Sergeant Mark Mason, a 25-year veteran of the Manhattan Beach Police Department, has been honored as the “Officer of the Year” for 2012.
Called "a constant model of excellence" by MBPD Chief Eve R. Irvine, Mason, who retired Nov. 29 and stayed on in December to help the department, most recently was the supervisor of the Traffic section. He responsible for coordinating public safety for community events, among them the Hometown Fair, Chevron Grand Prix bike race, six-man volleyball tournament and holiday fireworks. Manhattan Beach events are known to attract thousands to city streets and require preparation, coordination and execution.
In his nomination, Mason was described as a “team player,” “portraying behavior that inspires his fellow officers,” having a “can-do” attitude, being a self-motivator and being positive, according to an MBPD press release.
"He always does the right thing," said Irvine, adding that Mason was "cool, calm, collected" and a "go-to guy." "It was really my honor to work with him," she said.
Mason told Patch working in traffic was the "best assignment in the department, any department" and called the Officer of the Year distinction "a nice way to go out."
"Under his leadership, the motor officers worked with great unity and pride while investigating traffic collisions, assisting injured motorists and enforcing traffic laws to keep our city streets safe," said MBPD Officer Stephanie Martin, the department's public information officer.
In retirement, he has been enjoying motorcycle riding, golf and surfing. He is also doing household chores while his wife is at work. The two have a 24-year-old daughter.
Mason was in the United States Air Force for 8 years, serving as a law enforcement specialist for 3, and served as a reserve deputy with the Kern County Sheriff’s Department.
He was hired by MBPD is March 1987, graduated from the Los Angeles Sheriff's Department Academy in July 1987 and was promoted to sergeant in August 2001.
During his career with MBPD, Mason worked a variety of assignments, including patrol, DUI enforcement, traffic motor officer, vice and narcotics intelligence, SWAT, defensive tactics/force instructor, range master and South Bay Training Academy motor instructor.
Officers can be nominated for Officer of the Year by any MBPD employee (sworn or professional staff). Nominees are reviewed by a panel of department representatives with a final review by the police chief.
- Previously: Tony Presgraves Named Police Officer of the Year