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Back to Archives | Back to January 2009 Contents 

2008 IACP Awards "Part 1"

The IACP awards program supports the association’s mission to advance the art and science of policing. The awards recognize outstanding achievement by law enforcement organizations and individuals. Applications for IACP awards undergo rigorous evaluation to ensure that only the most deserving recipients receive recognition.

Police Officer of the Year

The IACP and PARADE magazine join forces to recognize exemplary performance in police work. As one of the top law enforcement awards in the country, the Police Officer of the Year Award symbolizes the highest level of achievement among police officers. In addition, about 10 officers are selected for honorable-mention awards. Recipients are recognized in PARADE magazine, during the IACP General Assembly, and at an awards luncheon at the annual IACP conference. All sworn, full-time police officers below the rank of chief are eligible. Nominations may be made for exceptional achievement in any police endeavor, including but not limited to extraordinary valor, crime prevention, investigative work, community relations, traffic safety, drug control and prevention, juvenile programs, and training efforts.

Beginning with a goal of solving four previously unsolved cases, Detective Michael Nilles of the Aurora, Illinois, Police Department and the team he assembled ended up looking into 50 unsolved homicides. Their work led to charges on 20 such cases dating back over two decades and 31 suspects being charged with 179 counts of murder. All but one were in custody as the investigation, called Operation First Degree Burn, took many high-ranking Latin King gang members off the street, including their leader, 56-year-old Angel “Doc” Luciano.

In addition, 11 officers received honorable mentions at the Police Service Awards luncheon: Officer Wesley Mangum, San Diego Police Department; Investigator David Quinn, Atlanta Police Department; Officer Kimberly McHugh, Metropolitan Police Department, Washington, D.C.; Lieutenant Brian Sturgill, Oklahoma Highway Patrol; Detective Lillie Franklin, Los Angeles Police Commercial Crimes Unit; Detective James Wright, Metropolitan Police Department, Washington, D.C.; Lieutenant Mark Stanbrook, Los Angeles Police Counter-Terrorism and Criminal Intelligence Bureau; Trooper Aaron Reimer, Ohio State Highway Patrol; Officers Ben Humphrey and Jason Newtown, Sherwood, Oregon, Police Department; and Sergeant Keith R. Benjamin, Chandler, Arizona, Police Department.

This year’s honorees are being recognized for such achievements as saving a victim from the aftermath of Hurricane Erin, preventing elder abuse, and creating a teenage driving program.

The Police Service Awards were established by PARADE and the IACP in 1966 to focus attention on the dedicated men and women of the U.S. police force. They are given for specific acts of valor, consistent service above and beyond the call of duty, development of innovative programs, and significant service to the community apart from police work.

For more information about the IACP/PARADE Police Officer of the Year Award, visit the awards section of the IACP Web site,, or contact Wendy Balazik at the IACP, 515 North Washington Street, Alexandria, VA 22314-2357; by fax at 703-836-4543; by phone at 1-800-THE-IACP, extension 264; or via e-mail at

IACP/Motorola Webber Seavey Award: Quality in Law Enforcement

Jointly sponsored by the IACP and Motorola, the Webber Seavey Award is presented annually to agencies and departments worldwide in recognition of promoting a standard of excellence that exemplifies the law enforcement profession’s contribution and dedication to the quality of life in local communities. This program helps law enforcement agencies worldwide and the communities they serve by redefining the concept of law enforcement and how it is routinely performed. The award is named for Webber S. Seavey, the IACP’s first president.

The program annually honors achievements in one or more of the following goals:

  • Continually improving services to the community

  • Strengthening police relations and promoting community participation

  • Effectively using resources

  • Enhancing communications within and cooperation among agencies

  • Developing creative and innovative approaches that promote excellence in law enforcement

Bundi District Police, Rajasthan, India
Case Officer Scheme

Professional, hardened criminals had wreaked havoc with the judicial system by intimidating witnesses and hiring the best defense attorneys in the Bundi Police District of India over the last 25 years. So police officials in this district of 1 million people took on the challenge of realigning coordination with prosecutors to boost the conviction rate for the worst criminals.

When the Case Officer Scheme (COS) began in 2004, the general conviction rate was 58 percent, and crimes committed by repeat offenders rarely ended in conviction. Since the implementation of the COS, the conviction rate for criminal cases tracked in the program has averaged 90 percent.

The program counteracts endemic victim intimidation through close monitoring of the accused and the cancellation of bail for those attempting to harass or influence victims. The assignment of specific police officers to these cases also has expedited trials because these assigned officers have tighter control of forensic evidence and improved working relationships with prosecutors. Police maintain closer contact with witnesses, who can receive escorts to court if needed. In addition, the Chief Justice of the High Court issued formal orders to all courts calling for them to take COS cases as top priorities.

In a tribute to the district’s success, the COS has been expanded to the entire state of Rajasthan.

Cincinnati, Ohio, Police Department
Cincinnati Initiative to Reduce Violence

As officials in Cincinnati saw the number of homicides increase steadily since the late 1990s, even though the population had decreased, they looked for innovative ways to stem the tide. Working with multiple law enforcement and social service organizations, and eventually civic and political groups, the city’s police department kicked off the Cincinnati Initiative to Reduce Violence (CIRV) in 2007.

Through research, officials found that almost 75 percent of homicides involved a victim or an offender who was already known to at least one law enforcement agency. Since those who already had criminal records committed so much of the city’s gun violence, the city could monitor these individuals easily because they were on parole or probation.

To get the CIRV off the ground, the city conducted mandatory “call-in’’ sessions, which put previous offenders on notice that the community would no longer tolerate the violence. Offenders learned that police and the courts would use their limited resources to target crimes performed specifically at the behest of gangs and groups, which meant that plea bargains would be denied and parole and probation could be revoked.

The linchpin of the program has been the city’s offer of social services and job training to violent career criminals and gang members who had no other life plans. After hearing about the “new order” of crime fighting, gang members could be assigned an advocate to help them navigate to a law-abiding life. The call-ins also gave families of homicide victims a chance to describe the pain of losing a loved one to senseless violence. Since August 2007, more than 200 violent group members have chosen to receive social services and job training.

While the criminal justice system has been driving the CIRV, the business community is also involved, lending strategic planning expertise to ensure that the program maintains its success.

European Union Integrated Rule of Law Mission for Iraq, Brussels, Belgium

The EUJUST LEX program, based in Brussels, Belgium, and Baghdad, Iraq, has trained more than 1,800 senior members of Iraq’s criminal justice system since July 2005. They in turn train their staffs in Europe’s “best practices” of policing, with an emphasis on respect for human rights.

Initially launched as a one-year program, EUJUST LEX has conducted 95 courses and is slated to continue into 2009. EU member countries fund the leadership training for police, as well as courses aimed at the judicial system to deal with money laundering and organized crime and prison management techniques that comply with international human rights standards.

“Having worked in Iraq in 2003 and having observed the enormity of the initial challenges facing the Iraqi Police Service (IPS) and those attempting to help reform and reconstruct it, it is very satisfying to have designed and developed a sustainable leadership development program which has already provided professional support to a critical mass of IPS leaders,” said Stephen White, head of the EU’s mission.

The fact that so many Iraqi criminal justice officials are seeking training is a testament to the program’s efficacy. In addition, the Iraqi prime minister is on the record praising the program as a way to improve security in Iraq.

2009 applications due: April 13, 2009

For more information about the IACP/Motorola Webber Seavey Award: Quality in Law Enforcement, visit the awards section of the IACP Web site,, or contact Wendy Balazik at the IACP, 515 North Washington Street, Alexandria, VA 22314-2357; by fax at 703-836-4543; by phone at 1-800-THE-IACP, extension 264; or via e-mail at

IACP Civil Rights Award

The IACP Civil Rights Award, sponsored jointly by V. H. Blackinton & Company, Fechheimer Brothers Company, and Target Corporation, recognizes outstanding law enforcement achievements in protecting civil and human rights. The Civil Rights Committee established this award to promote recognition of the myriad activities performed by the profession across the United States and around the world that serve to promote and protect civil rights. These activities range from solidly professional criminal investigations of civil rights violations and hate crimes to innovative police community outreach programs that serve vulnerable and disenfranchised populations. The award underscores a fact too often overlooked: that law enforcement professionals are among the primary guarantors of civil, human, and constitutional rights in democratic societies.

IACP Civil Rights Awards are submitted under the following categories:

  • Single-Agency Program or Project Award

  • Multi-Agency Team Award

  • Individual Achievement Award

  • International Human Rights Award

Single-Agency Program Award: Michigan State Police
Michigan Youth Leadership Academy

The Michigan State Police received the Single-Agency Program Award for its development of a comprehensive youth outreach and intervention program. The Michigan Youth Leadership Academy (MYLA) is an innovative community project designed to build strong relationships among urban youths and police. MYLA is a week-long residential academy focused on building leadership, citizenship, respect, trust, health, community service, and life-coping skills. The goal of this program is to provide young people with an opportunity to learn, to adapt to their communities, and to establish and maintain positive relationships with law enforcement officers. Local law enforcement officers from the same communities as students attending these camps participate with youths throughout the academy session. Participating officers also commit to follow up with and make themselves available to academy graduates as the latter return to their communities. The program began in 2005 and to date has served over 250 cadets between the ages of 14 and 16 who have participated in nine programs, including several sessions designed specifically for female cadets.

Multi-Agency Team Award: Georgia Bureau of Investigation
Crisis Intervention Team Program

The 2008 Multi-Agency Team Award was conferred to a statewide Crisis Intervention Team (CIT) program led by the Georgia Bureau of Investigation. This comprehensive and innovative program was developed in partnership with the Georgia Association of Chiefs of Police, the Georgia Sheriffs’ Association, the Georgia Public Safety Training Center, the local office of the National Alliance on Mental Illness, and the Georgia Department of Human Resources. Since 2004, the CIT program has provided training to over 2,000 Georgia law enforcement officers from 150 Georgia law enforcement agencies. The Georgia CIT program protects the rights of people with mental illness and other brain disorders, such as posttraumatic stress disorder and developmental disabilities, who are in crises by training agencies in techniques to de-escalate crises and, in many cases, to refer individuals for treatment instead of simply arresting and incarcerating them.

Individual Achievement Award: Russell M. Porter, Iowa Department of Public Safety

This year’s Individual Achievement Award was given to Russell M. Porter, the director of the Intelligence Fusion Center within the Iowa Department of Public Safety. Nominated by a law enforcement leader from another state, Director Porter was recognized for being a consistent and strident voice in the law enforcement community stressing the importance of protecting civil rights in policy and training as well as the ethical practice of the intelligence function. Through his many leadership roles at both the state and national levels, he has worked diligently to ensure that intelligence activity and data-sharing efforts serve the interests of effective law enforcement and homeland security yet maintain the necessary assurances to protect civil rights and privacy. Notable activities include providing leadership and authorship that helped establish civil rights protections as part of the National Criminal Intelligence Sharing Plan and the Fusion Center Guidelines. He has also participated in providing training to hundreds of law enforcement administrators on maintaining civil rights and privacy when pursuing activities related to intelligence gathering and operations.

2009 applications due: March 27, 2009

For more information about the IACP Civil Rights Award, visit the awards section of the IACP Web site,, or contact John Markovic at the IACP, 515 North Washington Street, Alexandria, VA 22314-2357; by phone at 1-800-THEIACP, extension 801; or via e-mail at

Indian Country Police Officer of the Year Award for the United States, First Nations, or Aboriginal Law Enforcement Officers

The purpose of this award is to provide international recognition of police officers having demonstrated exceptional valor in service to the people of Indian Country, First Nations, or Aboriginal people, thereby exhibiting the highest traditions of the law enforcement profession. The award can recognize police officers who have, by conspicuous acts, clearly distinguished themselves by bravery, heroism, or outstanding courage and have placed the safety and welfare of the people of Indian Country, First Nations, or Aboriginal people above all other considerations. It can also recognize outstanding, exceptional service for completion of a task or assignment that went beyond the normal call of duty that served to enhance public safety, encourage community involvement, and/or demonstrated an effective use of the culture and traditions of indigenous people in crime prevention, community-oriented policing, or other projects.

The recipient of this year’s award is Officer Jay Wu of the Salt River Pima Maricopa Indian Community Police Department, Scottsdale, Arizona. On May 31, 2008, Officer Wu entered a burning home in the Salt River Indian Community without regard for his personal safety and is credited with saving the lives of three female residents of the house, one of whom uses a wheelchair.

2009 applications due: August 15, 2009

For more information, visit the awards section on the IACP Web site,, or contact Elaine Deck, staff liaison, at the IACP, 515 North Washington Street, Alexandria, VA 22314-2357; by phone at 1-800-THE-IACP, extension 843; or via e-mail at

Michael Shanahan Award for Excellence in Public/Private Cooperation

The Shanahan Award, given in honor of Chief Michael Shanahan, who served the University of Washington Police Department for 24 years before retiring in 1995, recognizes outstanding achievement in the development and implementation of publicprivate cooperation in public safety. Chief Shanahan made significant contributions to worldwide public safety when serving as the cochair of the IACP’s Private Sector Liaison Committee (PSLC) from 1985 to 1999. Under his leadership the PSLC focused on solutions to critical public–private sector issues such as product tampering, drugs in the workplace, guidelines for nonsworn responders to alarms, workplace and school violence, and hiring and training guidelines for security guards. The Security Industry Association (SIA) is the sole corporate sponsor of the award.

The 2008 Michael Shanahan Award for Excellence in Public/Private Partnership was presented to the Toronto Police Service and the Toronto Association of Police and Private Security (TAPPS) on November 9. TAPPS, a nonprofit organization created to develop and implement crime prevention initiatives, has developed partnerships between police and private policing/security providers to address crime and disorder issues and prepare for major emergencies. Police-community partnerships are vital to the success of crime prevention initiatives.

The TAPPS partnership promotes collaboration between its partners and offers numerous benefits to all stakeholders, including creative problem solving; increased training opportunities; and information, data, and intelligence sharing. Law enforcement–private security partnerships are now viewed as critical in achieving public safety, order, and emergency preparedness through sharing information and promoting best practices.

2009 applications due: May 1, 2009

For more information about the Michael Shanahan Award for Excellence in Public/Private Cooperation, visit the awards section of the IACP Web site,, or contact Nancy Kolb at the IACP, 515 North Washington Street, Alexandria, VA 22314-2357; by phone at 1-800-THE-IACP, extension 813; or via e-mail at

Outstanding Achievement in Law Enforcement Volunteer Programs Award

The recipients of the Outstanding Achievement in Law Enforcement Volunteer Programs Award were recognized at a reception on November 11. This award, sponsored by the Science Applications International Corporation (SAIC), recognizes volunteer programs that demonstrate innovative, effective practices for augmenting sworn or civilian staff and/or improving service delivery to their communities.

Members of the IACP Police Administration Committee meet annually to judge the award applications and select up to three winning agencies. This year’s three winners were the Benicia, California, Police Department; the Delray Beach, Florida, Police Department; and the Richardson, Texas, Police Department.

Benicia, California, Police Department

The Benicia Police Department has 36 sworn peace officers and 21 nonsworn employees serving the 28,000 residents in a historical town located midway between San Francisco and Sacramento, California. Begun in 1995, the Benicia volunteer program has grown to 40 volunteers in the 13 years of the program’s existence.

The Benicia VIPS program began with the focus on serving records and dispatch personnel with clerical and data entry assistance. Volunteers now serve in the Patrol Division by providing two-person patrol units to assist with issuing parking tickets; conducting vacation home checks; controlling traffic at accident scenes; transporting court documents and evidence; setting up barricades for special events, hazardous spills, and fires; assisting with DUI checkpoints; purging unneeded evidence and property from storage; and observing for crimes and suspicious activities. The volunteers also assist detectives in the Investigations Division by providing follow-up services on unresolved cases, participating in the juvenile diversion program, and conducting crime analysis surveys.

In 2007, the Benicia Police Department’s 40 volunteers provided 4,885 hours of value-added service to the department and the community.

Delray Beach, Florida, Police Department

The Delray Beach Police Department, with 160 sworn police officers and 79 civilian employees, serves a community of 65,000 people that seasonally increases to 95,000, living on the eastern coast of Florida. The employees of the department are supported by a group of 369 volunteers.

In 1991, the department initiated the Citizens Observer Patrol (COP) program, comprising citizens trained by the department to patrol their community to look for criminal and crime-conducive activities. The program was successful in reducing crime in some areas as much as 75 percent.

These successes led to the creation of the Citizens on Roving Patrol (CORP) program, thus expanding the success of the COP program to other parts of the city. CORP volunteers noticed many major parking issues throughout the city, and the department responded by creating the Volunteer Parking Enforcement Division (PES). PES now has over 50 uniformed volunteers who write 15,000 parking citations per year and 24,000 written and verbal warnings. The police department developed a 40-hour Parking Enforcement Specialist Course to train volunteers.

The Volunteer Marine Patrol consists of over 35 trained volunteers who use the department’s 25-foot patrol boat to patrol the waterways and provide safety education to the boating public.

The volunteer corps puts in 42,000 volunteer hours annually, providing value-added support for the police department in providing a safer environment for citizens and visitors to the city.

Richardson, Texas, Police Department

The Richardson Police Department has 150 sworn officers and 100 civilian employees serving 99,000 citizens and a workforce of nearly 114,000 in this suburban city in the Dallas–Fort Worth metroplex. Since 2002, when the department’s volunteer program was formalized, the number of volunteers has increased to 234 workers, who provide more than 100 police-related services in every division of the department.

The Richardson volunteer program provides services within five major categories: communications, support services, investigations, special operations, and patrol operations. Volunteers are engaged in a variety of creative and innovative endeavors that support all aspects of police operations and administration. Volunteers work in support of such programs and activities as racial profiling statistical compilation, a red light camera project, planning and fiscal support, a bicycle theft investigation and recovery program, crime scene searches, citizen fingerprinting services, pawnshop recovery detail, National Crime Information Center validations, translation services, festival and special event support, Help End Auto Theft registration, nursing home projects, accident investigation support, assisting in maintaining security for crime scene integrity, traffic surveys, commercial motor vehicle inspections, equipment control and quartermaster, and crime prevention support. In addition, the volunteer program includes a Chaplains Corps, an Explorer Post, Neighborhood Watch patrols, and a Reserve Officers Program.

In 2007, volunteers provided nearly 18,000 hours of value-added service to the department and the community.

2009 applications due: May 15, 2009

For more information about the Outstanding Achievement in Law Enforcement Volunteer Programs Award, visit the awards section of the IACP Web site,, or contact Carolyn Cockroft at the IACP, 515 North Washington Street, Alexandria, VA 22314-2357; by phone at 1-800-THE-IACP, extension 206; or via e-mail at



From The Police Chief, vol. LXXVI, no. 1, January 2009. Copyright held by the International Association of Chiefs of Police, 515 North Washington Street, Alexandria, VA 22314 USA.

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