San Ramon resident Lisa Campbell thought something wasn't right about the strange man with two pale girls who came into her office on the campus of the university to request a permit to hold a religious event. Lisa followed through on her hunches, and Jaycee Dugard, who had been kidnapped 18 years ago, is now at home with her family.
Campbell began her career in police work with the Cook County Sheriff's Office in Chicago. She worked in the juvenile court system there and later in the San Diego District Attorney's Office as a welfare fraud investigator and for the Los Angeles Police Department as an investigator.
She moved to San Ramon about nine months ago to take the job as manager of the Special Events Unit of the UC Berkeley Police Department. Her years of experience paid off Aug. 24 when Phillip Garrido walked into the office.
Garrido was with his two daughters, 11 and 15, but Campbell could see something wasn't quite right about the girls. She asked Garrido to come back the next day and invited another officer, Ally Jacobs, to the meeting.
Jacobs also found the girls' behavior suspicious and ran a check on Garrido. From there the story leads to finding the girls' mother, Jaycee Dugard, who had been kidnapped 18 years ago by Garrido and his wife. The story has since gained national attention, all because Lisa Campbell helped set free Jaycee Dugard and her daughters.
The UC Berkeley police contacted U.S. Rep. Jerry McNerney, in whose 11th Congressional District both officers live - Campbell in San Ramon and Jacobs in Brentwood.
On Sept. 21, McNerney held an event at San Ramon City Hall to present Campbell with his entry in the Congressional Record about her actions.
"Had it not been for Ms. Campbell's realization that something was awry with the man requesting a permit to hold an event on the UC Berkeley campus, the abuse of Jaycee and her daughters would not have stopped," the record reads. "Lisa Campbell's and Allison Jacobs' quick action and good instincts prevented innocent people from experiencing further harm, led to the arrest of a dangerous person, and reunited a family tragically separated for almost two decades. I am honored to represent Ms. Campbell, and I am grateful for her dedicated public service."
McNerney also presented Campbell with a flag that flew over the White House and described her actions as "the essence of good police work."
Assemblywoman Joan Buchanan was also in attendance. "We're very proud you are part of our community," Buchanan said.
San Ramon Mayor Abram Wilson compared Campbell's actions to lighting a candle in the dark. He presented Campbell with a San Ramon blanket for "warming so many hearts."
Campbell thanked everyone there, "and the team that I work with."