DENVER — During a special presentation at the Arvada Police Department today, Colorado Attorney General John Suthers presented Sergeant A.J. DeAndrea with the 2014 “Colorado Attorney General’s Excellence in Law Enforcement Award.” The award is given annually to a certified Colorado peace officer who has served his or her community in an exemplary fashion over an extended period. Arvada Police Chief Don Wick and Arvada Fire Protection District Deputy Chief Mike Piper gave remarks before Sergeant DeAndrea accepted this year’s award.
“Sergeant DeAndrea now joins the exclusive ranks of fellow peace officers whose leadership, dedication, competence and valor have earned them the Colorado Attorney General’s Excellence Award,” said Suthers. “The overall quality of service Sergeant DeAndrea has demonstrated during his years of service are nothing short of remarkable and that is why he is the clear choice to receive this year’s award.”
In 1999 DeAndrea was the entry team leader at Columbine High School, locating and removing students and staff from the school while also searching for the gunmen. He served as team leader during the 2004 Granby bulldozer rampage and during the Platte Canyon High School shooting in 2006, Sergeant DeAndrea rescued hostages. As team leader during another incident in which 30 rounds were fired, he rescued a fellow police officer. Then during the Youth With A Mission shooting in which four students were shot in 2007, Sergeant DeAndrea rescued students with life threatening injuries which greatly improved their chances of survival.
Over his tenured career, 21 with the Arvada Police Department and more than 15 with the Jefferson County Regional SWAT Team, Sergeant DeAndrea has made a lasting mark on the Arvada Fire Protection District and the fire and emergency service providers. He developed a collaborative response to active shooter incidents between law enforcement and emergency medical service providers. Sergeant DeAndrea also worked closely with the I Love U Guys Foundation to develop the “Standard Response Protocol,” which is now widely implemented in schools across the country and around the world. He is internationally regarded as a subject matter expert in the area of tactical law enforcement operations for which his expertise is sought as a speaker at international conferences.
In nominating Sergeant DeAndrea, Arvada Fire Protection District Deputy Chief Mike Piper wrote, that, “Sergeant DeAndrea’s charismatic leadership ability positively influenced not only the culture of the Arvada Police Department, but the culture of the Arvada Fire Protection District. Due to his efforts, our agencies enjoy a very strong and professional working relationship.” In an effort to prevent and reduce casualties at active shooter incidents this year’s award recipient has also educated and trained the District staff, the City of Arvada staff, and employees of local Arvada businesses.
A panel of law enforcement leaders — the director of Colorado’s Peace Officer Standards and Training program, the executive director of the Colorado District Attorney’s Council, the deputy attorney general for criminal justice and two leaders from local law enforcement agencies — selected the finalists for the award. From the finalists, the attorney general selected the winner.
Prior recipients of the Colorado Attorney General’s Excellence in Law Enforcement Award include:
2013 Division Chief Phil West, Boulder Police Department 2012 Master Sergeant Larry Bennington, Arvada Police Department
2011 Robert Fuller, Denver District Attorney’s Office
2010 Sergeant Stephen White, Lakewood Police Department
2009 Sergeant Joe Young, Aurora Police Department.
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