PALMDALE – Palmdale Sheriff’s Station has recognized Deputy Brandon Barclay for having distinguished himself a third time in the area of dangerous weapons interdiction and enforcement.
For his success in removing illegally-possessed firearms from the streets of Los Angeles County, he has again received the “Palmdale 417 Ace” award.
The award recognizes deputies who seize one or more firearms on five separate occasions in a 12-month period. The seizures must be the result of proactive, self-initiated activity on the deputy’s part. Proactive police work refers to activities which the deputy initiates on his own accord. Examples include stopping vehicles for observed traffic violations, working to develop street-level informants, or conducting follow-up investigations which lead to the seizure of a firearm which would not otherwise have been found. Easy recovery of a firearm, such as a gun found at the scene of a robbery to which deputies have been called would not count toward the award.
“417 Ace” is a mixture of police and military terms. The term “417″ refers to the Penal Code section, which addresses brandishing a deadly weapon. In police jargon “417″ is understood to mean “gun”. The term “Ace” refers to a military pilot who has scored five victories.
Palmdale Gang Investigator Sergeant Vic Hess commented on the effect of proactive enforcement and removing guns from the street. “Gang members rarely obtain their firearms by legal means. They do not relinquish them easily and they certainly do not comply with registration laws. Dangerous weapons, including firearms, have to be removed from the criminal elements through proactive, ongoing efforts by dedicated police officers.”
In addition to mitigating planned gang activities, such as robberies or assaults, taking guns from gang members also helps reduce “unplanned” shootings such as those precipitated by a chance encounter with a rival gang member or a confrontation sparked by some unplanned event such as a road-rage incident.
In 2012, 49 police officers were killed by firearms nationwide. As of today, 21 police officers have been killed by gunfire, a decrease from 27 for the same period of 2012. During this time period California has suffered the highest number of firearm-related police fatalities – six. Arkansas, New York, and Virginia were next with two fatalities each.
Five of the eight guns recovered by Barclay were taken from convicted felons.
With this third award, Barclay now leads a small group of deputies who have earned the award in the past five years. Previous award recipients include Deputy Anthony Delia, Deputy Joseph Fender, Deputy Robert Gillis (twice), Deputy Thomas Innocente, Detective Robert Mittelbrun, Deputy Todd Shaffer, and Deputy Clinton Skaggs.
(Information via press release from the Palmdale Sheriff’s Station.)