By Rich Henrich

On Thursday, November 7th at the JW Marriott Desert Springs Resort & Spa, the Palm Desert Area Chamber of Commerce will host the 23rd Annual Peace Officer and Public Safety (POPS) Awards Luncheon presented by El Paseo Jewelers and nearly fifty other sponsors. The event has a distinguished history in the Valley and is the longest-running of its kind in Riverside County. The Awards represent a significant moment to pause and thank those who give so much to protect and maintain our safety and quality of life, health and business all across the Coachella Valley. The awards will bring honorees from all nine of the desert cities across the Greater Coachella Valley together from 11:00 am to 1:15 pm to recognize their service and sacrifice.

Palm Desert Area Chamber of Commerce President & CEO, Todd Rhoden, says this event may bring a few tears to the eyes of those attending as emotional tributes take center stage for those who give so much and especially for those in service who gave the ultimate sacrifice in service to our beloved Coachella Valley. “This is perhaps the most important event we do not only as a Chamber but also as a community. Everyone comes together to honor those who are there for us when we need them most. It’s also about honoring the family members of our First Responders for the sacrifice they make, “says Rhoden. “I can’t imagine kissing my wife or son for the last time as I left for work.” The sincerity in his voice is clear. 

Rhoden says this event illuminates the best of our collective community as the stories of service underscore the essential aspects of the quality of life we enjoy personally and professionally due to all the public safety workers. “Our Chamber has representatives from every city in the Valley and it’s special to bring everyone together to honor these men and women. It’s a pillar of what our Chamber mission is- to give back to the community,” Rhoden continues. He says this annual event is a way for the business community to support our first responders and honor the brave men and women who protect us every day. Whether it’s a narcotics task force making a huge drug bust or a dispatcher handling thousands of emergency calls, every nominee is a true hero more capable of greatness than any Marvel Superhero.


The event will culminate with the recognition of two tremendous individuals with the Medal of Honor along with the seventy-plus nominees from firefighters, citizen patrols, police officers and other selfless individuals on the frontlines of community safety. Countless sponsors have come together to as well as emcees KMIR News Reporter, Daytona Everett and Sports Reporter Olivia Garvey. The PDACC anticipates over five hundred people will attend the Awards Luncheon, an anticipated sell out.

More information can be found on the PDACC website at: