DENVER — During a community awards ceremony today at the Boulder County Sheriff’s Office, Colorado Attorney General John Suthers announced that Division Chief Phil West is the 2013 recipient of the “Colorado Attorney General’s Excellence in Law Enforcement Award.” Attorney General Suthers presented the annual award with Boulder County Sheriff Joe Pelle introducing the Attorney General.
“During his 40 years with the Boulder Sheriff’s Department, Division Chief West has become an iconic presence to the Sheriff’s Department and to the county,” said Attorney General Suthers. “Division Chief West embodies the very spirit of the Excellence in Law Enforcement Award honorably serving the community with respect, integrity, compassion and humility throughout his entire law-enforcement career.”
In nominating West, Boulder Sheriff Joe Pelle wrote, “Phil’s character, good humor and ‘by-the-book’ guidance helped prepare many of us for this career in a positive manner, and he greatly influenced a generation or more of cops. He assumed leadership roles in many high-profile cases, special events, and natural disasters including flash floods and major forest fires.”
The Excellence in Law Enforcement Award recognizes exemplary service by an individual in Colorado law enforcement during that person’s career. The quality of the service performed by an individual is the determining factor. The award’s recipients will have exhibited extraordinary efforts of valor, crime prevention, investigative work, community outreach and other law enforcement functions.
Before retiring in June 2013, Division Chief West amassed many accomplishments. However, it was his selfless dedication to mentoring the next generation of law enforcement leaders that earned him this year’s award from an impressive field of nominees. He was one of the original members of the Explorer Post 500, a cadet program, of which he remained the program’s chief advisor for more than 28 years. Over his career, West mentored more than 1,000 young people with 150 of those youth going on to become law enforcement officers, including Sheriff Pelle.
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.
The prior winners include:
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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