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Back to Archives | Back to January 2005 Contents 

2004 IACP Awards Presented at the 111th Annual IACP Conference

Police Officer of the Year
Sergeant Marcus Young, 42, of the Ukiah, California, Police Department, was named 2004 Police Officer of the Year by Parade magazine and the International Association of Chiefs of Police for his heroic action during a shooting.

Police Officer of the Year

Police Officer of the Year: Pictured from left to right are Sergeant MarcusYoung of the Ukiah, California, Police Department, FBI Director Robert Mueller,and Parade Contributing Editor Larry Smith. Photograph by David Hathcox.

On the night of March 7, 2003, Young volunteered to fill a patrol shift vacancy. On his shift, Young, accompanied by Julian Covella, a high school student and police cadet, then 17, was called to a local Wal-Mart to arrest a shoplifter. During the arrest, the shoplifter's boyfriend, Neal Beckman, 35, a violent felon, approached Young and pulled a knife from his pocket. Young seized the felon's arm and twisted it behind his back. Beckman pulled a gun and shot Young five times. Young's body armor stopped two bullets to his chest and saved his life.

Beckman then stabbed the store's unarmed security guard, Brett Schott, and ran toward the patrol car, where Young had left his rifle and shotgun. "I was on my knees in a parking space," Young told Parade. "My right arm was paralyzed, my left hand had a two-inch tear between the index and middle fingers, and I could not draw my gun. I was bleeding profusely."

Young instructed the cadet, Covella, who had radioed for backup, to remove Young's pistol from its holster and place it in Young's left hand. Young fired four rounds, stopping Beckman before he could grab a firearm and begin shooting again.

After help arrived, Young, Schott, and Beckman were taken to the local hospital, where Beckman was pronounced dead. Schott recovered from his wounds, but Young continues to struggle with pain and weakness in his upper body. "I thought the entire time that I was going to die," Young said. "I told an officer to tell my wife I loved her, because I didn't think I would get to do it myself."

The officer believes strongly that Brett Schott and Julian Covella "were the real heroes in this scenario. They risked their lives to help me. . . . I wouldn't be here if it wasn't for them."

"The department and community support have been very big," Young said. "We are a small area and it affected the entire community. It could have happened to anybody. If I wasn't there that night, he'd have murdered somebody else, all for a $29 duffel bag. If I had it to do over, I'd give him the 30 bucks myself."

Ten officers received honorable mention awards:
Trooper Jason Davis, 24, of the Georgia State Patrol showed great restraint in his pursuit of a suspect in four murders who had killed his own child and kidnapped three others. Davis safely halted the fleeing vehicle, captured the suspect, and rescued the children.

Officer Michael Mauldin, 44, of the Charlotte-Mecklenburg Police Department in Charlotte, North Carolina, swam through heavy Atlantic surf to save an eight-year-old boy caught in an undertow. The boy's father could have drowned in the attempt to rescue his son, but Mauldin, a triathlon competitor, sent him back to shore before swimming out to save the child.

Officer Timothy Virden, 49, of the Saint Petersburg, Florida, Police Department sustained a head wound from an assault rifle fired from a fleeing vehicle but stuck with the pursuit for several miles. His courage and persistence led to the capture of four suspects wanted in a drive-by shooting.

Sergeant Gerald McDevitt, 39, of the Charleston, South Carolina, Police Department was unable to enter a burning house because its doors and windows were secured with locks and iron bars, so he kicked an air conditioner unit loose, tugged it out, and pulled a little boy to safety before crawling inside to rescue three more confused and terrified occupants, including another small child.

Master Patrol Officer John Sims Jr., 41, of the Laurel, Maryland, Police Department heard gunfire at the scene of a domestic dispute. After directing numerous bystanders to safety, he came under fire himself. Sims shot and killed the suspect, then provided aid to another woman who had also been injured.

Officer David Tobin, 37, of the Homewood, Illinois, Police Department, anticipated the escape route of three armed robbers and then withstood heavy fire as he followed their vehicle until it crashed. When the suspects continued to shoot, Tobin wounded two of them and captured one. The others were collared by assisting officers.

Officer Christopher Guadagno, 36, of the Fort Pierce, Florida, Police Department showed perseverance, dedication, and commitment by solving the case of a serial rapist who had been victimizing little girls in the Fort Pierce area.

Officer Sean Kilbreth, 33, of the Bedford, New Hampshire, Police Department confronted a suspect in a parking lot and found himself facing a drawn gun. He refused the suspect's order to lie down and took a bullet to the hip before managing to shoot and kill his assailant.

Detectives Daniel Whalen, 42, and Bryan Kasul, 40, of the Metropolitan Police Department in Washington, D.C., solved a particularly grisly homicide after carefully securing the crime scene and analyzing it closely. Pursuing every available lead, they tracked down the suspects in just 48 hours and solved several other major crimes in the process.

Parade and the IACP established the Police Officer of the Year Awards in 1966 to focus attention on the dedicated men and women of our nation'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.

Indian Country Officer of the Year
The Indian Country Law Enforcement Section named Officer William J. Anderson of the Nez Perce Tribal Police Department in Lapwai, Idaho, the 2004 IACP Indian Country Officer of the Year.

Indian Country Officer of the Year

Pictured from left to right are 2004 IACP Indian Country Officer of the Year William J. Anderson of the Nez Perce Tribal Police Department in Lapwai, Idaho; Edward Reina Jr., chief of the Yavapai-Prescott Police Department in Arizona and Indian Country representative to the IACP Executive Committee; and Craig Floyd, executive director of the National Law Enforcement Officers Memorial Fund in Washington, D.C. Photograph by Chief Thomas Idol of the Nez Perce Tribal Police Department.

Anderson was honored for his valor in rescuing a woman from a partially submerged automobile in the Clearwater River in Idaho. Anderson responded to a 911 call from the Clearwater Sheriff's Department and was first to arrive at the scene of a crash near the Greer Bridge. Bystanders told Anderson that a woman in the car was unresponsive. The current was moving at10 miles an hour and the water temperature was 39 degrees. Nez Perce Chief of Police Thomas Idol described what happened next:

Without hesitation, Officer Anderson took off his shirt, vest, and duty belt and, without regard for his own safety, went into the river to attempt a rescue. He was not able to extract the victim because she was entangled in her restraint belt. Starting to numb from the cold, he returned to shore and, with the help from citizens on the road, he pulled the vehicle closer to the bank where the victim was extracted and brought to shore. The victim had been under water for 15 to 20 minutes, was not breathing and did not have a pulse. Officer Anderson cleared her mouth and started CPR. Once EMTs arrived on the scene, they took over resuscitation and transported the victim to the hospital. Officer Anderson's heroic actions and valor displayed in the face of danger are why the young woman is alive today and was recently married.

The master of ceremonies for the award ceremony and banquet was newly elected section chair, Chief Henry Pino of the Ak-Chin Tribal Police Department in Maricopa, Arizona. Speakers and guests included the past chair, Chief Jeffrey Hepting of the Acoma Pueblo Police Department; Chief Joseph Polisar, then president of the IACP; Chief Michael Carroll, then fifth vice president of the IACP; Joseph Samuels, past president of the IACP; and Daniel Rosenblatt, executive director of the IACP. Members of the section joined with Chief Pino, Chief Idol and his wife, and guests of the section to honor Officer Anderson and his wife with native ceremonial drumming, singing, and dancing.

Civil Rights Awards

Civil Rights Awards

Civil Rights: Pictured left to right are Chief Walter McNeil of Tallahassee, Florida; Chief H. Lloyd Perkins of Camillus, New York; and Senior Lead Officer Melody Hainline of the Los Angeles Police Department. Photograph by David Hathcox.

Each year, the IACP Civil Rights Award recognizes a law enforcement agency or person for exceptional innovation in the areas of investigation, education, prevention, and enforcement. In 2004 the IACP Civil Rights Awards were made to the following persons and departments.

Under the direction of Chief H. Lloyd Perkins, winner of the 2004 IACP Civil Rights Award in the area of education and prevention, the Camillus Police Department started the outreach program Building Community Bridges three years ago. The program was intended to improve access to the Camillus Police Department for minority groups and other segments of the population that felt their needs may not be as well known to police as those of other, more entrenched, portions of the central New York community.

In a bold and proactive effort, Perkins and his department invited representatives of diverse groups directly into department planning sessions, where they were given an excellent opportunity to have their concerns heard. Organizations such as the Onondaga Commission on Human Rights, the National Association for the Advancement of Colored People, the New York Civil Liberties Union, and the Inter-Religious Council of Central New York have attended these meetings. In addition, the Spanish Action League of Syracuse, the Syracuse Model Neighborhood Facility, and elected officials from the town of Camillus have participated in the meetings, as well.

By bringing all segments of the community together-the residential population, those visiting for the purposes of shopping, and the commuting workforce segments-this effort is helping everyone build a law enforcement agency of which the whole community can be proud. The committee commends Perkins's and the Camillus Police Department's efforts in creating the Building Community Bridges program.

Senior Lead Officer Melody Hainline of the Los Angeles Police Department won the 2004 Civil Rights Award in the area of investigation for her efforts to reduce hate-motivated crime in a Los Angeles neighborhood. During a three-month period, approximately 20 shootings and assaults (including a murder) had occurred in the Normandale Park area. Ugly antiblack graffiti was observed at 25 locations: garages, sidewalks, businesses, and walls. In addition, gunfire was aimed at black victims. This hate-motivated activity also began to spill over into the local junior and senior high schools.

Hainline was given the daunting assignment to open up lines of communication and bring about change in the affected neighborhoods of the Normandale Park. Senior Lead Officer Hainline recognized the need for an immediate response and intervention to prevent further escalation of hate-motivated violence in the community. She contacted representatives from the Los Angeles City Human Relations Office and the U.S. Department of Justice Community Relations Services, as well as members of the community. She also established a hate crime prevention task force to focus on improving the quality of life of the citizens of the community and developed a survey that focused on quality-of-life issues. More than 220 community members responded to the survey, identifying their concerns.

As a result of the survey findings, Hainline employed patrol units, gang officers, and bicycle teams to saturate the area. A multiagency task force was formed to help identify and apprehend parole violators, and the LAPD Harbor area was identified as a Weed and Seed site. Almost a year has passed since the initiative began, and violent crime has fallen approximately 38 percent, while race-related gang violence has diminished significantly in the area. Hainline's efforts went well beyond the call of duty and the committee commends her on her sense of duty and service to human kind.

Before being appointed to the position of chief of the Tallahassee Police Department, Chief Walter McNeil, winner of the 2004 IACP Civil Rights Award in the area of prevention, spent numerous hours working with youth and minority groups throughout the city. After realizing that most youth and minority groups share distrust of law enforcement, McNeil focused on ways to strengthen minority trust in law enforcement.

The first phase of the Minority and Youth Community Outreach Program (MYCOP) was to open a satellite office for internal affairs in a predominately minority community. At this office, people can file a complaint or give testimony without having to come into the police department. By using the satellite office, the perceived stigma of going into police headquarters can be avoided. If victims and witnesses are less anxious and apprehensive concerning their environment, a more accurate account of events can be given.

After it became apparent that the project was a success, McNeil opened a second office in partnership with the local branch of the National Association for the Advancement of Colored People (NAACP) in a different section of the city. Owing to the creation of another venue for citizens' feedback, both positive and negative, the communication between the department and citizens has improved. In addition to the satellite offices, McNeil implemented a hotline devoted solely to citizen complaints.

Another program adopted by the Tallahassee Police Department is Drug Education for Youth (DEFY). DEFY is a prevention program for kids age 9-12, giving them the tools needed to resist drugs, gangs, and alcohol. Greater interaction with citizens provides the department with the feedback and constructive criticism necessary to improve services and earn the trust of minority and youth communities. These programs enable the Tallahassee Police Department to more effectively provide public safety service to its citizens.

Community Policing Awards
Winners of the 2004 IACP/ITT Community Policing Award have focused on prevention and long-term community solutions rather than reactive crime fighting. The initiatives of the winners and finalists this year, briefly summarized below, illustrate how the philosophy and practices of community policing foster a proactive approach that incorporates solution-oriented strategies and tactics.

The Irwindale, California, Police Department, winner of the award for agencies serving fewer than 20,000 residents, created the ACT TEAM (Agencies Concerned Together for Transients, the Environment, and Abating Misdeeds) to combat a growing transient population problem in an area near the Santa Fe Dam. The homelessness issue was connected directly to increasing filth, uncontrolled fires, drug use, vandalism, indecent exposure, and unlawful sex acts in the area. The ACT TEAM brought together several local, state, and federal agencies, environmentalists, advocates for the homeless, and citizens to join in roundtable discussions and implement solutions. As a result, there are no longer incidences of fires, assaults, or homelessness; panhandling complaints, trespassing, and theft decreased by 90 percent; and indecent exposure and dog attacks decreased by 98 percent.

The New Brighton, Minnesota, Department of Public Safety (NBDPS) Police Division won the award for agencies serving 20,001 to 50,000 residents. The agency faced a 400 percent increase in crime in a large apartment complex ridden with crime, drugs, and poverty. NBDPS was not equipped to handle the increased volume of the crimes. It combined new statutes and ordinances, increased accountability for property owners and strict enforcement to tackle the problem. NBDPS also empowered community members by seeking their input and forming a coalition to address their needs. As a result, during a two-year period, police responses to the complex decreased from 1,200 to 600, and a resident survey indicated that 91 percent of the respondents were satisfied or very satisfied with how they were treated by police.

Downtown merchants complained to the Gastonia, North Carolina, Police Department (GPD), winner for agencies serving 50,001 to 100,000 residents, about crime and vagrants that were driving away potential customers even as the city invested in revitalization efforts. The GPD created a massive patrolling effort, helped business owners post No Trespassing signs, and held a pizza party for several homeless people to find out more about their lives on the streets. This led to a formalized effort to combat homelessness that included grants for substance abuse programs, mentors, and other creative solutions. As a result, crime decreased by 46 percent; fewer homeless people loiter in the area; and a 10-year plan to end homelessness citywide is under way.

Three inner-city communities in Freeport, in Nassau, Bahamas, were rampant with drug deals, shootings, assaults, and robberies, and residents feared for their lives and distrusted police. Members of the Royal Bahamas Police Force, winner of the award for agencies serving 100,001 to 250,000 residents, met with community leaders to form a community task force. The task force set out to improve the quality of life in Freeport by destroying abandoned buildings and vehicles, repairing substandard homes, and cleaning the environment. They also enlisted the business community to support these efforts financially. As a result, citizens have reclaimed their neighborhoods; police have regained the trust of the community; and residents feel safer due to a decrease in crime.

The aggressive recruitment by gangs who wanted to establish a presence in Boston, Massachusetts, led to a collaborative effort between clergy and the Boston Police Department, winner of the award for agencies serving 250,001 or more residents. Police officers made unofficial visits to the homes of troubled youth as part of Operation Homefront, a program that has grown substantially since its inception in 1998 to include a school safety focus, follow-up services, operational procedures, a tracking mechanism, and official program status by partner agencies. As a result, the initiative has touched the lives of thousands of troubled youth in Boston; and it has been replicated in jurisdictions as far away as Toronto, Canada.

The District Police of Adilabad in Andhrapradesh, India, is one of three honorees in the award's new homeland security category, which recognizes agencies that demonstrate how the community policing philosophy and practices are integral in terrorism prevention and response. The Adilabad district provided a perfect setting for terrorist groups to threaten citizens, and terrorists murdered more than 300 people, including 100 police officers. The district police decided to engage villagers in preventing these strong-arm tactics and held several community meetings. Through this forum, they determined that one of the main problems was the need for a road to nearby towns to decrease isolation and enable villagers to enjoy more economic and social freedom. The open discussions resulted in a joint front to isolate terrorist threats while building a road to better the community. Approximately 140 of the 170 terrorists surrendered, and hundreds of villagers openly refused entry to extremists.

The terrorist attacks of September 11 taught the Cobb County Department of Public Safety in Marietta, Georgia, an honoree in the homeland security category, that fully preparing for a disaster requires training the community, particularly community leaders, to assist first responders and emergency services. More than 500 residents attended a countywide training conference-sponsored by the department-on terrorism and homeland security. The conference spawned smaller local-level meetings and ongoing efforts to strengthen community partnerships and preparedness. As a result, the department developed a community action guide that explains how to handle certain terrorist or homeland security scenarios and created district protection teams to provide a communication channel between the department and the community.

In New Mexico, the Pueblo of Santa Ana's high volume of transient traffic, large number of national events, and high-profile infrastructures made it vulnerable to terrorist attacks. After September 11, the Santa Ana Tribal Police Department, an honoree in the homeland security category, refocused on the importance of community policing to deter crime and ease fears of the community. The department's efforts included participating in community events, raising the visibility of the department, partnering with public and private organizations and sponsoring training initiatives. As a result, community confidence and preparedness increased, and communication is stronger between community leaders and public safety officials.

Outstanding Achievement in Law Enforcement Volunteer Programs Award
The IACP and Science Applications International Corporation (SAIC) sponsor an award program to recognize excellence in leadership through the implementation of an effective, high-quality volunteer program that successfully integrates volunteers into overall organizational operations and administration and to institutionalize the theories and practices of the Volunteers in Police Service (VIPS) program. This year's award recepients are the Concord, California, Police Department and the Pima County, Arizona, Sheriff's Department.

Volunteers Award

Volunteers: Pictured from left to right are Domingo S. Herraiz, director of the Bureau of Justice Assistance in the U.S. Department of Justice; Mary Ann Viverette, first vice president of the IACP and chief of police in Gaithersburg, Maryland; Karen Siemsen, volunteer coordinator with the Concord, California, Police Department; and James Varey of Science Applications International Corporation. Photograph by David Hathcox.

Volunteers Award

Volunteers: Richard Kastigar, second from the left, a captain with the Pima County Sheriff’s Department in Tucson, Arizona, stands with three of the agency’s volunteers: James “Jim” Decheine, left, Ajo, Arizona; Joseph “Larry”
Holden, second from right, Tucson; and Robert “Bob” Hoeckelberg, Green Valley, Arizona. Photograph by David Hathcox.

Vehicle Theft Award of Merit
Sponsored by the IACP, the National Insurance Crime Bureau (NICB), and LoJack, the Vehicle Theft Award of Merit was created for all law enforcement agencies, task forces, councils, community partnerships, and other theft prevention alliances to showcase the annual results of their vehicle theft prevention or enforcement programs.

The winner in category 1, for agencies employing 1-250 officers, is the Roanoke, Virginia, Police Department, led by Chief A. L. Gaskins. Roanoke leads southwestern Virginia in auto thefts; it recorded 537 such thefts in 2003, with an 83 percent recovery rate and a 42 percent clearance rate. To combat these thefts, the police department instituted a 24-hour auto theft suppression course to provide its officers and those in other agencies with advanced training in commercial motor vehicle and motorcycle theft detection and investigation, evidence collection and preservation, salvage yard inspection, title and registration fraud detection, vehicle identification, and VIN etching. Moreover, it initiated a bait vehicle program, and the city enacted an ordinance that placed new restrictions on owners and operators of mopeds and scooters: owners must now register mopeds and scooters and display registration tags, and their operators must wear face shields, safety glasses, or goggles unless the mopeds or scooters are equipped with safety glass or windshields. Finally, it held a number of free VIN etching events, developed two public service announcements (one concerning auto theft prevention tips, the other promoting the Help Eliminate Auto Theft tip hotline) for broadcast on the area's cable access channel, and devised an auto theft block in its citizens police academy curriculum.

In category 2, for agencies employing 251-1,000 officers, the winner is the Tempe, Arizona, Police Department, led by Chief Ralph Tranter. The Tempe Police Department helped reduce vehicle theft in 2003 by 16 percent and achieved a 74 percent recovery rate by collaborating with the Allstate Insurance Company, the Farmers Insurance Group, the Arizona Automobile Theft Authority, and the U.S. Department of Justice's Local Law Enforcement Block Grants (LLEBG) program to deploy bait vehicles equipped with global positioning systems; developing more timely and complete statistics concerning both vehicle thefts and recoveries to allow for more accurate placement of bait vehicles and for more effective patrolling; modifying its reporting procedures to require vehicle thefts to be investigated by patrol officers rather than to be accepted by telephone in order to provide improved service and to discourage fraud; launching Operation Winter Freeze, a multifaceted program involving crime prevention, selective enforcement, and investigation undertaken at the Arizona Mills Mall, the number one location for vehicle theft in Tempe; conducting four VIN etching events during which 476 vehicles were marked free of charge; distributing without charge 2,800 antitheft devices during 86 community events hosted at apartment complexes; encouraging registration in the Watch Your Car program; and further raising awareness by advertising on highway billboards, erecting banners, and preparing crime prevention brochures and news articles.

In category 3 (1,001 or more officers), the winner is the New York City Police Department, led by Commissioner Raymond W. Kelly. The NYPD helped reduce vehicle theft in 2003 by 12.1 percent over 2002, and every patrol borough experienced a decrease in vehicle thefts in 2003. The agency launched several initiatives: delivered a four-day course on the basics of auto theft that focused on methods of identifying stolen vehicles and altered VINs to 1,080 NYPD officers and 116 from other agencies; recommended federal legislation that included high-density discharge (HDD) headlights as major component parts, so they would be marked with an NYSTA sticker; conducted 1,258 unannounced Get Legit or Quit inspections to monitor and reduce unlicensed repair and auto body shops; allied with other city agencies to form a multiagency response to auto theft hotspots to deter vehicle theft by addressing conditions that reduce residents' quality of life in identified neighborhoods; stopped vehicles displaying Combat Auto Theft while being operated during hours when participating vehicle owners indicated the vehicles were unlikely to be operated by an authorized driver; etched VINs on windshields to allow them to be linked to engine parts; and tracked grand larceny auto recidivists and parolees in cooperation with state police officers, conducted home visits on those targeted, and arrested many parole absconders.

The NYPD successfully concluded five major investigations: Operation Lien-Ex, the investigation, with the FBI, of a Dominican-based vehicle title counter feiting ring and a South Asian-based credit fraud ring that led to the arrests of 20 persons and the recovery of more than 120 stolen vehicles valued in excess of $1.4 million; Operation Family Ties, the investigation of a Brooklyn salvage yard that yielded two firearms, cut cars and parts valued at more than $500,000, and more than $380,000 in assets; Operation Greenfields, the joint investigation of illegal dumping and disposing of hazardous waste by automobile salvage yards that resulted in the indictment of 66 persons and 26 corporations; Operation Bait and Switch, a 28-month joint investigation of the fraudulent purchase and the illegal export of luxury vehicles that led to the recovery of 14 luxury cars valued at $700,000 and the arrests of six persons; and Insurance Fraud, a joint initiative in the Bronx to detect fraudulent theft reports concerning vehicles that have been abandoned or burned that resulted in the recovery of 57 vehicles and in 22 arrests.

In category 4 (multiagency task forces), the winner is Midessa Metro Auto Theft Task Force in Odessa, Texas, commanded by Lieutenant Rick D. Pippins. The task force, funded by a grant from the Texas Automobile Theft Prevention Authority, serves 400,000 residents in 24 Texas counties; coordinates its efforts with local, state, federal, and Mexican agencies; and has dismantled since its inception more than 11 auto theft rings, resulting in a 22 percent decrease in auto theft. In 2003 alone, it filed charges in 501 cases and recovered 401 stolen vehicles worth an estimated $4.5 million, an increase in recoveries of 17 percent over 2002.

The task force's success can be attributed to the following efforts: acquiring a self-contained trailer that operates as a mobile command post and a community outreach unit, negating the need for satellite offices in its 48,000-square-mile area of operation, and allows its officers to pursue more effectively and efficiently investigations of stolen ATVs; launching Operation Lock-Tight, an educational and enforcement effort targeting citizens who fail to properly secure their vehicles, leave their keys in the ignition, and allow their vehicles to be unsecured and running in public places; inspecting vehicle salvage yards, auto dealerships, and mechanic shops to detect stolen vehicles and components; making 26 appearances on local television and radio programs and at fairs and commercial enterprises; cooperating with the Odessa and Midland Crime Stoppers programs; promoting the Texas Automobile Theft Prevention Authority's antitheft program; and stopping vehicles displaying HEAT decals while being operated during hours when participating vehicle owners indicated the vehicles were unlikely to be operated by an authorized driver.

J. Stannard Baker Award for Highway Safety
Sponsored by IACP, the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA), and the Northwestern University Center for Public Safety, the J. Stannard Baker Award annually recognizes individual law enforcement officers and others who have made significant outstanding lifetime contributions to highway safety.

James W. McMahon, director of the New York State Office of Public Security and retired superintendent of the New York State Police, received the award for developing, implementing, and improving traffic safety programs and technologies in New York and for his willingness to share his expertise with others. Under his tutelage, the New York State Police reduced between April 1994 and July 2003 the rate of highway fatalities per 100 million vehicle miles traveled from 1.58 to 1.09, translating into 1,784 lives saved. Among his most significant achievements were increasing speed and aggressive driving enforcement using upgraded radar units and in-car video systems; improving DWI enforcement by 22 percent using upgraded breath analyzers and improving the conviction rate; addressing underage alcohol consumption by instituting highly publicized interagency programs attacking both the supply and demand sides of the issue and by employing passive alcohol testers; increasing troopers' access to computers; expanding and enhancing entrance-level and in-service training on various highway safety issues; creating full-time commercial vehicle enforcement and collision reconstruction units; and increasing occupant restraint enforcement by 90 percent. McMahon's commitment to traffic safety issues extended beyond New York's borders. He served on the IACP Highway Safety Committee and was the general chair of the IACP State and Provincial Police Division between 1999 and 2002.

Charles A. "Chuck" Hurley, vice president of the National Safety Council's Transportation Safety Group received the award for championing legislative, educational, and enforcement efforts to improve all aspects of highway safety in the United States. He has been at the forefront of virtually every notable effort promoting the enactment of primary safety belt laws, the use of child passenger safety restraints, the reduction of states' legal blood alcohol levels to 0.08, and the prohibition of cell phone use by teenage drivers participating in graduated driver's licensing programs. Chuck Hurley has worked in the executive and legislative branches at every level of government to save lives and reduce injuries on our nation's highways. He was one of the founders of Lifesavers Conference Inc. and has been elected its president six times since 1989; was named a Mothers Against Drunk Driving (MADD) Hero in 1997; was elected to MADD's national board of directors in 1992 and again in 1994; and has served as executive director of the Air Bag and Seat Belt Safety Campaign. He brought national recognition to such initiatives as MADD's National Minimum Drinking Age Act of 1984, the National SAFE KIDS Campaign in 1987, North Carolina's Click It or Ticket program in 1993 and its Booze It and Lose It campaign in 1994, and the National Safety Council's Air Bag and Seat Belt Safety Campaign in 1996. With respect to traffic safety issues, Hurley has testified before the Congress of the United States on 11 occasions, has met with seven U.S. secretaries of transportation and every National Highway Transportation Safety Administration (NHTSA) administrator since 1977, has represented the National Safety Council in 22 state capitals, has appeared more than 200 times on major television network programs, and is frequently quoted in the print media. Hurley raised $1.75 million to support the U.S. Department of Transportation's Bureau of Transportation Statistics, $3 million to underwrite DaimlerChrysler's Fit for a Kid national child passenger safety program, and $43.2 million to operate the Air Bag and Seat Belt Safety Campaign. He has judged the IACP National Law Enforcement Challenge and has raised funds to operate this program.

Lieutenant William L. "Luther" Hires of the Jesup, Georgia, Police Department received the award for developing and promoting traffic safety programs in and beyond the Jesup, Georgia, and for the benefit of its residents. Hires began his Georgia law enforcement career with the Wayne County Sheriff's Office in 1969; moved to the Hinesville Police Department in 1975, where he investigated his first fatal crash; and joined the Jesup Police Department in 1977, where he currently serves as the Commander of its administrative division. Hires determined in 1980 that the Jesup had had at least one traffic fatality during each of the past 20 years and decided then to combine education and enforcement to reverse that disturbing statistic. He developed-and still conducts throughout his community-traffic safety programs relative to speed, impaired driving, bicycle and pedestrian safety, and occupant protection. As a direct result of those efforts, Jesup did not record a single fatality for just shy of two years. After his 19-year-old son, who was not wearing a safety belt, was killed in 1988, Hires devoted more effort toward occupant protection. He developed and implemented in 1998 an occupant protection course of instruction whereby the State Court of Wayne County and the recorder courts of Jesup and Screven permit those receiving citations for safety belt or child passenger safety restraint violations to choose to attend a single class-conducted one night each month-rather than pay a fine; this option is available only one time for one violation. In addition, in cooperation with businesses and other corporate partners, he built in 1999 a rollover simulator and obtained fatal vision goggles to educate citizens on the importance of occupant restraints, as well as on the effects of alcohol, and has made many presentations to thousands of people in 38 of Georgia's 159 counties. Hires served in 1982 on a gubernatorial committee that rewrote Georgia's DUI law; remains the volunteer coordinator of the Coastal Area Traffic Enforcement Network, one of 16 regional traffic enforcement networks that Georgia established in 1997 to provide networking, training, and communication opportunities to traffic officers; is a POST-certified instructor who teaches courses in advanced traffic law and other traffic-related subjects; was selected as police officer of the year by the Wayne County Chamber of Commerce in 1980 and by the Wayne County Exchange Club in 1999; and received NHTSA's Public Service Award at the 2003 Lifesavers Conference.

Excellence in Police Aviation Award
The IACP Aviation Committee awards this honor to a person who holds a management or leadership position in police aviation or to an aviation unit that exemplifies excellence in airborne law enforcement. The award will emphasize initiatives to enhance the general level and safety of operations, prevent accidents, and increase the efficiency and effectiveness of airborne law enforcement. The 2004 Excellence in Police Aviation Award goes to Lieutenant Bob Oakley of the Newport Beach Police Department.

Aviation Award

Aviation: Pictured from left to right are J. Scott Finlayson, chief of police in Springville, Utah, and the IACP board member with oversight of the Aviation Committee; Dave Oglesbee, law enforcement marketing manager of Bell Helicopter,
the corporate sponsor of the award; Bob Oakley, a lieutenant with the Newport Beach Police Department and the 2004 recipient of the IACP Excellence in Police Aviation award; and Don Shinnamon Sr., chief of police in Holly Hill,
Florida, and chair of the IACP Aviation Committee. Photograph by David Hathcox.

Award for Excellence in Criminal Investigation
For decades, the law enforcement profession has honored individuals throughout the country for outstanding police work. But until now there has never been a national award that recognizes the investigative segment of law enforcement.

Unlike traditional awards, the IACP/ChoicePoint Award for Excellence in Criminal Investigation is not given to an individual police officer. Instead, it recognizes a police division, department, or task force.

The goal of the award is twofold: to recognize exceptional innovation and outstanding achievement by law enforcement organizations in managing and conducting criminal investigations, and to promote the sharing of information on successful investigative programs and approaches.

Investigation Award

Investigation:Wyoming Task Force, from left to right: Andrew Dyl, Special Agent Randall Huff, Lois Huff, Director Kurt Dobbs, SSA Davalu Cummings (ICE), Special Agent Robert Leazenby, Lead Agent Flint Waters, Debra Waters, United States Attorney Matthew Mead, District of Wyoming. Photograph provided by Flint Waters.

This is the second year of the annual award. The tremendous number of applications the last two years has given the IACP Police Investigative Operations Committee the opportunity to look at the issues that are on the cutting edge of law enforcement. Staying abreast of what's happening is critical to our profession, and this award gives us a wonderful opportunity to see how different police departments are stretching their resources and coming up with innovative ways to meet changing needs. It was an extremely rewarding experience for all of us on the committee.

The first annual award was announced at IACP conference in Philadelphia last year, and the winner last year was the Montgomery County Sniper Task Force.

This year the winner of the award is the Wyoming Internet Crimes against Children Task Force for its innovative efforts to stop child pornography and protect children from those who would prey on them. The task force developed a computer software program to identify and locate child pornography on computers across the Internet that use peer-to-peer network connections. The program allowed agencies to share and exchange the evidence, and the task force developed follow-up investigative techniques to help local agencies locate and obtain probable cause for search warrants of the identified computers.

The task force's initial investigation under Operation Peerless in 2003 led to the identification of more than 3,600 computers sharing child pornography images. As a result of the success of this investigation, the software and investigative techniques were shared with all 39 Internet crimes against children task forces across the United States, the Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE) cybercrime center, and the FBI. These agencies have initiated an additional 1,000 domestic investigations into the distribution and possession of child pornography using the software and investigative techniques developed by the Wyoming task force.

For more information about the computer program and the available training used in Operation Peerless, please send an e-mail message to Flint Waters at (

The first runner-up for the 2004 IACP/ChoicePoint Award for Excellence in Criminal Investigation was the Picayune, Mississippi, Police Department for its innovative investigation of targeted major narcotic dealers in and around the Picayune in 2003. A major obstacle to any investigation in a smaller town is the inability of officers, all of whom are known to their subjects, to (1) conduct undercover operations or (2) set up surveillance operations. Traditionally, undercover officers are brought in from other agencies in the state. What is unique in this case is how the investigators addressed the surveillance issue. Instead of following targets after meetings or during the day and night, they contracted to use unmanned drones wired with video and thermal imaging cameras. They also installed and used a series of fixed wireless video cameras in public areas. As a result they were able to identify the drug dealers' source and corroborate the meetings of dealers and sellers. Their investigation resulted in the arrest of more than 50 upper-level narcotic dealers at the conclusion of the investigation.

If you would like additional information on the investigative tools used by the Picayune Police Department, please call Major Joel Hudson at 601-798-0374.

The second runner-up for the IACP/ChoicePoint Award for Excellence in Criminal Investigation is the Toronto Police Service for its innovative investigation of the brutal homicide of a 12-year-old girl. With little evidence and no witnesses, the investigative team organized a unique way to conduct the mundane task of conducting a door-to-door canvass along the route from where the child was abducted to where her body was found several miles away. More than 100 officers received a detailed briefing of specific evidence found at the crime scene. They were provided with a kit that contained articles that were similar to the evidence at the crime scene and a list of certain critical questions to be asked of every person interviewed during the canvass. All responses were to be recorded. In addition, every male adult on the canvass route was asked to consent, in writing, to provide a DNA sample. Investigators later analyzed these responses. As a result of follow-up investigation from these leads, a primary suspect was developed. This suspect had refused to provide a DNA sample. Surveillance saw the suspect discard a pop can after drinking the contents. This item was recovered and submitted for DNA analysis. The DNA from the can confirmed it was the same DNA recovered from the dead girl's body and corroborated that he was responsible for the murder. This investigation shows innovation does not have to be new technology but can be a new way of at looking at old problems.

For more information concerning the investigative techniques used by the Toronto Police Service in this case, call Detective Sergeant Alan Comeau at 416-808-7395.

One of the greatest benefits of this IACP/ChoicePoint award is that it creates a new conduit for sharing inovative investigation techniques.

The third annual IACP/ChoicePoint award winners will be announced at the annual IACP conference in Miami, Florida, in September 2004. All law enforcement agencies, units, and task forces are eligible to compete for the award. Judging is focused on contributions to the advancement of the art or science of criminal investigations, and innovations in the development or enhancement of investigative techniques. The deadline for applications is June 1, 2005. I strongly urge your department or task force to submit an application for the award. For more information, visit the IACP Web site at (   ■



From The Police Chief, vol. 72, no. 1, January 2005. Copyright held by the International Association of Chiefs of Police, 515 North Washington Street, Alexandria, VA 22314 USA.

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