Silverthorne police sergeant recognized |

Silverthorne police sergeant recognized

Summit Daily/Reid WilliamsThe Summit-Lake Dillon Optimist Club honored Silverthorne Police Sgt. Mark Hanschmidt Wednesday as law enforcement officer of the year, presenting him with the Jason Manspeaker Memorial Award. In addition to administrative and law enforcement duties, Hanschmidt helps organize the department's Safe Summer Kick-Off and holiday toy drives.

FRISCO – Weaving through the tables at Frisco’s Holiday Inn, Silverthorne Sgt. Mark Hanschmidt accepted his outstanding law enforcement officer award to a standing ovation from his peers, his wife and a scattering of fifth-grade students and teachers.”This is very, very nice,” Hanschmidt said on Wednesday. “We’ve got a lot of quality law enforcement officers in Summit County so you should be proud of all of them.”Hanschmidt is the recipient of the Jason Manspeaker Memorial Optimist International Law Enforcement Award, which recognizes peace officers who excel in community service and work toward youth programs.Hanschmidt plays a leading role in Silverthorne’s holiday time Adopt-an-Angel program and organizes the department’s successful Safe Summer Kickoff community safety event.”I just want to say there couldn’t be anyone more deserving of this honor. (Mark) has worked on his program for a long time and never asked for any recognition. He does it from the heart,” said former Summit County Sheriff and former Optimist Club president Joe Morales, who presented Hanschmidt with his award.Hanschmidt was also commended for being the first responder to the scene of a 5-month-old baby boy who wasn’t breathing in January, taking over CPR from the child’s grandfather and continuing resuscitation efforts throughout an ambulance ride to the medical center.

The baby did not survive and despite his grief, Hanschmidt consoled the family and organized and worked the police escort for the baby’s funeral, Silverthorne Chief Kent Donahue wrote in Hanschmidt’s nomination letter.He also worked diligently with Summit County Ambulance to secure Automatic Electronic Defibrillators in each patrol car and Silverthorne Town Hall.Hanschmidt has been with the Silverthorne Police Department for seven years.Other nominees included Frisco police officer Lance Fitzgerald, Breckenridge police officer Dave Miller, Dillon police officer Mark Kelley, sheriff’s deputy Jeff Gould and state patrol trooper L.R. Smith.The club has been handing out the law enforcement award for nine years. Its name was changed four years ago to honor Colorado State Patrol Trooper Jason Manspeaker, who was killed in the line of duty in a car accident at the Eisenhower Tunnel in 2001. Also recognized was Summit High Senior Adam Nance as the Summit County Sheriff Office’s explorer program’s outstanding police cadet.The program gives teens an opportunity to learn the basic skills of law enforcement at monthly meetings and ride-alongs.

Nance will graduate this summer and head off to the Marine Corps in August.The club’s early morning breakfast was also a time to give a pat on the back to Summit County’s outstanding fifth-graders. A boy and girl from each elementary school was recognized for academics, extracurricular activities, school spirit and attitude.Nicole Formosa can be reached at (970) 668-3998, ext.229, or at nformosa@summitdaily.comThe Optimist Club also recognized 14 outstanding fifth graders Wednesday morning based on academics, school spirit, extracurricular activities and attitude.The winners are:

Breckenridge Elementary: Tyler Hendricks and Emily Birch-JonesSilverthorne Elementary: Tayla Reller and Drew PetersenUpper Blue Elementary: Mark Nowakiwsky and Casey FarrellSummit Cove Elementary: Ruby Hornback and Jacob HartleyDillon Valley Elementary: Aaron Fatora and Ana CastanzoFrisco Elementary: Samantha Latta and Holden WeinsSummit County Christian School: John Edelmon and Brianna Zvorak

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