• Chiefs to Keynote 20th Annual Event Honoring Local Heroes

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    November 06, 2018

    Mark your calendars for Friday, December 14 as the CORONA Chamber will Honor Local Heroes for the 20th consecutive year. Over the past 2 decades, the Chamber has had different keynote speakers. This year the Chamber will welcome Corona’s new Police and Fire Chiefs to share their inspirational messages.

    With the recent fires, and the quick work with all departments, CORONA is fortunate that no lives were lost, and that minor structural damage occurred. It is due to the quality work from Corona Fire, Corona Police, and ALL departments in CORONA. The Chamber also recognizes the importance of other agencies for their contribution and coordination in these fires. The Chamber will honor all departments from the City specific to the fires.
    Since its inception, Honoring Our Local Heroes has been focused on Police and Fire. In addition to the recent fires, we understand the dedication and commitment public safety/first responders make to ensure CORONA remains one of the safest cities in America. Listed below you will find the Police and Firefighters that both agencies will acknowledge at the Chamber’s Friday, December 14 breakfast. The public is invited and can secure your tickets here.
    Justin Ligtenberg

    Justin Ligtenberg is an extremely active member of the Corona Fire Department. He is involved in many department programs that benefit the community.
    Justin Ligtenberg has been a Community CPR instructor for five years and managed the Public Automatic Defibrillation Program for four years. Justin provided recommendations for the purchase, training and installation of AED's in all the Corona/Norco High Schools which he hopes to expand into the elementary and middle schools. As the Paramedic Preceptor Program Manager, Justin has developed the program and coordinated Corona firefighter/paramedic preceptors with students from the various college paramedic training programs to provide an optimal experience. Justin is also on the committee that implemented the "Pulse Point" smartphone application in Corona which will allow anyone in the community to respond when there is a need for CPR and provide the location of the closest AED.
    Through his diligent career planning, Justin was promoted to the rank of Fire Captain in January 2018.
    Sergeant Adam Roulston, Dispatcher Erin Lennox, and K9 Raider

    Sergeant Adam Roulston and Dispatcher Erin Lennox tirelessly worked for over a year to obtain final approval for our department to have its first Facility Dog, K9 Raider. On November 3, 2017, Sergeant Roulston and Dispatcher Lennox graduated from the Canine Companions for Independence with K9 Raider. Shortly after graduation, Adam and Erin started the Facility Dog Program where within one years’ time has had a tremendous impact upon our department and community. Year to date, the team has attended 131 public events, served 31 victim/witness, and has had interactions with over 6,000 children within our community. K9 Raider had an immediate calming effect on a child who was a victim of a parental abduction, and the handling team has provided positive interactions at local schools, hospitals, and with other governmental entities.

    Through their tireless work and attention to detail, the Facility Dog program not only meet but far exceeded any of our expectations. The program, a first of its kind within Riverside County, has become the focal point for other entities to follow. The positive comments and contacts heard about this special program, county wide, will only continue to grow and forever remain a positive image for our department and community. Adam and Erin have a clear understanding and exemplifies our Mission, Vision, and Values by remaining proactive in our partnerships with the community, and commitment to excel as an organization. Sergeant Roulston and Dispatcher Lennox are both applauded for their commitment to our department and service to our community.

    Steve Wells

    Firefighter Paramedic Steve Wells has made an enormous impact on the Corona Fire Department over the last thirteen years as a committed member of our organization.
    Steve was the Corona Fire Explorer Advisor for eleven years and developed the program into the success it is today. Many of our explorers have moved on to professional jobs in the fire service due to Steve’s dedication to the program and the youth in our community.
    Steve is also extremely involved in the organization from a technical stand point. Steve launched our original version of the Fireweb and most recently transitioned the department to its newest version. The Fireweb is an on-line internal website the department uses every day and its success is because of Steve’s attention to detail.
    Steve is also very skilled in formatting. Nearly every form we utilize, Steve has played a role in creating and developing. If a document needs to be created from scratch, or revised, Steve is the person the department goes to.
    Steve has recently assumed the position of Emergency Medical Services Continuous Quality Improvement Manager and is already making improvements to the program with our integration with the Image Trend reporting software. Steve is also a member of the Training Committee and took on the project of transitioning the training record system to Target Solutions, a robust data system, starting in 2018. Steve has done an outstanding job with this project which will ultimately improve the training delivery and record keeping.
    Sergeant Skip Shatford

    The members of the Corona Police Officers’ Association would like to honor Sergeant Skip Shatford with the Peer Recognition award. As the supervisor of Vice Narcotics Intelligence/Gangs and Detectives assigned to several task force positions, Sergeant Shatford consistently goes above and beyond, exemplifying our department’s mission of “Excellence in Policing.” Sergeant Shatford has applied his knowledge and experience in developing several of our officers and detectives. These officers are constantly conducting, and accurately documenting, complex investigations that result in significant arrests. In addition, Sergeant Shatford always follows up on leads he receives from our members. Several of these leads have resulted in dangerous criminals being taken off our streets. Sergeant Shatford’s service to our community and association members is much appreciated.

    Engine 7 A-Shift
    Fire Captain Chris Douglas
    Fire Engineer David Corbett
    Firefighter Matthew Vansant
    Firefighter Paramedic Connor Drake



    On December 4, 2017, the crew of Engine 7 responded to a structure fire in El Cerrito. While responding, they were notified by Perris Dispatch that a person on a cell phone called and stated he was trapped in his room by the fire. When Engine 7 arrived on scene, they reported heavy smoke and fire on the side of the structure.
    Captain Chris Douglas led his crew to secure a water supply, pull an attack hose line, and complete a primary search for the trapped victim. He remained calm and in command of the incident, directing his crew to search and rescue the trapped victim.
    Engineer David Corbett worked with a sense of urgency and purpose understanding that securing a water supply would be important to contribute to the rescue of a trapped victim.
    Firefighter Connor Drake pulled an attack line and quickly began to extinguish the fire. He worked with efficiency and courage making access to the main body of fire on the side of the structure. The fire was blocking access and extending into the room where the victim was trapped.
    Firefighter Matthew Vansant conducted a primary search of the residence for the reported trapped victim. The initial search was unsuccessful at locating the victim. He continued to evaluate the situation, conditions, and the structure. During his continued search, Firefighter Vansant identified a room addition. The room addition had a separate entrance, connected to the main body of the house. He determined this was where the victim was trapped.
    Access to the room addition was blocked by debris and the other side was blocked by fire. The debris was removed by firefighters on scene, at this point Firefighter Vansant quickly and aggressively made his way to the entry door of the room addition. He entered and searched the room, finding an adult male occupant who could walk with the assistance of Firefighter Vansant and subsequently rescued.
    Steve Sears

    Sergeant Steve Sears was hired by the Corona Police Department in July 1990. He quickly became an outstanding officer at the department due to his high level of productivity, activity, and superior wit. Sergeant Sears developed many street level informants while working the streets of Corona as an officer, which led to a vast amount of quality arrests. These arrests and productivity earned him a position on the Special Response Team in 1993. A team on which he served our community until 2011.

    Sergeant Sears’ dedication and work ethic also led to his selection as a Field Training Officer in 1995, then as a FLEX Team Officer in 1998. He briefly returned to patrol in 2000, where he worked until his promotion to detective in May 2003.As a detective, Sergeant Sears worked a variety of cases within the Crimes Against Property and Crimes Against Person Units. During his tenure as a detective, he worked several high profile fraud investigations, some of which lasted years for a final resolution. He was assigned the Stolen Vehicle caseload for some time, then finished his time in the detective bureau as a Robbery/Homicide Detective.

    In June 2015, Sergeant Sears was promoted to sergeant. He returned to patrol as a valued mentor and leader, and worked in this capacity until he was selected to supervise the Family Services Division. As the Family Services Sergeant, Sergeant Sears oversees the school resource officers, the Youth Diversion Team, and evaluates all special use permits issued by the police department.

    Throughout his career, Sergeant Sears proactively participated in the continual progress of our officers. He volunteered countless hours of his service as a board member on the Corona Police Officers Association (CPOA), he served as an Executive Board member on the Combine Law Enforcement Associations of Riverside (CLEAR), and served as the CPOA Liaison with the Peace Officers Research Association of California (PORAC).

    In December 2018, Sergeant Sears looks to retire from our department after over 28 years of service. Even as that highly anticipated date approaches, Sergeant Sears still provides our department and community with the same dedication and eagerness that he did when he began his career. Congratulations, and thank you to Sergeant Sears for an outstanding career.

    Stephanie Shapiro
    (951) 737-3350
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