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Los Alamos Public Safety Association Honors Det. Ryan Wolking, Pilot Amy Ross And Ofc. Jose Urbano

on December 4, 2017 - 5:30am

The Los Alamos Public Safety Association held its annual awards banquet Friday evening at the Posse Lodge. From left, LAPSA Vice Chairman and Los Alamos Police Cmdr. Oliver Morris, Treasurer Lisa Tafoya, Santa Clara Pueblo Fire Chief Mel Tafoya, award recipient Amy Ross, award recipient LAPD Det. Ryan Wolking, FBI agent Chris Mamula and LAPSA Secretary Donna Martinez. Photo by Maire O'Neill/


Los Alamos Daily Post

Los Alamos Police Det. Ryan Wolking and pilot Amy Ross received awards from Los Alamos Public Safety Association members during their annual awards ceremony Friday evening at the Posse Lodge.

Wolking was presented with an award in recognition of his execution of Operation Spring Cleaning, a successful drug sting that followed months of investigation by Wolking.

In announcing the award, Cmdr. Oliver Morris, vice chairman of LAPSA, said Wolking organized 45 law enforcement officers from LAPD, the Drug Enforcement Agency and New Mexico State Police who met early on the morning March 20 and conducted six residential warrants and one vehicle search warrant resulting in the arrests of seven alleged local drug dealers.

“Det.  Wolking also arranged to have a NMSP tactical operations helicopter in the air to ensure responding officers, suspects, and Los Alamos citizens were safe during the raids,” Morris said. “There were no injuries during the operation, which yielded a total of 55 felonies and 21 misdemeanors.”

Morris said DEA Assistant Special Agent in Charge Sean Waite commended the efforts of LAPD, saying an impressive amount of investigation and preparation was dedicated to the operation.

“Agent Waite said the results of this operation are a testament to the efforts of the Los Alamos Police Department. These long-term investigations have the greatest effect on the community and will make Los Alamos safer for all its residents,” Morris said.

He said Wolking displayed his public safety dedication through months of investigations and dozens of hours of follow through during court proceedings to ensure the illegal drug culture in the community is addressed.

Amy Ross received her award for community service. Ross had her first flying lesson in October 2009 and earned her private pilot’s license in 2011. She immediately began volunteering for flying-related programs especially for young people.   

Ross was a member of the Girls With Wings Program from 2009 to 2013 and from 2009 to 2014 she was a member of the 99s Women’s Pilots Organization. She has been volunteering with the Young Eagle program since 2011 mentoring and providing flights for children aged eight through 17. 

She also has served as treasurer and secretary on Los Alamos Avgas, Inc. Board of Directors, which volunteers to ensure pilots have as reliable and inexpensive source of fuel as possible.

Ross has coordinated rallies with airport managers, been an instructor for the Double Eagle Aviation Adventure Summer Camps and Lindrith School’s 2015 Special Aviation Day. She is a pilot for the Eagle program and is this year’s Boy Scouts aviation merit badge counselor.

She has been a volunteer representing Air Care Alliance at State Aviation Day for several years and this year was a volunteer aircraft inspector at the Women’s Air Race Classic.

New Mexico State Police Officer Jose Urbano was not present at Friday’s event but also will receive an award for the significant role he has played in ensuring the certification of Los Alamos National Laboratory explosive canine detection teams, which are essential to ensuring LANL’s protection strategy.

Because of changes to Department of Energy annual certification regulations over the last two years, a qualified independent organization was needed to certify the teams. Ofc. Urbano took on the challenge and has been the certifying official for the past two years.

According to Donna Martinez who nominated Urbano, he also played a significant role during the K-9 contract re-bid.

“Part of the re-bidding process was to conduct a performance test on the potential bidder’s canine handlers and canines they chose to bring for the test. Jose, who lives in Albuquerque, came to help set the aids and then proof them with his canine prior to the execution of the test,” Martinez said in her nomination. “Unfortunately, there was an issue during the first test and we had to conduct a second test and once again without hesitation he repeated the process.”

She said he has proven to be a valuable asset to the explosive detection program for LANL.

“He is a man with integrity and represents the New Mexico State Police as a professional and unassuming man and always accommodates our needs,” she said.

Wolking was nominated for his award by Cmdr. Morris while Ross and Urbano were nominated by Martinez.

LAPSA was formed in 2006. The nonprofit organization is comprised of senior police, fire and emergency management personnel, the FBI and security officials from DOE and LANL.

Amy Ross receives her LAPSA award from Donna Martinez and Cmdr. Oliver Morris. Photo by Maire O'Neill/

LAPD Det. Ryan Wolking receives his LAPA award from Cmdr. Oliver Morris. Photo by Maire O'Neill/

LAPD Accreditation Manager Sgt. Daniel Roberts and his wife Kim at the LAPSA awards banquet. Photo by Maire O'Neill/

Los Alamos Fire Chief Troy Hughes and his wife Jodi at Friday's LAPSA annual awards banquet. Photo by Maire O'Neill/

Lenny and Susan Upshaw at the LAPSA awards banquet. Photo by Maire O'Neill/

LAPD Cmdr. Oliver Morris and his wife Kateri at Friday's LAPSA banquet. Photo by Maire O'Neill/

Mel and Lisa Tafoya of Santa Clara Pueblo at Friday's LAPSA awards banquet. Photo by Maire O'Neill/

LAPD Det. Ryan Wolking and his wife Emily at Friday's LAPSA banquet. Photo by Maire O'Neill/

Adolfo and Ysabel Meana at Friday's LAPSA annual awards banquet. Photo by Maire O'Neill/

Scene from Friday's LAPSA annual awards banquet at the Posse Lodge. Photo by Maire O'Neill/