ESGR Press Release

July 20, 2009                                                     
CONTACT, Maj. Melissa Phillips, 703-380-9262

 Santa Ana Police Department Named 2009 Secretary of Defense Employer
Support Freedom Award Recipient
Fifteen Employers Nationwide Receive Top Honor for Guard and Reserve Support

ARLINGTON, VA –The Department of Defense has announced that Santa Ana Police Department of Santa Ana, California will receive the 2009 Secretary of Defense Employer Support Freedom Award, the highest recognition given by the U.S. Government to employers for their outstanding support of their employees who serve in the National Guard and Reserve.  The Santa Ana Police Department was selected as one of only 15 employers from across the nation to receive a 2009 Freedom Award.  A record 3,200 National Guard and Reserve members or their family members from across the country nominated their supportive employers for the award.  The Freedom Award will be presented to the Santa Ana Police Department during a formal ceremony Thursday, September 17, 2009 at the Ronald Reagan Building and International Trade Center in Washington, D.C.  
The 2009 Secretary of Defense Employer Support Freedom Award recipients are:
AeroDyn Wind Tunnel LLC – Mooresville, NC
AstraZeneca International – Wilmington, DE
Cambridge, MA Fire Department – Cambridge, MA
Consolidated Electrical Distributors, Inc. – North Charleston, SC
First Data Corporation – Greenwood Village, CO
FMC Technologies – Houston, TX
Jackson Parish Sheriff’s Department – Jonesboro, LA
Marks, O’Neill, O’Brien & Courtney, P.C. – Wilmington, DE
Microsoft Corporation – Redmond, WA
Mid America Kidney Stone Association – Kansas City, MO
NetJets – Woodbridge, NJ
Ohio Department of Public Safety – Columbus, OH
Perpetual Technologies, Inc. – Indianapolis, IN
Santa Ana Police Department – Santa Ana, CA
TriWest Healthcare Alliance – Phoenix, AZ
Nominated by a police sergeant in Orange, California, the Santa Ana Police Department  (SAPD) was selected as a Freedom Award recipient for its outstanding support which includes providing National Guard and Reserve employees differential pay between their military pay and SAPD salary during deployments; continuing employee and enrolled family members’ medical and life insurance benefits during deployments; establishing a Military Liaison Officer responsible for providing both military employees and their families with direct and personal service during deployment; creating a policy to guide Department supervisors and service member employees during the reintegration process; and recognizing the military service of their employees through newsletters, photographs and several prominent display cases throughout the station. The SAPD has received numerous ESGR state awards for their support for National Guard and Reserve employees including several Patriot Awards, an Above and Beyond Award and a Pro Patria Award in 2009.
The Freedom Award was instituted in 1996 under the auspices of the National Committee for Employer Support of the Guard and Reserve (ESGR) to recognize exceptional support from the employer community.  Previous honorees include American Express, Chrysler, Sears, The Home Depot, the State of Tennessee and the family owned Augustine & Sons farm in Rose Hill, IA.   
More information about the Freedom Award is available at or by calling the ESGR office at (800) 336-4590.
About ESGR
Employer Support of the Guard and Reserve (ESGR) is a Department of Defense agency established in 1972 that seeks to promote a culture in which all American employers support and value the military service of their employees. ESGR recognizes outstanding support, increases awareness of the law, and resolves conflicts through mediation. More information is available at
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