are fantastic examples of what you can accomplish through hard work and dedication.
The two were present to accept the Police Departments highest award; the medal of Valor. The medal of valor is an award bestowed upon an individual who voluntarily overcomes circumstances of imminent peril to their own life while in the performance of their duties. In this case, Officer Solis and Sergeant Mendez met and exceeded that performance on March 30th during their response to a structure fire.
Both officers began their day normally beginning at 4 p.m. It was at 4:33 p.m. the 911 call came in from Public Works employee Royal Lloyd reporting a fire in the 1200 block of Santa Cruz Way.
Within approximately TWO minutes of the first 911 call, Officer Solis arrives on scene and begins to work the call. He encounters heavy smoke and flames coming from the residence. He runs to the front door and yells inside for anyone to come out. He can hear someone inside but he’s overcome by smoke. He radios dispatch that he believes someone is still inside the residence.
He yells inside the home again and can hear what he believes is an elderly female inside the home. He’s not deterred even though he later describes the smoke and heat as suffocating. He moves to an adjacent window and breaks it. He can see an elderly female confined to a walker inside the room all while the house continues to burn.
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