2018 Employee Recognition Awards - Justice

GOLD - Shared by members of the District Attorney’s Sexual Assault Unit
Left to right:
Jason Gill
Steven Moore
Kelli Freitas
Conor McCormick
Erika Ziegenhorn

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This collaborative team in the District Attorney’s office has worked to refine and improve the effectiveness of the Multi-Disciplinary Interview Center known as the Safe Kids and Youth, or SKY, Center. The SKY Center serves to ensure a safe environment for child and youth victims of sexual and physical abuse to be interviewed and is the first center of its kind in the County. The team was innovative in growing the capacity of the SKY Center to include training across agencies, and interviews conducted in Spanish. The team’s focus on our most vulnerable population, children, allows law enforcement agencies across the county to work in together to prevent further trauma while increasing public safety. For their innovative, culturally responsive and trauma focused approach to serving young victims, I present this team with the Gold Award in the Justice category.

SILVER - TIED between members of the Rehabilitation and Reentry Facility Team and members of the Cold Case Investigations Team

Shared by members of the Rehabilitation and Reentry Facility Team

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Back Row, Left to Right:
Laura Hagen
Ryan Fisher
Kurt Corum
Alex Gonzalez
Paul Ramos
Travis Cary

Not Pictured:Kathy Samms
Front Row, Left to Right:
Ginette Hicks
Karen Wells
Elizabeth Lynberg
Cynthia Chase
Sheila McDaniel
Brannon Scianna
Michelle Rodriguez


The Mental Health Liaison team is a collaborative partnership between a group of highly skilled professional clinicians, and the three largest law enforcement jurisdictions in Santa Cruz County. These mental health liaisons provide referrals to treatment, and follow up care for individuals in need. Additionally, this team has been responsible for dramatically increasing the education and understanding of law enforcement towards the mental health community and consumers.

Shared by members of the Cold Case Investigations Team

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Left to Right:
Tom Corral
Ed Delfin
Henry Montes
Morgan Chappel

Cold Case Investigations is an integral service provided by the District Attorney’s Office. In 2018, a core team of investigators worked diligently to bring to trial several cold cases that resulted in closure and healing for victims and their families, and ensured community safety. The team also solved several murder cases committed by one person and was able to share a confession with a victim’s family to facilitate their healing process. The cold case team exemplifies strong investigative and interviewing skills, especially given the challenges of sifting through evidence and witness accounts that can be many years old.

BRONZE - Linda Puzziferro, Santa Cruz County Animal Shelter

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Linda is a proven leader and dedicated county employee who lifts the spirits of her colleagues and supports customers at the animal shelter without fail, every day. Her focus on the safety of animals and improving workflow is evident in her efforts to improve services. Linda regularly contributes ideas to process improvement and customer service. She consistently displays a calm, patient and compassionate approach with everyone she comes into contact with, and has committed herself to a career of service with the animal shelter. Identified as a staff member who regularly makes a difference in everyone’s day in a highly charged and active environment is no easy feat, yet Linda makes it seem effortless. Linda exemplifies the type of employee the county seeks to recruit and retain.