DENVER — Colorado Attorney General John Suthers announced today that Sgt. Stephen R. White of the Lakewood Police Department has been awarded the Colorado Attorney General’s Excellence in Law Enforcement Award.
“Sgt. White has distinguished himself throughout his career as one of Colorado’s finest law enforcement officers,” Suthers said. “Throughout his 36-year career with the Lakewood Police Department, Sgt. White has displayed his devotion to public service and public safety in a variety of roles. His service is deserving commendation and reflects the very best of Colorado’s law enforcement officers.”
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.
White has served the Lakewood Police Department as a sergeant since 1981. In that role he has worked in the agency’s Internal Affairs Unit, the Crimes Against Persons Unit, the supervisor of the department’s K9 Team and, now, as part of the Patrol Division, where he works the graveyard shift and mentors young officers. White joined the Lakewood Police Department in 1974 following his graduation from Pennsylvania State University. He served the agency on the Patrol Division and, later, as part of the Lakewood Police Department’s Special Weapons and Training team.
“I have had the pleasure of working with Sgt. White for nearly thirty-years. He is a man of conviction, tenacity and courage,” Lakewood Police Chief Kevin Paletta said. “One of the hallmarks to Sgt. White’s career has been his willingness to take on difficult and often-times undesirable assignments and make them better. Lakewood will be forever grateful to Sgt. White for his many contributions and examples of leadership.”
In nominating White, Paletta highlighted White’s leadership in a series of incidents, including stopping a robbery in progress in 1978 by convincing the two suspects to surrender without harming anyone. Paletta also pointed to his leadership since 1984 as the department’s lead firearms instructor. In that role, he said, White was instrumental in bringing a state-of-the-art regional firearms training facility to Jefferson County, the Rooney Valley Firearms Training Center.
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. The attorney general selected the winner from the finalists.