WASHINGTON – The Justice Department today announced the recipients of the Fifth Annual Attorney General’s Award for Distinguished Service in Community Policing. This year’s awards recognize the exceptional work of 18 law enforcement officers and deputies from 12 jurisdictions across the country.
Attorney General Merrick B. Garland announced the award recipients in Atlanta. Later, he attended a ceremony for three award recipients from the DeKalb County Police Department.
“The work of law enforcement has always been difficult — but perhaps no more so than in the recent past, as officers have faced a host of significant challenges. The officers and deputies receiving this year’s awards demonstrate how so many go above and beyond, even in the midst of trying circumstances,” said Attorney General Garland. “Every day, thousands of people who work in law enforcement forge and maintain strong community ties that are essential for ensuring public safety. The recipients of this award represent quintessential examples of such critical efforts. It is an honor to recognize them.”
The Attorney General’s Award recognizes individual state, local, Tribal, and territorial police officers, deputies, and troopers for exceptional efforts in community policing. The awarded officers and deputies have demonstrated active engagement with the community in one of three areas: innovations in community policing, criminal investigations, or field operations. This year, the Department received 185 nominations from 145 agencies, recognizing a total of 347 individual officers, deputies, and troopers. There were 39 states represented in the nomination pool, covering state, local, campus, sheriff, and other agency types.
The work being honored this year reflects numerous examples of law enforcement officers working closely with the community to build trust, solve problems, reduce crime, and improve public safety.
The Department of Justice works closely with national law enforcement stakeholder groups during the award review period, taking advantage of their expertise and experience to determine the recipients in a competitive nomination process. The Department also works closely with its components, utilizing the breadth of knowledge within the Department to ensure a successful program that honors the exceptional service of our nation’s law enforcement officers and deputies.
Attorney General Awards for Distinguished Service in Community Policing 2021
INNOVATIONS IN COMMUNITY POLICING
Officer Danielle St. Peter, Barnstable (MA) Police Department
Officer Danielle St. Peter’s commitment to the Barnstable Police Community Impact Unit (CIU) has dramatically benefited local residents. The CIU works with partner agencies to bring medical care, substance abuse treatment, mental health counseling, and housing services to homeless and disadvantaged populations. St. Peter routinely assumes the role of case manager, counselor, and problem solver by using an individualized approach to de-escalate tense situations and connect people with services tailored to their needs.
In the fall of 2020, the CIU received information about a mother with mental illness living with her baby in a homeless camp. Officer St. Peter forged a relationship with the young mother, building trust with her over a period of time, and addressing her fear of criminal enforcement. She connected her with the appropriate services and eventually was able to move the mother and child into more suitable housing, watching as their quality of life improved dramatically.
Recently, Officer St. Peter skillfully managed a tense situation, as police officers tried to persuade a mentally ill woman who was living in her car to leave her vehicle for a psychiatric committal. Using compassion and skills honed over time, St. Peter provided comfort to the scared woman and de-escalated the situation. She ultimately oversaw her transfer to a care facility and reconnected with her after treatment, helping her to secure temporary housing and get the mental health treatment she needed. Because of St. Peter’s compassion, care, and philosophy of community policing, the woman remains stabilized and they communicate regularly. St. Peter’s upbeat attitude, conflict resolution skills, patience, and work ethic are part of her extreme effectiveness and a true demonstration of community policing.
Complete information on the Fifth Annual Attorney General’s Award for Distinguished Service in Community Policing can be found at https://www.justice.gov/ag/policing-award<https://lnks.gd/l/eyJhbGciOiJIUzI1NiJ9.eyJidWxsZXRpbl9saW5rX2lkIjoxMDEsInVyaSI6ImJwMjpjbGljayIsImJ1bGxldGluX2lkIjoiMjAyMjAzMTcuNTUwNzk3OTEiLCJ1cmwiOiJodHRwczovL3d3dy5qdXN0aWNlLmdvdi9hZy9wb2xpY2luZy1hd2FyZCJ9.1tpRdZdXj0HLokmnTuRtdFm7I_BaNkTXsF8iRFjUcEw/s/1117193671/br/128288830673-l>.