Pleasanton Weekly

News - March 4, 2011

Police name 2010 Employees of the Year

Officer's keen observation led to arrest of sexual predator

Officer Matthew Kroutil has been selected as the Pleasanton Police Department's Officer of the Year along with Records Clerk Vanessa Schlehuber who was named professional staff Employee of the Year.

Kroutil, who is described as a dedicated professional with an intrinsic motivation to do quality police work, won the honor for his proactive contributions in keeping Pleasanton safe.

In recognizing Kroutil, police noted that his hard work and tenacity were further demonstrated in July during one of the several hundred traffic stops he made during the year. While on patrol, Kroutil stopped a vehicle for having a cracked windshield, and during the stop asked the 35-year-old male driver from Nebraska about the juvenile female passenger with him in the vehicle. Kroutil's investigative instincts and intuitive skills led him to believe something was unusual about their relationship.

Although they tried to mitigate his doubts, Kroutil continued to ask probing questions and investigate for the truth. Because of his determination, he unraveled a significant crime against a child and arrested a sexual predator who had traveled across state lines after meeting the juvenile on the Internet. That man was later determined to be a wanted fugitive, and because of this arrest, additional victims were discovered.

Records Clerk Vanessa Schlehuber, who was honored as the professional Employee of the Year, is consistently optimistic, upbeat and enthusiastic about her career and the department, police said. She provides strong customer service, and co-workers seek out her assistance and expertise.

Schlehuber assists with processing juvenile arrests and is a facilitator to train employees, police said. Her background and experience with iys permitting process has helped those new to the role.

In a statement honoring Schlehuber, the department said:

"In addition to her many contributions as a paid employee, Ms. Schlehuber gives generously of her own time and volunteers and serves as president of the Pleasanton Police Officers Association Charitable Foundation.

"Over the past several years, she's provided countless hours of personal time planning and organizing the 'Giving Tree Program' for during the holiday season. She meticulously solicits and reviews applications, organizes press releases and communications with citizens to ensure a successful outcome for the families in need."

Schlehuber has been with the Pleasanton Police Department since July 2005 and is married to Kurt Schlehuber, a sergeant with the department.

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