Sheriff’s office honors Varney


For The Madera Tribune

Madera County Sheriff, Tyson Pogue, left, and Undersheriff Patrick Majeski stand with Amy Varney after she received the sheriff’s office’s Citizen Award at the 31st annual Citizen Awards Ceremony, hosted by the Fresno and Madera counties Police Chiefs’ Association.

The Fresno and Madera counties Police Chiefs’ Association held its 31st annual Citizen Awards Ceremony and the Madera County Sheriff’s Office honored Amy Varney for her tireless support of the department and its mission to serve the community.


One of Amy’s biggest accomplishments is her work with the Madera Sheriff’s Foundation. Identifying a need within the Sheriff’s Office, Sheriff Jay Varney and Amy went to work with their community leaders to start a non-profit, and established the Foundation in 2016.


For the past five years, Amy and the Foundation have worked tirelessly to support several needs in the department:


• Restored the K9 program, fundraising enough money to fund five K9 dogs and their training


• Purchased numerous items of equipment for patrol, SWAT, K9, SAR, OES and COPS


• Funded programs to assist with resiliency and wellness


• Funded scholarships and equipment for explorers and cadets attending the academy


• Funded air purifiers, fire shelters, and even a camera for sheriffs airplane


Varney shows every day that it’s not just about words, its action. Though it takes a community to fund and drive these projects, it’s Amy’s persistence and constant drive that ensures their completion. Varney received her award at the ceremony on Sept. 29.


During the ceremony, Sheriff Tyson Pogue reflected, “Over the years I have met many leaders in both law enforcement and the community. Some, like those distinguished guests in this room, have powerful titles, and bling to reflect their authority.


“However, we all agree that not all leaders have rank. Amy Varney is one such individual. When Amy walks into a room, those present take note. From the first time I met Amy, I knew she was a someone special. She is passionate about her goals, she’s resourceful, honest, humble, and motivated to serve her community. If we each had 50 cops with Amy’s drive, we would eradicate crime and probably solve world hunger.”


Amy is a dynamic presence at community events and the Sheriff’s office functions, and is its biggest fan and cheerleader.


“She has selflessly dedicated herself and accomplished so much on behalf of our office to help us better serve our community,” Pogue said. “We are honored to present this Fresno & Madera Counties Police Chiefs’ Association award to Amy, because she truly has law enforcement’s back. Thank you Amy, for all that you do.”


Sheriff recognizes Citizens on Patrol


The Madera County Sheriff’s Office celebrated the 20th year of service of the Madera County Sheriff’s Citizens on Patrol unit.

The MCSO COP program was initiated in 2000 by Sheriff John Anderson after a small group of community members in the Madera Ranchos took it upon themselves to patrol the area.


For the last 20 years, the COP’s have volunteered over 160,000 hours of their time. More than 150 COP members have gone through the program, and between them, have covered over 500 community events, and performed more than 1,500 special department requests.


The teams not only patrol assigned areas, but also assist with a wide variety of support functions, including traffic control during disasters and emergency incidents, conducting vacation house checks, performing CCW verifications, assisting in Tree Mortality work, helping with vehicle transports and other administrative requests, Search and Rescue operations, Elder Orphan welfare checks, and funeral escorts.


“The Madera County Sheriff’s Office is proud to salute our wonderful Citizens on Patrol volunteers, the unseen heroes for 20 years of service,” said Sheriff Tyson Pogue. “Our COP’s provide an invaluable service to our deputies, the public, and surrounding agencies. We are so appreciative of their selfless service.”


C.O.P.S. honors volunteers


Madera County Sheriff Tyson Pogue presented the awards for the Citizens on Patrol officer of the Year and COP Rookie of the Year at the annual Citizens on Patrol Awards Banquet.


C.O.P. of the Year Don Myers


Don has been with the COP program for over two years, has consistently demonstrated great leadership, and recently filled an important role as a team leader for the Valley Division. In addition to his volunteer work for the Sheriff’s Office, Don oversees the livestock preparation process for the Madera County Fair. Notably, he served in the U.S. Air Force and is a Vietnam Veteran.


Rookie of the Year Cindy Gotleib


Cindy joined the COP program in 2020, and has already contributed with many support functions within the COP program and Sheriff’s department. Aside from her volunteer service, Cindy is a licensed airplane pilot, enjoys riding Harley Davidson motorcycles, and is an outdoor enthusiast.


Both Don and Cindy, like all of the volunteers, encourage good citizenship, volunteer countless hours patrolling the county, assist during emergency situations with wildland fires, search and rescue operations, and have participated in many community events.


“Tonight we not only salute Don and Cindy, but the entire team for 20 years of service,” Pogue said at the banquet. “We hope you never doubt what your professionalism and sacrifice means to this office and our community. Though you’re unpaid, never think it’s because you’re worthless, but rather, because you’re priceless. What you do matters and it doesn’t go unnoticed. Thanks again, and congratulations.”

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