LAPSA Honors LAPD Cpl. Ben Hinrichs And LAFD Capt. Matt Cionek With Public Safety And First Responder Awards


Los Alamos Fire Department Matt Cionek, center, is congratulated by LAFD Deputy Chief Steve Dawald, left, and Los Alamos Police Cmdr. Oliver Morris on receiving the 2018 Los  Alamos Public Safety Association’s 2018 Public Safety and First Responder Award. Photo by Maire O’Neill/


Jesse D. Galvan and his wife Sheila attended the LAPSA dinner Saturday evening. Galvan is the director of the Protective Force Operations and Training Division at Los Alamos National Laboratory. Photo by Maire O’Neill/


The Los Alamos Public Safety Association honored Los Alamos Police Cpl. Ben Hinrichs and Los Alamos Fire Department Capt. Matt Cionek Saturday at its annual banquet held at VFW Post 8874.

Hinrich was honored for his response to a possible “jumper” call he responded to in October. His nomination by LAPD Cmdr. Oliver Morris reads as follows:

On Oct. 26, Cpl Ben Hinrichs was on patrol in Los Alamos when he was called to a possible jumper on Omega Bridge. When he arrived on the scent he parked far away  ain otder not to antagononize the situation. Corporal Hinrichs observed a male standing on the guard rail holding on to the chain link fence in the middle of the bridge looking over the edge. 

Corporal Hinrichs walked to the center of the bridge and got behind the male subject. Recognizing the severity of the situation, Corporal Hinrichs grabbed the legs and belt of the subject to prevent him from going off the bridge.  Corporal Hinrichs put himself in the position of potentially being dragged off the guardrail himself by the subject.

After a brief struggle, Corporal Hinrichs was able to pull the subject back onto the bridge pedestrian walkway and controlled hom with assisting officers until he could be evaluated and treated.

Corporal Hinrichs displayed unselfish courage to ensure public safety to the subject and the community.”

Cionek received his award for his diligent work to coordinate the formation of LAFD’s Rescue Task Force. His nomination by LAFD Deputy Chief Steve Dawald reads as follows:

“As we all know, active shooter/threats are a reality. Matt has taken the lead on not only getting the required training to respond to one of these incidents, but has trained the rest of LAFD on the procedures and tactics to be employed should an active shooter/threat occur.

This training has involved integrating fire and police for a coordinated response which included bringing experts from out of state to share their expertise regarding concets and expected response actions.

In addition to training fire and police, Matt has worked on a Rescue Task Force policy which will assist responders to provide consistency on-scene during these events,

The acquisition of ballistic gear and equipment, along with the coordinated training of LAFD and LAPD will help save lives if Los Alamos is faced with an active shooter/threat event.

I nominate Matt for the 2018 Public Safety and First Responder Award for his dedication to protecting the public, and for the training of those that respond when called upon to help others.”

The event was attended by representatives of LAPD, LAFD, the Department of Energy Los Alamos Field Office, the Federal Bureau of Investigations, Santa Clara Fire Department and Los Alamos National Laboratory Security.


Los Alamos Police Cpl. Ben Hinrichs, his wife, Erica and their children await dinner at the LAPSA banquet Saturday evening. Photo by Maire O’Neill/


Kateri Morris, left, and Kim Roberts chat during Saturday’s LAPSA event. Photo by Maire O’Neill/


Lisa LaPointe-Tafoya, Emergency Management Planning and Preparedness Specialist for N3B and her husband Santa Clara Fire Chief Mel Tafoya enjoy the LAPSA event Saturday. Photo by Maire O’Neill/losalamomsreporter.comIMG_8988.jpg

Attending Saturday evening’s LAPSA dinner are, from left, Ysabel Meana, AdolfoMeana and Mike O’Neill. Photo by Maire O’Neill/


Chatting at the Los Alamos Public Safety Association dinner Saturday evening are, from left, LAFD Capt. Matt Cionek, Julie Dare, Jeff Dare of Los Alamos National Laboratory Emergency Management Division, LAFD Deputy Chief Steve Dawald and Melissa Dawald. Photo by Maire O’Neill/

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Los Alamos Police Department Cpl. Ben Hinrichs is congratulated by LAPD Cmdr. Oliver Morris, center, and LAFD Deputy Chief Steve Dawald. Photo by Maire O’Neill/