The Port of San Diego Harbor Police Department has named Detective Robert Twardy as its 2016 Officer of the Year. Detective Twardy, an 11-year veteran of the department, has consistently demonstrated his dedication to fighting criminal activity around the Port tidelands areas, and had an especially successful year in 2016.
During the past year, Detective Twardy implemented a program to help with the growing number of bicycle thefts around the bayfront. In his program, a locked “bait bike” was used to lure suspected bicycle thieves.
The program resulted in eight arrests and nearly all of the suspects were convicted. These arrests also produced leads to other criminal organizations that were stealing and fencing bikes.
The majority of suspects arrested in the bait bike program were considered dangerous and had lengthy criminal histories. One of them stabbed a Harbor Police officer as he was attempting to arrest him. The officer survived his injuries and the suspect is currently pending prosecution.
“Detective Twardy has demonstrated exemplary investigative skills that have resulted in several criminals being removed from the San Diego Bay waterfront,” said John Bolduc, Chief of the Harbor Police. “He has helped make San Diego Bay safer for our residents, visitors and tenants.”
In addition to Detective Twardy’s bait bike program, he was also instrumental in solving a case of animal cruelty involving an elephant seal pup. In this case, the suspect beat the seal pup with a rock, killing it. Detective Twardy conducted a thorough investigation and worked with the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration to obtain valuable evidence and statements to prepare a solid case. His diligence led to a successful conviction of the suspect.
Detective Twardy was first hired as a Harbor Police Officer Trainee on December 23, 2004. He was later promoted to Police Officer, specializing in criminal investigations.
About the Harbor Police:
The Harbor Police Department is an essential law enforcement agency that provides a range of public safety services to the San Diego region including marine firefighting, vessel patrol, K-9 detection team, dive team and aviation security. The Harbor Police Department has been recognized by the U.S. Department of State for its efforts to support foreign port security and fight international crime.