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SCR-136 Laguna Beach Police Officer Jon S. Coutchie Memorial Highway.(2013-2014)

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CALIFORNIA LEGISLATURE— 2013–2014 REGULAR SESSION

Senate Concurrent Resolution No. 136


Introduced by Senator Walters
(Coauthor: Assembly Member Mansoor)

August 04, 2014


Relative to the Laguna Beach Police Officer Jon S. Coutchie Memorial Highway.


LEGISLATIVE COUNSEL'S DIGEST


SCR 136, as introduced, Walters. Laguna Beach Police Officer Jon S. Coutchie Memorial Highway.
This measure would designate the portion of State Route 1 that traverses the City of Laguna Beach as the Laguna Beach Police Officer Jon S. Coutchie Memorial Highway. The measure would also request the Department of Transportation to determine the cost of appropriate signs showing this special designation and, upon receiving donations from nonstate sources to cover that cost, to erect those signs.
Fiscal Committee: YES  

WHEREAS, Jon S. Coutchie was born on October 2, 1971, in Tucson, Arizona; and
WHEREAS, At just 48 hours of age, Jon and mother boarded an airplane to join his father in southern California; and
WHEREAS, While growing up in Orange County, Jon frequently traveled with his family to Europe, especially to Italy, where his maternal grandparents and extended family resided; and
WHEREAS, Jon also loved to spend time with his paternal grandparents in Yuma, Arizona; and
WHEREAS, From an early age, Jon’s adventurous spirit led him to snow skiing, camping, waterskiing, jet skiing, motocross, off-road exploration, and just about anything that would provide an opportunity for an exciting challenge; and
WHEREAS, At Laguna Hills High School, Jon demonstrated his ability to work both as a team member, as well as individually, through his participation in water polo and wrestling; and
WHEREAS, Jon graduated from Laguna Hills High School in 1989 and attended Universal Technical Institute to become an automotive technician; and
WHEREAS, Jon later continued to expand his learning through his attendance at Santa Monica College and Irvine Valley College before entering military service; and
WHEREAS, The September 11, 2001, terrorist attacks weighed heavily on Jon and he wanted to do his part to protect his country, family, and friends; and
WHEREAS, Jon enlisted in the United States Army at 31 years of age with the intention of becoming an elite ranger; and
WHEREAS, Jon attended basic and advanced individual training at Fort Sill, Oklahoma, where he was named the Honor Graduate of his class; and
WHEREAS, Jon entered ranger training at Fort Benning, Georgia and, at 32 years of age, he mastered the rigorous ranger training, which overcame many of the younger aspirants, to become a ranger; and
WHEREAS, Jon’s four years of active duty service as an elite ranger included two tours in Iraq followed by two tours in Afghanistan; and
WHEREAS, Between tours of duty, Jon continued to hone his leadership skills, including graduating from the Primary Leadership Development Course as an Honor Graduate; and
WHEREAS, Jon lived by the ranger motto, “Rangers lead the way!” and his overall leadership qualities earned him an early promotion to the rank of sergeant; and
WHEREAS, During his military service, Jon earned numerous service awards, including, the Joint Meritorious Unit Award, the Joint Service Commendation Medal, the Army Commendation Medal, the Army Good Conduct Medal, the National Defense Service Medal, the Afghanistan Campaign Medal, the Iraqi Campaign Medal, the Global War on Terrorism Expeditionary Medal, the Global War on Terrorism Service Medal, the Combat Action Badge, the Airborne Badge, and the Ranger Tab; and
WHEREAS, After his distinguished service in the military and his honorable discharge from the United States Army, Jon realized that he wanted to continue his service to the public and applied for a part-time jailer position with the Laguna Beach Police Department; and
WHEREAS, Jon showed great enthusiasm for his job and excelled with each assignment; and
WHEREAS, Seeing Jon’s great potential, the Laguna Beach Police Department sponsored Jon through the Goldenwest Police Academy in 2008; and
WHEREAS, Jon successfully completed his police officer training in March 2009 with the distinction of being the first Goldenwest Police Academy Honor Graduate in the history of the Laguna Beach Police Department; and
WHEREAS, Upon his graduation, Jon was immediately sworn in as a Laguna Beach police officer; and
WHEREAS, Jon showed passion for his new profession and enjoyed working with the diverse population of the City of Laguna Beach; and
WHEREAS, Jon showed a passion for traffic issues and displayed expertise in accident investigation; and
WHEREAS, Following this interest, Jon applied and was selected for a coveted motor officer position with the Laguna Beach Police Department in March 2013; and
WHEREAS, On the evening of September 21, 2013, Jon traveling was northbound on the Pacific Coast Highway in an attempt to locate a vehicle that was being driven recklessly and that had eluded another officer; and
WHEREAS, While looking for that vehicle, Jon was involved in a collision that took his life; and
WHEREAS, One of the responding officers, upon seeing Jon had not survived the collision, draped an American flag over his body, which is an honor befitting a hero who had served his county and his community; and
WHEREAS, Comments from community members praised Jon for being a firm, but fair, officer; and
WHEREAS, Jon is survived by his mother, father, step-mother, brother, step-sister, and girlfriend; and
WHEREAS, Jon lived life with great enthusiasm and loved spending time with family and friends; and
WHEREAS, Some would describe Jon as a “Renaissance Man”; and
WHEREAS, Jon’s quick wit made him a man with an amazing sense of humor, his demeanor showed a willingness to put those around him at ease, and he could always be counted on for a good laugh; and
WHEREAS, Jon was the consummate protector, as demonstrated when he once rescued a wayward rattlesnake and rather than dispatching the snake, he held the snake out the window of his patrol car while transporting it to a safe release point; and
WHEREAS, Jon was a warrior and peacemaker, a gentle and compassionate soul and, in some ways, still a boy at heart; and
WHEREAS, While on deployment in Iraq, he wrote that he wished he could gather all the Iraqi children and take them home to the United States, where they would have a chance for a better life; and
WHEREAS, As a police officer in the City of Laguna Beach, Jon was frequently seen explaining to children the duties of a law enforcement officer while letting them sit in his patrol car; and
WHEREAS, The Laguna Beach Police Department will forever miss and love Jon; and
WHEREAS, In recognition of Police Officer Jon S. Coutchie’s service to this country and the City of Laguna Beach, it would be fitting to designate the portion of State Highway Route 1 that traverses the City of Laguna Beach in his honor; now, therefore, be it
Resolved by the Senate of the State of California, the Assembly thereof concurring, That the Legislature hereby designates the portion of State Highway Route 1 that traverses the City of Laguna Beach as the Laguna Beach Police Officer Jon S. Coutchie Memorial Highway; and be it further
Resolved, That the Department of Transportation is requested to determine the cost of erecting appropriate signs, consistent with the signage requirements for the state highway system, showing this special designation and, upon receiving donations from nonstate sources covering that cost, to erect those signs; and be it further
Resolved, That the Secretary of the Senate transmit copies of this resolution to the Director of Transportation and to the author for appropriate distribution.