Los Angeles. Governor Arnold Schwarzenegger announced, today, the names of six California peace officers whom he has awarded California’s Public Safety Officer Medal of Valor, the state’s highest award for valor. Four of the six officers honored were Los Angeles police officers: Jeffrey Jensen, Paul Waymire, Troy Zeeman, and Bryan Gregson.
"The LAPD is honored that four of its own have been recognized for the state’s highest award," said Los Angeles Police Chief William J. Bratton. "California is fortunate to have so many professional and deserving police officers, who are equally deserving of this honor. Just as the governor has honored these four LAPD officers today, these four officers have honored LAPD and the City of Los Angeles by their service, bravery and willingness to sacrifice."
Police Officers Troy Zeeman, 32, and his partner, Bryan Gregson, 34, were awarded the California Medal of Valor for their capture of an armed gang member on February 17, 2005. The officers were assigned to the Harbor Police Station in San Pedro. They recognized a known, violent gang member, who was wanted in the drive-by shooting death of a woman. The gang member did not give up easily. During a foot chase, he turned on Officer Zeeman, pointed his gun, and said, "You’re dead!" The gang member fired one shot, which missed the officer. Undaunted, the officers returned fire, wounding the armed man, and then arrested him.
Officer Zeeman joined the LAPD in 1995. Officer Gregson followed in 1998. Both officers left the LAPD, joining the Newport Beach Police Department last fall.
Police Officers Paul Waymire, 43, and Jeffrey Jenson, 31, were assigned to the Mission Police Station in the San Fernando Valley. On October 16, 2005, the partners noticed black smoke billowing from a car accident. They stopped to help two good Samaritans, who were trying to put out the fire. Ignoring their own welfare, both officers braved the flames to pull a victim from the inferno, just moments before the car exploded. Their willingness to sacrifice their lives for another person was recognized with by the state’s highest award.
Officer Waymire is a 17-year LAPD veteran, still serving at the Mission Police Station. Officer Jensen recently transferred to the nearby West Valley Police Station. He had been with the LAPD for less than one year when he assisted his training officer in this daring rescue.