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RISE Awards: Read about more top 2015 nominees

8 cops, agencies and community groups who prove going above and beyond is just part of the job

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Editor’s Note: The TASER RISE Awards have officially commenced. In the second-ever edition of the RISE Award Program, TASER and Police1 again honored officers, agencies, and community partners who have risen above the rest. Take a look at some of the top nominees, and stay tuned to find out who our winners are!

Finding reasons to celebrate these heroes is the easy part. But after hundreds of heartfelt nominations poured in, giving each nominee due recognition has been the biggest challenge. As we begin the review process, we want to showcase some of the inspiring nominations we’ve received for the RISE Awards. We compiled a few standouts from each category.

Police Leadership

1. Sheriff’s Deputy Derek Origon of the Hernando County (Fla.) Sheriff’s Office is a multitasking force to be reckoned with and a nominee in the Leadership category. The father, husband, SWAT officer, SRO, and FTO was nominated by a former student, who relied on Origon to get through the toughest of times. He wrote: “I’ve gone in to talk to him and even if he was at a SWAT call from midnight to 5 a.m., he always was at school the next morning to do his job, even after … [sleepless] nights he was there doing the best he could to make a positive impact in everyone’s life that he had the chance to encounter that day.”

2. Ogle County (Ill.) Sheriff Bryan Van Vickle was nominated for what his nominator called “leadership beyond the norm.” On April 9, 2015, Rochelle, Ill. was hit with an E4 tornado, causing at least two deaths, numerous injuries, and many destroyed homes and businesses. Despite the fact that one of the destroyed homes was his own, Sheriff Van Vickle worked tirelessly through the night and into the next day to lead rescue and recovery efforts.

Agency of the Year

3. The Quincy (Mass.) Police Department became the first police department in the country to train every one of its police officers on how to administer nasal naloxone (Narcan) to opiate overdose victims. Detective Lt. Patrick Glynn, with the blessing of Chief of Police Paul Keenan, decided to take a humanitarian approach to combat a growing epidemic that wasn’t being solved with arrests.

The death rate was reduced by 66 percent in Quincy alone in the first year of the program, thanks to every officer embracing the program. A statewide training course for all veteran and recruit officers in the Commonwealth was developed in collaboration with the MA Department of Public Health and the Massachusetts Police Training Council. The goal is to have all police officers trained in administering nasal Narcan by September 2015.

Protecting Life

4. Reserve Deputy Sheriff Dr. Fran Lawson is a nominee in the Protecting Life category for her incredible role as a reserve deputy, helping to save lives in a volunteer capacity. She serves the Sheriff’s SWAT team as an emergency medicine physician, she participates in all possible training, assists the team on warrants and high-risk call outs, and provides training for other medics on the team.

Her nominator wrote of her, “She has continually put herself in harm’s way to save lives on a volunteer basis. She has been involved in several incidents where she delivered her best medical care. Her integrity is beyond reproach and her eagerness to serve is endless.”

5. Deputy Sheriff’s Officers Joseph Trimboli and Eric Keyes earned their spots as Protect Life nominees for their actions on Christmas Day 2014. The two Okaloosa County Sheriff’s Office Deputies approached a vehicle on fire and rushed to safely remove the driver. Keyes shattered a window and the two pulled the victim from the car, risking their own personal safety. Footage from the officers’ Axon body-worn cameras caught their heroic act:

Community Leadership

6. The Christiansburg Police Department Citizens Support Group formed in November 2003 and has since provided years of support to the Christiansburg Police Department and the Montgomery County Sheriff’s Office. In addition to organizing a fallen officers memorial baseball tournament, the volunteers, made up of families and members of citizens’ academies have provided food, water, and other support during trying times such as line of duty deaths and the 2007 Virginia Tech Massacre.

7. Hunting for Heroes (H4H) is a non-profit organization established in 2010 for critically injured and disabled law enforcement officers that supports both the individual and their family by providing them with a network that ‘truly gets it.’ Chris Allen, who founded the company, works with his team to reach out to former officers to help restore their lives and find a ‘new normal’ through recreational therapy and counseling.

8. The North American Family Institute (NAFI), a nonprofit social service agency that works with children living in high-crime neighborhoods, established a Teen and Family Center in Boston, and began a collaborative relationship with the Boston Police Department and its officers. When some of the teens who’d been affected by gun violence caught wind of the BPD’s gun buy-back program, they decided to make a video urging other teens to turn in illegal firearms, which brought in weapons off the streets and raised awareness about gun violence in the city of Boston.

Loraine Burger writes and edits news articles, product articles, columns, and case studies about public safety, community relations, and law enforcement for Police1. Loraine has developed relationships with law enforcement officers nationwide at agencies large and small to better understand the issues affecting police, whether on the street, at the office or at home.