Retired Gilroy police chief given 2017 Book of Golden Deed Award

Published in the May 24 – June 6, 2017 issue of Morgan Hill Life

By Staff Report

Police Chief David Swing, left, presents Sgt. Troy Hoefling with his award for saving a life.
Photo by Marty Cheek

Dignitaries from Gilroy and Morgan Hill gathered to honor law enforcement officers and firefighters last week at the 2017 Blue & Gold Awards Luncheon.

The Exchange Club of Gilroy organized the annual event held May 17 at the Old City Hall Restaurant in downtown Gilroy to put a spotlight on accomplishments of 10 public safety employees who serve the South Valley Region. Attending the event from Morgan Hill were Mayor Steve Tate, City Manager Steve Rymer and councilmembers Rich Constantine and Caitlin Robinett Jachimowicz.

Retired Gilroy Police Chief Denise Turner received the Exchange Club’s prestigious Book of Golden Deed Award for 2017. Other recipients were Gilroy Fire Department Firefighter Mario Bena, Fire Apparatus Engineer Jeff Martin of the South Santa Clara County Fire District, Fire Captain Steven Blythe of CalFire, Santa Clara County Sheriff deputy Hakeem Lee, California Highway Patrol officer Jason Smith, Morgan Hill Police Department officer Troy Hoefling, South County Youth Task Force Coordinator Bernice Aquilera Toney, Gilroy Police Department officer Darren Cooner, and Vietnam War veteran Paul Kloecker who served as a lieutenant commander in the naval engineering corps.

Police Chief David Swing presented Hoefling with the Blue & Gold Award representing the MHPD. The sergeant has served the city of Morgan Hill for more than 29 years, he said.

“Troy is a leader who serves alongside his team,” Swing said.

In January, Hoefling saved the life of teenager attempting to commit suicide, Swing said. He made sure the individual received professional treatment for the depression that contributed to the attempt.

Gilroy Exchange Club President Lisa Fleming made the surprise announcement that Turner had received the Book of Golden Deeds Award. The retired Gilroy police chief said she was “shocked and amazed” to receive the honor.

“There’s so many other people who work hard in this community to help others in need, and I’m just a catalyst in my position,” she said “It means a lot to me to receive this award. All the successes that Lisa just mentioned, they really weren’t me doing it. It’s the team behind me, the team supporting me, the community team. I’m just so glad we can enrich the lives of others who are less fortunate than us, and that’s what the Exchange Club is all about.”