Law Enforcement Champions Announced by CDOT and MADD

On September 29th, the Colorado Department of Transportation and Mothers Against Drunk Driving announced the winners of the 2021 Law Enforcement Champion Awards for Colorado. These awards focus on efforts to reduce impaired driving, increase the use of seat belts and reduce speeding in the state.

A law enforcement champion is an individual with outstanding contributions in the prevention and enforcement of impaired driving, traffic safety, or occupant protection. This can be demonstrated by efforts such as DUI patrols or safety belt campaigns during the established enforcement periods throughout the year. It can also be demonstrated by advanced training, drug recognition expert activity, high visibility enforcement tactics, community engagement, prevention programs, and other related activities.

We are grateful to the brave men and women in law enforcement who keep our roads and communities safe, even during ever-changing circumstances like a global pandemic,” said Darrell Lingk, director of the Highway Safety Office at CDOT. “At CDOT, we are committed to recognizing the important services provided by public safety officials, as well as our own responsibility to do whatever we can to keep them safe on the job.”

Unfortunately, this is a challenging time on Colorado roads. Through August 31, fatalities from suspected drunk and drugged driving are up 14% over 2020 and 33% over 2019 according to CDOT Fatal Crash Data. In addition to recognizing the achievements of award winners, MADD and CDOT sought to highlight the importance of DUI enforcement and encourage Colorado drivers to do their part by always planning ahead for a safe ride home.  

The awards dinner also featured victim/survivors Howard and Polli Small. Their son, Ethan Small, was killed by a drunk and drug-impaired driver in Denver on January 19, 2019. 

CDOT Awards

“We know firsthand that driving under the influence can end in tragedy,” said Howard and Polli Small. “Our son Ethan died a violent death, and our lives changed forever—all because of one person’s choice to drive impaired. We are grateful for these law enforcement heroes because their hard work saves lives and prevents others from going through what we’ve experienced.”

 “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.” 

The Law Enforcement Champion award winners are:

· COL. MARK V. TROSTEL LAW ENFORCEMENT OFFICER OF THE YEAR: Police Officer Craig Calkins, Colorado Springs Police Department

· SGT. DAVID BALDWIN AWARD: Police Officer James Carson, Colorado Springs Police Department

· DR. ROBERT E. WELTZER OUTSTANDING DEDICATION TO TRAFFIC SAFETY: Owners Kim and Jay Hobscheidt, Dan's Towing

· DRUG RECOGNITION EXPERT INSTRUCTOR OF THE YEAR: Sergeant Carrie Jackson, Colorado State Patrol Troop 4C

· DRUG RECOGNITION EXPERT OF THE YEAR, FRONT RANGE: Police Sergeant Glenn Thomas Sr., Colorado Springs Police Department

· DRUG RECOGNITION EXPERT OF THE YEAR, RURAL: Officer Kelli Litzau, Rifle Police Department

· EXCELLENCE IN LEADERSHIP: Chief Vincent Niski, Colorado Springs Police Department

· MADD HERO: Officer Andrew Duarte, Denver Police Department

· OUTSTANDING PROSECUTOR: Traffic Safety Resource Prosecutor Jennifer Knudsen, Colorado District Attorneys' Council

· OUTSTANDING VICTIM ADVOCATE: Victim Advocate Lori Brown, Colorado State Patrol District 1 East

· OUTSTANDING DEDICATION TO SPEED ENFORCEMENT: Officer Chad Stoneking, Castle Rock Police Department

· OUTSTANDING INDIVIDUAL DEDICATION TO IMPAIRED DRIVING ENFORCEMENT: Front Range / Colorado State Patrol: Trooper David Thurston, Colorado State Patrol Troop 2B

· OUTSTANDING INDIVIDUAL DEDICATION TO IMPAIRED DRIVING ENFORCEMENT: Front Range / Local Law Enforcement: Sergeant Antolina Hill, Loveland Police Department

· OUTSTANDING INDIVIDUAL DEDICATION TO IMPAIRED DRIVING ENFORCEMENT: Mountain / Colorado State Patrol: Trooper Mitchell Gillard, Colorado State Patrol Troop 4B

· OUTSTANDING INDIVIDUAL DEDICATION TO IMPAIRED DRIVING ENFORCEMENT: Mountain / Local Law Enforcement: Deputy / FTO Danny Gogolen, Summit County Sheriff's Office

· OUTSTANDING INDIVIDUAL DEDICATION TO IMPAIRED DRIVING ENFORCEMENT: Rural / Colorado State Patrol: Trooper Daniel Alderton, Colorado State Patrol Troop 5B

· OUTSTANDING INDIVIDUAL DEDICATION TO IMPAIRED DRIVING ENFORCEMENT: Rural / Local Law Enforcement: Police Officer Garrett Hackett, Fort Lupton Police Department

· OUTSTANDING INDIVIDUAL DEDICATION TO IMPAIRED DRIVING ENFORCEMENT: Western Slope / Colorado State Patrol: Trooper Andrew Bogue, Colorado State Patrol Troop 4B

· OUTSTANDING INDIVIDUAL DEDICATION TO IMPAIRED DRIVING ENFORCEMENT: Western Slope / Local Law Enforcement: Officer Chris Winchester, Durango Police Department

· OUTSTANDING INDIVIDUAL DEDICATION TO INVESTIGATING IMPAIRED DRIVING CRASHES: Detective Roni Roberson, Denver Police Department

· OUTSTANDING INDIVIDUAL DEDICATION TO OCCUPANT PROTECTION: Front Range / Colorado State Patrol: Trooper Bryan Larreau, Colorado State Patrol Troop 1A

· OUTSTANDING INDIVIDUAL DEDICATION TO OCCUPANT PROTECTION: Front Range / Local Law Enforcement: Officer Kerry Lewis, Castle Rock Police Department

· OUTSTANDING INDIVIDUAL DEDICATION TO OCCUPANT PROTECTION: Mountain / Colorado State Patrol: Trooper Jacob Best, Colorado State Patrol Troop 4C

· OUTSTANDING INDIVIDUAL DEDICATION TO OCCUPANT PROTECTION: Rural / Colorado State Patrol: Trooper Brent Crampton, Colorado State Patrol Troop 2C

· OUTSTANDING INDIVIDUAL DEDICATION TO OCCUPANT PROTECTION: Western Slope / Colorado State Patrol: Trooper Roger Lowry, Colorado State Patrol Troop 5C

· OUTSTANDING TEAM DEDICATION TO IMPAIRED DRIVING ENFORCEMENT: Front Range / Colorado State Patrol: Wed-Sat Team, Colorado State Patrol Troop 2D

· OUTSTANDING TEAM DEDICATION TO IMPAIRED DRIVING ENFORCEMENT: Front Range / Local Law Enforcement: Northern Colorado R.A.I.D. (Remove All Impaired Drivers) Team, Multi-Agency Task Force

· OUTSTANDING TEAM DEDICATION TO IMPAIRED DRIVING ENFORCEMENT: Mountain / Local Law Enforcement: Officer Jared Bombardier and the Patrol Division , Fraser/Winter Park Police Department

· OUTSTANDING TEAM DEDICATION TO INVESTIGATING IMPAIRED DRIVING CRASHES: Major Crash Team, Colorado Springs Police Department

· OUTSTANDING TEAM DEDICATION TO OCCUPANT PROTECTION: Front Range / Colorado State Patrol: Port of Entry Team, Colorado State Patrol, Fort Collins

· OUTSTANDING TEAM DEDICATION TO OCCUPANT PROTECTION: Front Range / Local Law Enforcement: Motorcycle Enforcement Team , Aurora Police Department

· OUTSTANDING TEAM DEDICATION TO OCCUPANT PROTECTION: Western Slope / Colorado State Patrol: Sgt. Gardner and Cpl. Lubbes' Team, Colorado State Patrol Troop 5C

· SPECIAL ACHIEVEMENT IN VICTIM SERVICES: Deputy District Attorney Bilal Aziz, Deputy District Attorney Ashley Morgan, Victim Advocate Maribel Salazar, and Senior Criminal Investigator John Saulton of the Denver District Attorney's Office with Detective Roni Roberson of the Denver Police Department

The 2021 MADD & CDOT Law Enforcement Champion Awards were hosted by Deborah Takahara, an award-winning journalist and news anchor for Channel 2 and FOX31. The dinner was presented by the law firm of Bachus & Schanker with additional support from Walmart Neighborhood Market, the Association of Colorado State Patrol Professionals, Colorado Motor Carriers Foundation, HEI Civil, and Lifeloc Technologies.

“For more than a decade, we’ve had the honor of being the Statewide Sponsor of MADD Colorado. Through MADD, we have the privilege of interacting with law enforcement officers throughout the state,” said Darin Schanker, founding Partner of Bachus & Schanker, LLC. “Day in and day out, we see up close and personal the catastrophic effects of drunk and drugged driving crashes. We also see the amazing, integral, and life-changing work Colorado’s law enforcement officers do for victims and survivors. To the winners of the MADD & CDOT Law Enforcement Champions awards, we congratulate you and we thank you for the vital work you do.”