Those who protect and serve in Merced County gathered Wednesday evening to recognize the best in their field at the 2013 Law Enforcement Officer of the Year awards dinner.
The event was sponsored by American Legion Merced Post 83, and held at the group's Main Street hall. Those who received the awards were nominated by supervisors from their respective agencies.
Vince Cole, acting commander of Post 83, said his group is proud to organize the event every year as a show of gratitude to law enforcement.
"These guys put their lives on the line every day to keep citizens safe," Cole said.
This year's honorees included:
UC Merced police officer Stephen Partridge.
Los Banos California Highway Patrol officer Todd Perreira.
District attorney's investigator Andrea Valtierra-Gongora.
Merced County Sheriff's Department correctional officer John Hendon.
Merced CHP officer Michael Kolodziej.
Sheriff's deputy Lucas Hukill.
Los Banos police officer Sean Bayard.
Deputy District Attorney Matthew Serratto.
Merced police Detective Paul Johnson.
Atwater police officer David Walker.
Livingston police officer Patrick Radke.
Post 83 holds a similar dinner annually to honor firefighters.