After a year unlike any other, the annual Beaverton Police Department awards ceremony looked a lot different this year. Due to COVID-19 restrictions, instead of gathering together with family, friends, and community members to celebrate the achievements and valiant efforts by department and community members, the department hosted a small, private awards observance in the new Public Safety Center building. Awards were displayed in the common area of the police department for staff members to see and letters of recognition were sent to award recipients and family members.
Highlighted this year were three community members; Anthony O’Billovich, Chris Mitchell, and Jabral Johnson. The three received Community Member Commendations after they saved the life of a woman trapped in a burning apartment building. On Jul. 17, 2020, a fire caused by a stove engulfed a six-unit building at the Sunset Crossing Apartment complex on Northwest Evergreen Place. Working together, O’Billovich, Mitchell, and Johnson (an off-duty West Linn police officer) broke down the door of an apartment which was on fire and found a woman trapped inside. They were able to drag her to safety despite the heat and smoke caused by the fire.
“Without a doubt the actions taken by these three men saved the life of the woman trapped in the apartment,” said Sgt. Jamie Beane.
For his outstanding service to the community, Detective Chad Opitz received the Chief’s Award, presented by Chief Ronda Groshong.
Detective Opitz has worked on investigations involving sex trafficking since 2008, with a focus on protecting victims of child exploitation and targeting those who exploit minors. Detective Opitz is highly regarded as an expert in human trafficking investigations. He was invited by the U.S. Attorney General’s Office to Washington D.C. to testify as a Law Enforcement expert on Human Trafficking.
Esther Nelson, director of Safety Compass, an organization developed to assist victims of human trafficking recently presented Detective Opitz with their “Outstanding Excellence in Investigations Award.”
“There are survivors of sex-trafficking all over the west coast who, if asked to name one person in law enforcement they trust with their lives, would name Detective Opitz without pause,” Nelson said.