Brawley City Council Honors Local Residents for Community Service

Brawley Police Officer David Holetz, Gelacio Valenzuela, and Police Chief Michael Crankshaw



BRAWLEY – The Brawley City Council honored four local citizens for community service Tuesday at its regular meeting.

Gelacio Valenzuela was recognized for Outstanding Community Service following his courageous help in subduing a suspect who was attempting to escape a police officer’s vehicle.

On April 9, Brawley police officer David Holetz was transporting a suspect to the Imperial County Jail. While in the back seat of the patrol car, the suspect managed to slip his handcuffs to the front and attempted to break out of the back door. The officer pulled over and tried to calm the suspect down. The suspect was struggling and tried to flee. During this time, Valenzuela asked if he could be of assistance. The officer answered “yes,” and Valenzuela helped subdue the suspect until backup arrived.

“The Brawley Police Department would like to formally thank Mr. Valenzuela with the BPD Community Commendation for acting courageously and assisting with the combative subject,” said Brawley Police Chief Michael Crankshaw. “His action significantly reduced the potential of injury to the officer, the suspect, and the community. He is greatly appreciated.”

“It was an honor for me to help the officer,” said Valenzuela.

Council Members Don Campbell and Helen Noriega, Bob Presley, Mayor George Nava, Troy Hutchinson, Mayor Pro-Tempore Don Wharton, Councilman Sam Couchman


Citizens Bob Presley, Troy Hutchinson, and Rusty Garcia were also recognized for their efforts to improve the East ball field at Meserve Park.

Presley approached Garcia about redoing the East ball field at Meserve Park after Garcia and several other individuals had recently renovated the West field. Hutchinson, with Helena Chemical, offered to donate fertilizer and spread it.

The men were presented plaques for their generosity to the community.

In other council business, members appointed by resolution Monica Torres and Kenny Robertson to two new positions recently created on the Brawley Business Advisory Commission. Previously, the commission had been comprised of five members.

The new seven-member commission will advise the city council on issues that pertain to Brawley businesses.

The council also approved a 60-day extension on the city ordinance that prohibits wasteful use of water and establishes restrictions. The state is under a mandatory water ration imposed by Governor Jerry Brown to reduce the state’s water consumption by 25 percent.

Recently, the California State Regional Water Board increased Brawley’s 25 percent reduced consumption rate to 33 percent. Council members questioned the increase in water consumption rate reduction because the city is already meeting the 25 percent reduction in use. It was said that the closing of National Beef reduced the city’s water usage by two million gallons a day.

The council asked that the state Regional Water Board explain the increase in water consumption rates.