2008 Award Recipient – Karen Schroepfer

On May 21, 2007, Detective Karen Schroepfer found herself leading the largest and most extensive investigation in recent Anaheim Police history: The Dhanak family murders.

Detective Schroepfer successfully managed an extremely complex investigation. She kept numerous simultaneous efforts focused on specific objectives, while fostering teamwork and relationships among units within the Anaheim Police Department, United States Marshals, Phoenix Police Department, Irvine Police Department, University of California, Irvine Police and the Orange County District Attorneys Office.  Working every day for over two months, including a twenty four hour a day listening and surveillance effort, she ultimately succeeded in arresting three suspects of the murders. 

The evidence required to file charges against these suspects was greater, more technological in nature and subject to more media and court room scrutiny than any other past homicide. Even under these circumstances, Detective Schroepfer always took the time to care and provide for Mrs. Dhanak and her daughter. She kept them appraised of the investigation’s status, shielded them from the media, reassured them that the Anaheim Police Department was diligently working their case and that our Department would always provide any assistance possible for their family.  

Detective Schroepfer accepted the greatest challenge of her career and performed like the true professional she is.  She set the example for how a very large scale investigation should be conducted.