Oxnard safety officer was named 2012 Security Officer of the Year out of more than 100,000 others www.privateofficer.com
Oxnard CA May 5 2012 An Oxnard safety officer was named 2012 Security Officer of the Year out of more than 100,000 others.
Securitas Security Services recognized Senior District Safety Officer Andres Fernandez, 24, of Oxnard, last month for his work protecting citizens and businesses in downtown Oxnard.
The international company each year recognizes two employees for notable heroism and outstanding performance on the job. Fernandez was recognized for his job performance in 2011.
“He is consistently committed to doing well on the job. He is a guy who wants to make a difference,” said Joshua Walker, Securitas account manager for the downtown district safety program.
Walker nominated Fernandez and both attended the award ceremony April 19 in Parsippany, N.J.
Fernandez received $5,000 and a plaque. He also got a plaque of recognition from the Oxnard City Council on April 24.
“Every day, I am going out and doing the best I can. I didn’t think I’d get anything,” Fernandez said. “I don’t expect to get recognition because I don’t do the job by myself.”
Fernandez is part of the security team contracted by the Oxnard Downtown Management District and the Oxnard Police Department to help keep downtown safe. Security officers observe, coordinate tasks, and report suspicious circumstances and behavior to police. They patrol the area 24 hours a day, seven days a week.
Fernandez helps patrol a 40-block area from Second Street to Wooley Road and from Meta Street to C Street. On foot, by bike and sometimes in a vehicle, he observes and provides assistance to those in need.
Fernandez stands out for assisting in six arrests last year on allegations of driving under the influence, according to Abel Magana, executive director of the district.
“We are exceptionally proud of Andy and the job the team has done,” Magana said. “DUIs are part of what is going to happen where you have entertainment and hospitality. We need to manage that type of activity to keep it fun and safe for everyone.”
Fernandez has helped police combat other crimes, including graffiti tagging, robbery and public nuisance. His and his team’s efforts have contributed to a 41 percent drop in crime in the area since 2005, Magana said.
“Downtown Oxnard has had a reputation for being a negative place, but working with Oxnard police and making it better gives me a sense of pride,” Fernandez said.
A native of Houston, Fernandez started his career in security after moving to Oxnard in 2006. He assembled computers for Hewlett-Packard before then.
Approaching his sixth year serving in downtown Oxnard, Fernandez is preparing to pursue a career as a patrol police officer.
“I had never wanted to be an officer, but now that I’ve got a taste of it working closely with Oxnard Police Department, it’s something I want to purse,” he said. “It will be doing what I do a little more serious.”