Last month the Lakewood Police Department held its annual awards ceremony to recognize its personnel for the many accomplishments and achievements received in 2017.
Recognition ranged from the commissioning of the department’s newest officers, to the distribution of awards to those who went above and beyond what is expected of them in their roles as public safety officers.
- Officer Brian Luttrell
- Officer Cody White
- Officer Joseph Wellman
- Court Compliance Officer Derek Sloan
Core Values Award
Exemplary representation of department core values:
Recipient: Sergeant Jeff Carroll
Over the past several years Sgt. Carroll has attended numerous Line of Duty funerals across the nation representing the Lakewood Police Department. If Sgt. Carroll is unable to attend he will try and organize for another officer to represent our Department. His dedication to honor those fallen officers is out of his own personal expense and often on his own time. While representing our department Sgt. Carroll embodies the definition of our core values, notably Dedication and Respect.
Police Chief’s Citation
Awarded at the discretion of the Chief to employees who contribute significantly to police-community relations or aid in the prevention of crime and/or providing safety to the community.
Recipient: Code Enforcement Officer Sandy Stauffer
CEO Stauffer has made some significant improvements within the city, including helping reduce crime and drug activity through code enforcement action. She was instrumental in the Dangerous Building Abatement process of two properties that regularly required police response: A single-family home on Francis Folsom Drive, which was an eyesore and harbored criminal activity, and the Golden Lion Motel on Pacific Highway. She kept up the enforcement actions on these properties, even issuing almost $100,000 in fines, resulting in both locations ultimately being torn down.
Police Chief’s Commendation
To be awarded for highly professional conduct or performance.
Officer Eric Bell:
In October 2017, Officer Bell conducted a burglary investigation, finding evidence that led him to believe a known person was the suspect. Officer Bell followed up weeks later locating the suspect and obtaining a confession. In this instance the department’s Proac unit was able to arrest the suspect for the theft of $15,976, for the burglary of two locations and for three other burglaries.
Officer Bell’s assistance was the second time in October where he interviewed the suspects and obtained confessions prior to Proac’s interview. Officer Bell consistently puts extra effort into cases in his patrol district to identify and arrest property crime suspects. He knows residents well and is a great at working with his contacts.
Officer John Babcock:
Officer Babcock recognized inefficiency in processing DUI arrests, noting that taking suspects to the hospital for blood draws was time consuming and burdensome for both the arresting officer and hospital staff.
Rather than just accept the process as the way things are done, he looked for a solution and proposed the certification of officers as phlebotomists. Lakewood has since become the first agency in the state to have officers draw blood and other agencies are quickly following suit.
For his initiative and willingness to problem solve, Officer Babcock is awarded the Police Chief’s Commendation.
Investigator Austin Lee:
Investigator Lee took it upon himself to work on setting up an Unmanned Aerial Vehicle (drone) program for the department. Investigator Lee researched the requirements for the program, including what was necessary to be in compliance with all federal and state aviation regulations, equipment and required training to make the program viable.
With a considerable amount of personal time invested to accomplish this task, Investigator Lee made it possible for LPD to be the first department in the state to be granted a full jurisdictional COA by the Federal Aviation Administration. As the Department UAS Pilot Coordinator, Investigator Lee developed and taught the department’s first UAS Pilot course, including classroom and hands-on training.
Due to his accomplishments in this area, Investigator Lee is also a resource to other agencies around the state, offering his expertise in developing their programs. In addition, Investigator Lee and the LPD UAS team assisted during multi-agency incidents including an Amtrak train derailment and an officer-involved shooting incident at another local agency.
Investigator Lee did much of this work on his personal time. His dedication to this program for the benefit of LPD brought us positive regional recognition and is an ongoing benefit to the city, the department and other local agencies.
Detective Ryan Larson:
Detective Larson received a tip that came in via the Drug Tip Line for an address within 1,000 feet of Clover Park High School. He soon learned this was a location where students purchased marijuana.
Through various investigative means, i.e. surveillance, controlled buys, proactive vehicle stops, Detective Larson was able to develop probable cause and authored a search warrant. Special Operations served the warrant and arrested both brother suspects. During the search a handgun, two rifles (one a SKS), 10 pounds of marijuana and several stolen Clover Park tablets were found.
From the beginning Detective Larson took ownership of this case and knew the importance due to the proximity to the school, supplying students, and the weapons within the house. He completed an effective and thorough investigation resulting in the betterment of our community.
Detectives Les Bunton, Bryan Johnson and Detective Todd Jordan, Sergeants Mark Eakes, Rich Hall and Scott Novasky and Officers David Butts, Andy Hall, Ken Henson, Austin Lee, Jim Lofland, Brian Luttrull, Mike McGettigan, Shawn Noble, Ralph Rocco, Jeremy Vahle, and Joseph Wellman:
On the morning of Dec. 18, 2017, Amtrak train 501 was on its inaugural run from Seattle to Portland when it derailed as it crossed the overpass to Interstate 5 just south of DuPont. Parts of the passenger train, with close to 100 people on board, ended up on the freeway, down the embankment and one car was left dangling from the overpass. In addition, several vehicles on the freeway were hit.
Numerous Lakewood Officers responded and assisted with life safety operations. Ultimately, more than 70 injured passengers were transported to hospitals for medical treatment and three passengers lost their lives in the crash.
Without hesitation or direction, these officers searched for victims, assisted passengers in exiting the heavily damaged train, assisted fire personnel in carrying injured patients from the train to ambulances, set up an incident command structure, began working on passenger accountability and assisted with other critical tasks in the initial response to this incident.
The bravery, dedication, quick-thinking, and initiative of these officers reflects highly on themselves and the department.
Life Saving Award
To be awarded for an act that attempts to and/or results in saving the life of another.
Recipients: Sergeant Mark Eakes and Officer Joseph Kolp
In June 2017, Sgt. Eakes and Officer Kolp responded an agency assist with State Patrol for a serious accident on Interstate 5. A truck struck the center barrier and took out two light poles before coming to a stop. Upon arrival and inspection of the truck the driver appeared to be in cardiac arrest. With help from citizens
Officer Kolp and Sgt. Eakes removed the driver through the window of his truck and began CPR. They continued until fire units arrived. The driver survived the heart attack and collision with the actions of Sgt. Eakes and Officer Kolp.
Medal of Distinguished Service
Awarded for an act that involves significant risk to the life of the employee.
Recipient: Officer Robert Taylor
In March 2017, Officer Kolp and Officer Taylor responded to an armed suicidal male. Upon arrival they were contacted by man’s wife. She instantly became extremely agitated and ran out of view from both officers in to a dark kitchen.
Officer Kolp and Officer Taylor followed her into the kitchen. The woman grabbed a large knife and turned toward the officers. This happened in a split-second.
Officer Taylor saw her grab the knife and was so close to her, his only option was to grab her and force her into a nearby counter. The knife fell to the floor and landed directly at Officer Kolp’s feet. This could have been a deadly confrontation had Officer Taylor not reacted so quickly. His rapid response under pressure mitigated the potential incident and allowed the officers to focus on the suicidal male.
Per Officer Kolp: “I did not see the knife as the event happened so quickly. I believe Officer Taylor’s actions saved me from being stabbed by a large kitchen knife.”
Medal of Valor
Awarded for an act that involves extreme risk to the life of the employee.
Recipient: Officer Brent Prante
While on his way to work Officer Prante came across a domestic violence incident and likely prevented a murder. The following is his narrative from the report:
“On 9/3/2017 at 1940 hours, I was E/B on Key Peninsula Hwy at 118TH Ave. I was on my way to work in my fully marked patrol vehicle.
I observed a W/F and young boy walking W/B on the north side of the roadway. The boy appeared to be around eight years old. I observed a vehicle W/B on Key Peninsula Hwy. The vehicle swerved to the north shoulder of the roadway and a white male jumped out of the driver’s seat. The female and boy turned around and started running eastbound on the north side of the roadway. The male was chasing the female and boy. The window on my patrol car was down and I could hear the female screaming. The boy ran out onto Key Peninsula Hwy and was almost hit by a passing vehicle.
I activated my rear emergency lights and turned into a parking lot on the north side of Key Peninsula Hwy. I could see the male on top of the female in a small field on the north side of Key Peninsula Hwy. I could hear the female screaming. I advised dispatch of my location and that I needed backup.
I exited my vehicle and ran approximately 15 yards to their location. The female was on her back and the male was on top of her holding her down. The male appeared to be hitting the female in the face. The boy was behind the male and appeared to be punching him.
As I came up on the male I told the boy to move back. As the boy moved back I could see a large knife in the male’s right hand. The male was attempting to stab the female in the face with the knife. The knife was pointed downward towards her face. The male was pushing the knife downward and the female was pushing his arm upward. The knife was approximately one inch from the females face. I could see blood on the females face and shirt.
I removed my duty weapon from my holster and grabbed his right wrist with my left hand. I pulled up on his right wrist, identified myself and told him to drop the knife which he immediately did. I pulled him off of the female and holstered my duty weapon. The male was face down on the ground. I placed my right knee on his back near his head. I took control of his right arm and told him to place his left arm behind his back. I placed him into hand restraints without incident. The male was crying and said “you should have shot me.”
I advised dispatch that I needed medical aid priority for a stabbing victim. I also advised them that I had one in custody.
I asked the female where she was stabbed. She said that she was stabbed in the face. I had the female sit on the ground and advised her that medical aid was on their way.”