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Meet the 2016 RISE Award winners

TASER | Axon and Police1 are delighted to announce the winners of our third annual RISE Awards

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RISE Awards 2016

Editor’s Note: Thank you to everyone who participated in our 2016 RISE Awards. So many dedicated and worthy officers and agencies were brought to our attention during the nominations process. Check out our full program coverage here.

By Rachel Zoch for Police1

After a thorough review of all the nominations, TASER | Axon and Police1 are very pleased to announce the winners of the third annual RISE Awards:

  • Protect Life: Karl Griffiths, Sacramento County Sheriff’s Dept. (California)
  • Leadership: Anthony Wolfe, Peoria Police Dept. (Arizona)
  • Community Impact: Thomas Griffiths, Boston Police Dept. (Massachusetts)
  • Agency of the Year: Chippewa Falls Police Dept. (Wisconsin)

This year’s awards drew more than 200 nominations for law enforcement agencies and officers who have risen above the call of duty to serve their communities and fellow citizens. Over the summer, we featured profiles of several of the RISE nominees. Read on for more details about each of our winners.

Protect Life: Deputy Karl Griffiths, Sacramento County Sheriff’s Dept. (California)

Deputy Karl Griffiths arrived at the scene of an apparent domestic dispute to find his fellow officers outgunned as the suspect was firing rounds from the residence. Griffiths handed off his rifle to the officers taking cover behind their patrol vehicles and ran to help a seriously injured woman, dragging her to safety and calling for assistance. Griffiths stayed with the woman to keep pressure on her neck wound until they reached a hospital. The surgeon later told Griffiths that the woman would have died without his quick response.

Read more here.

Law Enforcement Leadership: Lt. Anthony Wolfe, Peoria (Arizona)

Lt. Anthony Wolfe manages professional standards and technology for the Peoria PD, earning praise for his pragmatic leadership. He champions adoption of useful technology throughout the department and the community, and he has leveraged social media to provide the public with information on warrants, safety programs, drug prevention programs and more.

In the past year, Wolfe has implemented several programs for the benefit of Peoria citizens, including a successful bike registration and anti-theft program. That program has expanded into a partnership with the local school district to serialize and register high-dollar school equipment as well.

Wolfe also enlisted the help of the community in the fight against crime with the Safe-Cam program, in which citizens and businesses register their security camera locations in a secure database. This allows investigators to quickly identify locations where video footage might exist.

These technology efforts were implemented on top of his main professional standards duties overseeing Internal Affairs and Inspections and Audits, where he introduced a leadership training partnership with FBI-LEEDA. Wolfe’s dedication to the training and education of his fellow officers helps create a more effective police force and a safer community.

Community Impact: Officer Tommy Griffiths Sr., Boston Police Department

Officer Tommy Griffiths Sr., Boston PD, volunteered over 500 hours in 2008 to help build a teen center in Franklin Field, one of Boston’s toughest housing developments. In 2015, a sewage backup ruined all of the equipment, the computer lab and the furniture, and the center was shut down. Griffiths, a former chief of construction for the city, once again stepped in to champion the project, organizing an army of volunteers to renovate and restore the center – despite having no funding whatsoever – and the center reopened on July 15.

Read more here.

Agency of the Year: Chippewa Falls Police Department (Wisconsin)

The Chippewa Falls PD has grown its social media and community policing outreach exponentially, even without a full-time PIO. Through its Facebook page, CFPD posts safety tips, traffic and weather concerns. Its most popular program, #WANTEDWEDNESDAY, consists of photos and information about persons wanted for local warrants. It boasts about a 90 percent success rate and has even resulted in wanted persons turning themselves in.

Social media is also a powerful tool to highlight the good work police officers are doing every day. For Chippewa Falls, broadcasting acts of kindness by their officers serves a dual purpose — it’s a way to build trust in the community and boost morale in the department.

Read more here.

Well-deserved recognition

Each RISE winner receives a $5,000 Axon Technology grant, an all-expenses-paid trip to the 2016 IACP conference in San Diego with VIP access to all TASER events and a one-year subscription to Police1 Academy, our certified online training system.

The hardest part of this process was choosing just four “most deserving” officers and agencies. Each nominee deserves recognition and praise for their service and dedication. On behalf of TASER | Axon and Police1, we thank everyone who submitted nominations, and all of the men and women in blue who put their lives on the line without the expectation of being thanked or recognized.

About the author

Rachel Zoch is a writer and editor for PoliceOne’s BrandFocus division. Previously, she worked the copy desk of a local daily newspaper and served as managing editor of a trade magazine for the multifamily housing industry.

Contact Rachel Zoch