Hercules Detective Connie Van Putten is U.S. Representative Mike Thompson’s chosen Contra Costa County Woman of the Year.
Thompson annually issues Fifth Congressional District women of the year to recognize those who make exceptional impacts in his constituents’ communities.
A Napa Democrat, Thompson represents a portion of Martinez in the House of Representatives.
Van Putten is a native of San Diego who has earned a bachelor of arts in criminal justice from the University of La Verne. She began her career in 1965 when she joined the San Diego Police Department, where she spent her first 23 years in law enforcement.
She was the first woman in the San Diego Police Department to be promoted to the ranks of sergeant and lieutenant.
She was chosen in 1985 to attend the Federal Bureau of Investigation National Academy in Quantico, Va. After completing that program, she became a captain in the Union City Police Department until retirement in 2000.
But she didn’t leave law enforcement. She joined the Hercules Police Department Reserve Officer Program, and as a reserve officer, she organized the department’s Prescription Drug Turn-In Program, which has collected and destroyed more than 800 pounds of prescription drugs.
She also is the department’s public information officer and has given more than 1,200 hours of service each year as a uniformed patrol officer and plain clothes detective.
In addition, she is active with Prevent Blindness in California, which performs vision screening of preschool children. She has spent 15 years with the Navy League as liaison to the United States Coast Guard Vessel Tern.
Van Putten has been married to her husband, Peter, 42 years.
In introducing his selection to the Congressional Record, Thompson said, “Ms. Van Putten is the kind of citizen we should all strive to be. She has seamlessly blended her personal and professional passions for the betterment of our community.”
In his public announcement, Thompson said, “Detective Van Putten brings professional and personal passion to her work keeping our community safe. With decades of service on the force, she has continued to serve in her retirement, lending her time and expertise as a Reserve Officer with the Hercules Police Department.
“Her thoughtful and compassionate service has given so much to our community and we are forever grateful for the many hours she has put her life on the line to keep us safe. I am honored to present her with this award.”
This is Thompson’s fourth annual Woman of the Year Awards, started in honor of Women’s History Month. Each year, Thompson selects one woman from each of his counties in his district to be recognized for her service to their community.
Others chosen are Tamara Jones, Napa County; Ginny Craven, Lake County; Sharon McGriff Payne, Solano County and Susan Moore, Sonoma County.
Three women were recognized posthumously: Dr. Jennifer Gonzalez, Dr. Jennifer Golick and Christine M. Loeber.