Law Enforcement Champions Announced by CDOT and MADD

News Release

June 2, 2022 - Central/Eastern Colorado - State Troopers, Denver Police, DA’s Win Awards

[Additional photos from the ceremony available upon request from Sam Cole]

Denver: At a ceremony yesterday the Colorado Department of Transportation and Mothers Against Drunk Driving announced the winners of the 2022 Law Enforcement Champion awards. These awards focus on efforts to reduce impaired driving, increase the use of seat belts and reduce speeding.

The Law Enforcement Champion award winners are:

  • Col. Mark V. Trostel Law Enforcement Officer of The Year Award -- Officer Aaron Botts, Denver Police Department (Denver)
  • Dr. Robert E. Weltzer Outstanding Dedication to Traffic Safety -- Jennifer Knudsen and Nicole Walpole, Colorado District Attorneys' Council (Denver)
  • Drug Recognition Expert Instructor of The Year -- Sergeant Alan Ma, Denver Police Department (Denver)
  • MADD Hero Award -- Law Enforcement -- Trooper Jason Buhr, Colorado State Patrol (Commerce City)
  • MADD Hero Award -- Prosecutor -- Deputy District Attorney Ashley Beck, Denver District Attorney's Office (Denver)
  • Outstanding Dedication to Probation -- Probation Officer Matt Luna, State of Colorado Probation (Brighton)
  • Outstanding Individual Dedication to Impaired Driving Enforcement: Rural/Colorado State Patrol -- Trooper Marty Plakorus, Colorado State Patrol (Fort Morgan)
  • Outstanding Individual Dedication to Occupant Protection: Rural/Colorado State Patrol -- Corporal Ramiro Contreras, Colorado State Patrol (Fort Morgan)
  • Outstanding Prosecutor -- Senior Deputy District Attorney Dan Warhola, 18th Judicial District Attorney's Office (Centennial)
  • Outstanding Victim Advocate -- Victim Witness Lead Jenni Schaffer, 18th Judicial District Attorney's Office (Centennial)
  • Outstanding Team Dedication to Impaired Driving Enforcement: Mountain/Local Law Enforcement -- Grand County Sheriff's Office Patrol Division (Hot Sulphur Springs)
  • Outstanding Team Dedication to Occupant Protection: Front Range/Colorado State Patrol -- Colorado State Patrol Fort Collins Port of Entry (Fort Collins)
  • Outstanding Team Dedication to Occupant Protection: Rural/Colorado State Patrol -- Colorado State Patrol Troop 3B Fort Morgan Team (Fort Morgan) Sgt. David Baldwin Award -- Sergeant Jeremiah Sharp, Colorado State Patrol (Golden)
  • Outstanding Individual Dedication to Occupant Protection: Front Range/Colorado State Patrol -- Trooper Sean Yoshimiya, Colorado State Patrol (Castle Rock)
  • Outstanding Individual Dedication to Impaired Driving Enforcement: Mountain/Local Law Enforcement -- Deputy Andrew Hinman, Summit County Sheriff's Office (Breckenridge)

“We are ever grateful to the brave men and women in law enforcement who keep our roads and communities safe,” said Darrell Lingk, Director of the Highway Safety Office at CDOT. “At CDOT, we take a holistic approach to safety on our transportation system, which includes recognizing the role of public safety officials in keeping impaired drivers off our road, promoting seat belt use and enforcing speed limits.”

A law enforcement champion is an individual that shows outstanding support for impaired driving, traffic safety or occupant protection enforcement. This can be demonstrated by the number of citations written or arrests made during the established enforcement periods throughout the year. It can also be demonstrated by drug recognition expert activity, high visibility enforcement tactics and other related activities.

“So many people will never know the debt that they owe to our law enforcement heroes. Every time they stop a drunk or drugged driver, they potentially save a life,” said MADD Colorado State Executive Director Fran Lanzer. “We’re fortunate to have so many dedicated men and women protecting our communities.”

In addition to the Law Enforcement Champion Awards, MADD also recognized the following 2022 Legislative Champions for their efforts in advancing traffic safety in Colorado: Sen. John Cooke, Sen. Chris Hansen, Rep. Dylan Roberts, Rep. Hugh McKean, and Rep. Shannon Bird.

The awards were presented at an event on June 1 at the Westin Hotel in Westminster. Sponsors of the event included the law firm Bachus & Schanker, Safeway, Brother, AAA Colorado, and the Colorado State Patrol Association.

Law Enforcement Champions group

Law Enforcement Champions group


Approximately one-third of traffic fatalities involve an impaired driver in Colorado. In addition, most traffic fatalities involve an unbuckled driver or passenger. Seat belts save an estimated 225 lives in Colorado each year. An additional 70 lives could have been saved if everyone in Colorado buckled up. The current seat belt use rate is 86%.

CDOT provides funding to Colorado law enforcement for impaired driving and seat belt enforcement campaigns. The Heat Is On campaign runs throughout the year with 15 specific high visibility impaired driving enforcement periods centered on national holidays and large public events. Enforcement periods can include sobriety checkpoints, saturation patrols and additional law enforcement on duty dedicated to impaired driving enforcement. More details about impaired driving enforcement plans, arrest totals and safety tips can be found at HeatIsOnColorado.com.

There are three high visibility seat belt enforcement periods that take place each year in Colorado. The next one begins May 16. For more information about seat belt safety and enforcement citation numbers, visit SeatBeltsColorado.com.

In all, CDOT and MADD recognized 33 award winners from across Colorado this year. These Law Enforcement Champion Awards were presented in Grand Junction on May 4th and Colorado Springs on May 11th:

  • Drug Recognition Expert Instructor of the Year, Rural -- Master Trooper Dave Copeland, Colorado State Patrol (Montrose)
  • Drug Recognition Expert of The Year, Front Range -- Police Sergeant Glenn Thomas, Colorado Springs Police Department (Colorado Springs)
  • Excellence in Leadership Award -- Police Commander John Koch, Colorado Springs Police Department (Colorado Springs)
  • Outstanding Dedication to Investigating Impaired Driving Crashes -- Trooper Jeremy Tice, Colorado State Patrol (Montrose)
  • Outstanding Dedication to Speed Enforcement -- Officer Kegan Mowery, Colorado Springs Police Department (Colorado Springs)
  • Outstanding Individual Dedication to Impaired Driving Enforcement: Front Range/Colorado State Patrol -- Trooper Clint Doren, Colorado State Patrol (Colorado Springs)
  • Outstanding Individual Dedication to Impaired Driving Enforcement: Front Range/Local Law Enforcement -- DUI Enforcement Officer Jessica Bates, Colorado Springs Police Department (Colorado Springs)
  • Outstanding Individual Dedication to Impaired Driving Enforcement: Mountain/Colorado State Patrol -- Corporal Michael Dieckmann, Colorado State Patrol (Florence)
  • Outstanding Individual Dedication to Impaired Driving Enforcement: Western Slope/Colorado State Patrol -- Trooper Ben Carnes, Colorado State Patrol Troop 4A (Fruita)
  • Outstanding Individual Dedication to Impaired Driving Enforcement: Western Slope/Local Law Enforcement -- Officer Colin Harvey, Durango Police Department (Durango)
  • Outstanding Individual Dedication to Occupant Protection: Mountain/Colorado State Patrol -- Trooper Nathan Turner, Colorado State Patrol (Glenwood Springs)
  • Outstanding Individual Dedication to Occupant Protection: Western Slope/Colorado State Patrol -- Trooper Gordon McCaslin, Colorado State Patrol (Montrose)
  • Outstanding Team Dedication to Impaired Driving Enforcement: Front Range/Local Law Enforcement -- Colorado Springs Police DUI Unit (Colorado Springs)
  • Outstanding Team Dedication to Impaired Driving Enforcement: Mountain/Colorado State Patrol -- Colorado State Patrol Troop 4C (Glenwood Springs/Eagle/Frisco/Vail)
  • Outstanding Team Dedication to Impaired Driving Enforcement: Rural/Colorado State Patrol -- Colorado State Patrol Troop 2D Pueblo Wed-Sat Team (Pueblo)
  • Outstanding Team Dedication to Impaired Driving Enforcement: Western Slope/Local Law Enforcement -- Durango Police Department (Durango)
  • Outstanding Team Dedication to Occupant Protection: Western Slope/Colorado State Patrol -- Colorado State Patrol Troop 4A (Fruita)

About Mothers Against Drunk Driving

Founded in 1980 by a mother whose daughter was killed by a drunk driver, Mothers Against Drunk Driving® (MADD) is the nation’s largest nonprofit working to end drunk driving, help fight drugged driving, support the victims of these violent crimes and prevent underage drinking. MADD has helped to save more than 400,000 lives, reduce drunk driving deaths by more than 50 percent and promote designating a non-drinking driver. MADD’s Campaign to Eliminate Drunk Driving® calls for law enforcement support, ignition interlocks for all offenders and advanced vehicle technology. MADD has provided supportive services to nearly one million drunk and drugged driving victims and survivors at no charge through local victim advocates and the 24-Hour Victim Help Line 1-877-MADD-HELP. Visit www.madd.org or call 1-877-ASK-MADD.