Noah Brommeland of the Placer County District Attorney’s Office has been named “Investigator of the Year” by the California District Attorney Investigators’ Association.
Brommeland, 36, a four-year veteran of the Placer County office, received the award Thursday night in Palm Springs at the association’s 54th annual training conference awards banquet.
It is the first time that an investigator from the Placer County District Attorney’s Office has won the honor.
Brommeland played a key role in the successful prosecution in January of Paul R. Kovacich Jr., a former Placer County sheriff’s sergeant who was found guilty by a trial jury of murdering his wife in 1982. Kovacich was sentenced to 27 years to life in state prison.
To assist in the prosecution against Kovacich, Brommeland reviewed 11,000 pages of documents, conducted more than 85 interviews and wrote 58 new reports in just a few months, according to David Koppin, chief investigator of the Placer County District Attorney’s Bureau of Investigation.
In past years, Brommeland was the lead investigator in two other high-profile trials that resulted in murder convictions by the District Attorney’s Office, Koppin noted.
These included the cases of Eric Dungan, who was found guilty of second-degree murder in the DUI-related death of Rocklin Police Officer Matthew Redding, and Timothy Brooks, who stabbed and killed a man in a road-rage incident in the Lake Tahoe area.
‘Noah proved himself time and time again with his investigative tenacity, insightful analysis and dedication to overcome the most rigid and determined defense,’ Koppin said.
In 2008, Brommeland also took the lead in organizing a countywide committee of law enforcement agencies, which developed and implemented a protocol that articulates the manner in which officer-involved fatal incident investigations would be conducted.
Brommeland said he was honored to have played a key role in the Kovacich investigation, which consisted largely of circumstantial evidence against the defendant. Only the top portion of the victim’s skull was ever found in the 26-year murder mystery.
‘There is no greater honor bestowed on a police officer than when you are entrusted with the investigation of the death of a human being,’ Brommeland said. ‘I am pleased that the Placer County community finally received justice for the victim, Janet Kovacich.’
He was also pleased to have spearheaded the committee that developed the protocol for officer-involved fatal shootings or other deaths.
‘The investigations of these incidents are complex and have to be thorough,’ he said. ‘It was the goal of the committee to develop a protocol that assured the public that such incidents are investigated fully and independently.’
Brommeland, a native of California, received his degree in criminal justice from California State University, Sacramento. He is currently working on a masters degree in public administration from Golden Gate University.
His law enforcement career began with the Santa Clara County Sheriff’s Department, where he spent seven years and worked his way to the position of sergeant. He was also a member of the department’s SWAT team.
Brommeland, who was hired by the Placer County District Attorney in 2005, is the office’s fourth member to win a prestigious state award this year.
Senior Deputy District Attorneys Suzanne Gazzaniga and David Tellman, who were the prosecutors in the Kovacich case, were named ‘Prosecutors of the Year’ by the California District Attorneys Association in June.
Brandon Olivera, another investigator for the office, was honored in July as ‘Officer of the Year’ by the California Narcotics Officers Association. Olivera, hired in May by the District Attorney, won the award for his work with the Rocklin Police Department.