CCSO was honored on Thursday, September 17th to host the 2015 Medal of Valor Ceremony. All recipients acted with courage, integrity, and professionalism in responding accordingly in times when heroism was required.
The Medal of Valor was given to three CDCR employees: Sergeant Benny Diaz, Youth Correctional Counselor Sean Copeland, and Youth Correctional Counselor Richard Glassman.
Sergeant Benny Diaz assigned to Pleasant Valley State Prison was honored for heroic actions taken last year. In 2014, a gang member who was involved in an accident, got out of his car and forced his way into a passing car. The gunman forced the woman to drive to a liquor store and ordered her to wait while he robbed the store. She instead drove away and called 911. When he came out of the store, the gunman attempted to carjack another vehicle, shooting the driver, who sped away even though he was critically wounded. The gunman then fired at a passing car, killing the driver and injuring the passenger. The gunman then shot at a passing SUV; the driver stopped and fled his car with his 5-year-old brother. That is when Sergeant Diaz, who was off duty and in his own vehicle with his wife, saw that the shooter was randomly shooting into cars. Sergeant Diaz, an ex-marine, got out of his car and headed towards the gunman. Sgt. Diaz opened fire, with his off duty weapon and shot the gunman. The gunman, was able to flee in the stolen SUV, but crashed shortly after fleeing and died. The Fresno Police Chief Jerry Dyer, said, there was no doubt that more people would have been killed if not for CDCR Sergeant Diaz’ actions.
CCSO is proud to have Sergeant Diaz as a member, and we are proud of all the recipients for their acts of kindness, courage, and integrity.
Please click here to view all recipients on the CDCR website.