Optimists name sheriff’s deputy Officer of the Year
FRISCO – Sheriff Deputy Jeff Gould’s devotion to local youth earned him the Summit-Lake Dillon Optimists’ annual law enforcement award Wednesday morning.Gould accepted the Jason Manspeaker Memorial Optimist International Law Enforcement Award from former Summit County Sheriff Joe Morales, who is now the executive director for the Colorado Department of Public Safety.”I work graves so I’ve been up all night,” Gould said to the crowd of fellow police officers and Optimist members as he accepted his award at the 7:30 a.m. breakfast. Gould went on to thank the Optimist Club for recognizing him, “director Morales for having the foresight to hire me, Sheriff Minor for letting me stay working for him and making it so easy to do a good job for him.”
Gould was selected out of four nominees – Breckenridge Detective George Hughes, Frisco Sgt. Tina White and Dillon Sgt. Wendy Kipple – for his two years of work with the Summit County Explorer Program. There are 14 young men and women in the program, which is designed to give high school-aged youth interested in public safety a glimpse into the profession.Gould meets with the group for two hours every two weeks, and trains them on the many aspects of law enforcement. The teens are eligible to go on five ride-a-longs a month, which can be done with any sheriff’s department, including animal control, patrol and the jail.Sheriff John Minor nominated Gould for the award.
“He is totally dedicated to his Explorer Troop members who in turn consider him a friend and mentor,” Minor wrote in his nomination letter. “This has resulted in two high school graduates; one is presently serving as a military police officer, United States Marine Corp, and a female who now aspires to return to Summit County as a law enforcement officer.”Morales told the crowd that local law enforcement and local firefighters are the “bread and butter” when it comes to protection, and that any recognition for those in public safety is a good thing, particularly when it’s for interacting with Summit County youth.The local Optimist Club, whose motto is “friend of youth,” has been recognizing local law enforcement for nine years for distinguished and dedicated service to advance the respect for the law. The award was renamed four years ago after Colorado State Patrol trooper Jason Manspeaker, who was killed in an automobile accident while on duty in January 2001.
The Colorado State Patrol will dedicated a memorial in Manspeaker’s name at its new building near County Commons on June 10.Also recognized at the breakfast was Summit High School junior Dan Loewy, who won the outstanding intern award. Loewy recently completed a 60-hour internship with local photographer Bob Bloch.
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