The Law Enforcement Appreciation Committee (LEAC) was founded in 1978 by Rick and Marie Fritts who were very civic-minded citizen business owners in Riverside, California.  Their goal and desire was to pay annual tribute to deserving law enforcement officers throughout Western Riverside County for acts of valor or bravery; distinguished or exemplary police work; or has demonstrated outstanding service and commitment to protect families, homes and neighborhoods. 

Their initial desire and efforts have led to the creation of LEAC, a California non-profit organization which annually invites the community to participate in the annual formal awards ceremony by honoring deserving peace officers for distinguished police work and outstanding service.  Law enforcement officers are nominated annually, in writing, by their respective employing agency and submitted to the committee for review and approval.  Eligible and deserving recipients are publicly recognized for their efforts at the annual ceremony, which is typically held in the spring of each calendar year.  The awards dinner and ceremony are largely funded through generous donations and sponsorships from the local business community. 

LEAC is comprised of an all-volunteer board of local businesspersons and retirees, as well as law enforcement and criminal justice professionals who serve in rotating board positions as the Chair, Vice Chair, Secretary and Treasurer.  There are several other voting Committee members, which include ex-officio members; representatives from each Western Riverside County law enforcement agency; as well as Advisory Board members consisting of the local police chiefs and Sheriff from those respective agencies. 

Mission Statement

The Law Enforcement Appreciation Committee (LEAC) is a community-based local non-profit organization whose sole purpose is to pay annual tribute and recognition to deserving law enforcement officers employed by any agency throughout Western Riverside County for acts of valor or bravery; distinguished or exemplary police work; or has demonstrated outstanding service and commitment to protect families, homes and neighborhoods for event(s) which occurred the previous calendar year.   

2024 LEAC Committee Members

Jared Haringsma Riverside County D.A.'s Office
Jason Adams Menifee Police Department
Sol Ivett Avila Banning Police Department
Ruben Ayala* Tippy's Tow Company
Brendan Carney Murrieta Police Department
Gary Cavender Community Member
Monique Cisneros Riverside Police Department
Henry Citarella Community Member
Natasha Crawford Riverside County DA's Office
Greg Fagan* Beaumont Police Department
Gabe Gomez Hemet Police Department
Sherri Gomez Garnet Silver Group
Gary Griffitts Corona Police Department
LaShon Halley Riverside Police Department
Maureen Kane* Community Member
Shannon Kane Community Member
Denise Keith Menifee Police Department
Maureen Mitchell Community Member
Javier Navarro California Highway Patrol
Ivan Ostercevic Riverside County D.A's Office
Brian C. Pearcy* Law Offices of Brian C. Pearcy, APC
Donald Sharp Riverside County Sheriff's Office
Kevin Slusarski Riverside County Probation Department
Maurice Ward Metro Auto Group
Dennis Vrooman* Community Member

*Denotes past LEAC Chair

2024 LEAC Steering Committee

Ryan Railsback
2024 Chair
Riverside Police Department
Tom Loza
Loza, Beck Wealth Management
Dan Schoo
BMW Motorcycles of Riverside
Maura Kane McAuliffe*
One Asterisk Consulting
Maureen Mitchell
Board Member
Community Member

2024 Agency Heads / Advisory Committee

Matthew Hamner Chief, Banning Police Department
Sean Thuilliez Chief, Beaumont Police Department
Robert Newman Chief, Corona Police Department
Mike Arellano Chief, Hemet Police Department
Anthony Conrad Chief, Murrieta Police Department
Michael Hestrin Riverside County District Attorney
Chad Bianco Riverside County Sheriff
Larry Gonzalez Chief, Riverside Police Department
Jeff Talbott Chief, UCR Police Department
Mark Clark Chief, Val Verde USD Police Deparment