DESERT HOT SPRINGS, Calif. - A Coachella Valley police officer is the first to receive an award made in honor of two fallen Palm Springs Police Officers.
Desert Hot Springs Police Corp. Yesenia Barriola is the inaugural recipient of the Vega-Zerebney award from Christopher’s Clubhouse.
For the past decade, Christopher’s Clubhouse has taught children about safety and how to avoid predatory crimes.
The organization wanted to honor the memory of Palm Springs Police Officers Jose 'Gil' Vega and Lesley Zerebny who were killed in the line of duty in October of last year.
Barriola has been with the Desert Hot Springs Police Department for about four years.
She’s the school resource officer for Desert Hot Springs High School and she runs the explorer program.
"I can’t explain in words how I feel. It’s amazing. It’s just amazing. I just feel like I do not deserve this. It is too much for me," Barriola said.
"Officer Gil Vega and Lesley Zerebny went above and beyond and made the ultimate sacrifice, so we know that officers on the streets all over our community are making sacrifices every single day," said Mika Moulton, founder of Christopher's Clubhouse.
Along with the award, Barriola will be given a scholarship she can use travel in the country and get specialized training on how to prevent crimes against children.