Downey awards local officer for ‘bravery’


Oscar Torres

Fire chief of Downey saying a few words to Andrew Martifian. He congratulates him for his work.

Oscar Torres, Staff Writer

The second Downey City Hall meeting of February consisted of the council members discussing and awarding a Downey Police Officer who help during a crisis in California.

The council’s first thing that they addressed was giving out the Mayor’s Impact award to Andrew Martifian, a Ventura County firefighter.

Mayor Blanca Pacheo has known Marifian very well and wanted to give this award to him a year ago but couldn’t as he was still in the Academy and it’s been difficult for the council members to get him to the meetings.

Martifian was a Downey High School Graduate of 2009 and works for the Downey police force as a homicide officer.

He is being honored for his bravery and effort during the Thomas Fire of 2017 where a massive wildfire went up and burned many acres of land located on the Ventura and Santa Barbra counties.

“Andrew was among four firefighters who went door to door in the burning hours in the Devastating Thomas fires to alert and evacuate people from the upcoming wild fires.” Mayor Pacheo said, “Because of his bravery and need to go above and beyond the call of duty his work saved countless lives.”

Mark Gillaspes, the Fire Chief of Downey, said, ” A large part of our department is from the city and they’ve been excellent fire fighters.”

He went on saying, ” I want to congratulate you for a job well done, representing the entire firefighter service and staying safe.”

Officer Martifian has been a police officer for 22 years, working in Vernon Police Department for a year and a half before moving to Downey in the year 2000.

Growing up in Orange County, Martifian wanted to become a civil engineer before he decided to become a police officer, but figured being an officer was a better calling to him.

He later worked for Downey High School as a resource officer as a collateral duty in the department in 2003 and worked for about two years. He also was a resource officer for Warren High School for about two years.

“So when I graduated high school a good close friend of mine was an Anaheim Park Ranger and he got me a part-time job as a park ranger. As park ranger we wear uniforms and worked somewhat closely with the police department and we just found that job interesting and exciting and [it] kind of set up that path that I wanted to do.”

When asked about what inspires him the most about his job, he said, “When you get satisfaction from victims that they see how much hard work work you put into a product and try to help people give resolution to your problems. Just helping people when there in dire need and help them find peace for what their struggling with.”

With that, the city of Downey and its citizens honors a brave officer and wishes for him a round of applause.