Litchfield native receives Valor Award
According to a story posted May 22 on ksby.com, U.S. Marshals informed the SBPD the armed suspect, who had prior law enforcement experience, and his son were on a train that would be passing through Santa Barbara.
DeForest was part of a group of officers sent to apprehend the suspect after he reportedly had picked up his 9-year-old son and then burned the family home to the ground.
DeForest and another detective confronted the suspect as he came out of the restroom of the train car and a fight ensued.
The detectives were able to take the fugitive into custody quickly enough to avoid a possible hostage situation and other violence.
DeForest’s mother, Ann, said she and her husband, Michael, were thrilled that their son won the Guerry Award for Valor.
“When Jeff called to tell us he was being given the award he was very humble and said it was not a big deal, just another day at work,” said Ann.“However, it was and is a terrific honor and not given lightly or often.”
According to his mother, DeForest has wanted to be in law enforcement since he graduated from high school.He began his career with the Lassen County Sheriff’s Department after serving in the National Guard.
He was hired by the SBPD in 2002 where he began as a patrol officer, moved into gang suppression, then special investigation/burglary, and is currently a narcotics investigator.
“He loves his career and takes great pride in being a conscientious police officer,” said Ann. “When he was growing up and attending Janesville School, Jeff was the one who chose the underdog to be on his team.He has never changed.”
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