The Colorado Attorney General’s Excellence in Law Enforcement Award

Attorney General Cynthia H. Coffman Presents 2016

Excellence in Law Enforcement Awards

Honorees include the Captain Kevin Duffy (Douglas County Sheriff’s Office), the Breckenridge Police Department, Criminalist Amanda Cordova (Golden Police Department), and Detective Michael Prill (Greeley Police Department)

DENVER – Colorado Attorney General Cynthia H. Coffman today announced the honorees for the 2016 Attorney General’s Excellence in Law Enforcement Awards. For the past seven years, Colorado’s Attorney General has honored one peace officer annually with the Attorney General’s Excellence in Law Enforcement Award. This is the first year awards were given in three additional categories: Law Enforcement Agency of Excellence, Crucial Support in Law Enforcement, and Excellence in Criminal Investigation. Attorney General Coffman presented the awards to the honorees in their home communities during the month of December.

“It is an honor to present these dedicated public servants with awards for their numerous contributions to their communities,” said Attorney General Cynthia H. Coffman. “Colorado is a safer and better place because of the work that they do, and I am grateful to all those in law enforcement who serve the people of our State.”

Excellence in Law Enforcement Award

Since 2009, the Excellence in Law Enforcement Award has been presented annually to a peace officer who has exhibited extraordinary efforts of valor, crime prevention, investigative work, community outreach, and other law enforcement functions. This year’s honoree is Captain Kevin Duffy from the Douglas County Sheriff’s Office (DCSO). Captain Duffy has served in his community for over 28 years, in the Patrol, Investigations and Detention divisions.

He currently is Commander of the Detention Division, which is DCSO’s largest uniformed division. In this role, Captain Duffy supports detention programs that help prepare inmates for release, including working on anger management, drug and alcohol abuse treatment, learning parenting skills, receiving mental health treatment and earning their GEDs.

Captain Duffy has dedicated much of his life and career to serving youth and families. He has used his position as a trusted law enforcement officer to be a positive influence and make a difference in the lives of countless young people in the 18th Judicial District and beyond. Captain Duffy’s many contributions include:

·       Becoming one of the first School Resource Officers in Douglas County and volunteering as a football coach at Douglas County High School to help mentor students.

·       Founding the non-profit Juvenile Assessment Center for the 18th Judicial District (He currently chairs the JAC Executive Board).

·       Serving on the Drug Abuse and Resistance Education Board, and on the Youth Education and Safety in Schools Board.

·       Starting the Juvenile SHODI, (Serious Habitual Offender Direct Intervention) program in Douglas County.

·       Serving on the Teen Suicide Education and Prevention Committee and forming the Douglas County Coalition for Suicide Prevention and Education.

·       Helping lead the DCSO Child Abduction Response Team as the Team Commander.

·       Being involved in the Youth Leadership Douglas County Program.

·       Serving on the Development Committee for the Family Resource Center

·       Chairing the Douglas County Placement Alternative Commission.

“Captain Kevin Duffy has worked tirelessly to help ensure that every child in his community has a chance to lead a happy and successful life,” observed Attorney General Coffman.

Law Enforcement Agency of Excellence Award

The Breckenridge Police Department is the first agency to be honored with the Attorney General’s Law Enforcement Agency of Excellence Award, which recognizes a law enforcement agency that has exhibited excellence, innovation and leadership in its approach to crime prevention, investigative work, community outreach and training.

The Breckenridge Police Department was selected due to their outstanding proactive approach to community outreach, policing and citizen engagement.

The men and women who serve in the Department regularly engage in efforts to develop strong, positive relationships with members of their community. With a small staff of 23 authorized sworn officers, 5 Community Service Officers and 4 civilian professional staff members, the Breckenridge PD has implemented and participated in a variety of both traditional and innovative community outreach programs during 2016 including:

·       Developing a new Downtown Unit to work with the local business community. The downtown officers also address the needs of the transient and homeless populations by identifying local services and making referrals to address individual’s needs.

·       Creating a “Foods for Fines" program where, during defined periods of time, those who receive parking citations are provided an opportunity to reduce their fine by donating food items, and/or cash, to the Family and Intercultural Resource Center (FIRC).

·       Implementing the friendly-community traffic initiative to reduce traffic accidents and incidents by generating voluntary compliance with laws and ordinances. The effort has increased the Department’s social media presence and provided a way to communicate important community safety information and crime-prevention tips, and to engage the community in solving crimes.

·       Maintaining representation on key local mental health teams and organizations including the Suicide Prevention Committee of the Healthy Futures Initiative, the Behavioral Health Committee Response Team, and the National Alliance of Mental Illness (NAMI).

·       Focusing on youth in the community by participating in Safe2Tell, DARE programs, pre-school safety programs, and marijuana education for schools, students, parents, businesses.

“The Breckenridge Police Department is to be commended for its intentional efforts to serve residents and visitors alike,” said Attorney General Coffman. “I expect the community will experience long-term benefits from law enforcement’s positive contributions.”

Crucial Support in Law Enforcement Award

Criminalist Amanda Cordova from the Golden Police Department was honored with the inaugural Attorney General’s Crucial Support in Law Enforcement Award. This honor is bestowed on a law enforcement agency employee who has exhibited excellence in his or her role as support staff to peace officers and the agency as a whole.

Criminalist Cordova has served the Golden Police Department with distinction since 2001. Her duties include major crime scene investigation, fingerprint work, photography, testing of evidence, maintaining the evidence vault, and providing advanced technical support to patrol officers, investigators and victims of crime.

Cordova began her law enforcement career as a police cadet assigned to the administrative sergeant. Soon she took on primary responsibility for ensuring that the Golden Police Department Evidence Vault met CALEA Certification standards and was able to reduce the property and evidence inventory by painstakingly evaluating each case and designating the items for release or disposal. Criminalist Cordova also has been very active in training law enforcement officers in basic crime scene investigation skills, has participated in National Night out for 14 years, conducts career presentations for high school and elementary school students, and has participated in the local annual drug take back program. 

Criminalist Cordova has processed many major criminal events and has built a strong reputation both internally and externally as a highly skilled and professional technical Criminalist. Cordova has been associated with many major case investigations including:

·       A homicide in which over 600 pieces of evidence recovered during 5 days on the crime scent.  

·       A serial rapist case involving many cities in Colorado and other states.

·       A homicide that took place in Golden after a kidnapping in Denver where she worked collaboratively with the Denver Police Crime Lab.

·       A home invasion and attempted homicide case in which she processed a crime scene involving multiple suspects. This case included walking miles of highway searching for discarded evidence.

“Amanda Cordova is dedicated to her craft as a criminalist and is constantly learning and striving to improve her skills. She represents her department and profession in the most positive of lights,” Attorney General Coffman said.

Excellence in Criminal Investigation Award

Greeley Police Detective Michael Prill was selected for the first Attorney General’s Excellence in Criminal Investigation Award which is given to a criminal investigator who has demonstrated diligence, tenacity, and creative investigative techniques in solving complex criminal cases.

Detective Mike Prill joined the Greeley Police Department in 1996 and became a detective with the department’s gang unit two years later. He is the gang intelligence officer for the Department and is responsible for investigating all gang related crime in the City of Greeley. Due to his training and experience, Detective Prill is regularly asked to assist with investigating serious gang crime in Weld County, in addition to his Greeley Police Department responsibilities. Over his career as a detective, Prill has been assigned to and investigated over 1,000 crimes involving gangs or gang members. 

Some of Detective Prill’s accomplishments include:

·       Successfully investigating and assisting in prosecuting and convicting perpetrators in twenty-one murder cases.

·       Testifying as an expert in approximately 50 different gang cases, ranging from rioting to first degree murder. Detective Prill has been a qualified as a gang expert witness in the 19th Judicial District since 2002.

·       Conducting over 500 educational presentations on gangs to a variety of organizations including local school districts, regional law enforcement agencies, probation and parole departments, social service organizations, bar associations, and district attorney’s offices.

·       Leading an extensive Colorado Organized Crime Control Act investigation into a large portion of the Northside gang based in Greeley. A majority of the COCCA investigation concluded in August, 2016 with the conviction of John Silva, the leader of this gang criminal enterprise. Silva was sentenced to life plus 130 years.

“Detective Prill is a dedicated public servant and has spent his career ensuring that gang members are prevented from victimizing and terrorizing the citizens in his community,” Attorney General Coffman observed. 

Previous Recipients

2015- Sergeant Daniel Steele

2014 - A.J. Deandrea, Arvada Police Sergeant

2013 - Chief Phil West, Boulder County Sheriff's Office

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