Recognition Awards

As law enforcement leaders, we are all aware of officers, citizens, and law enforcement executives who through their efforts make our organizations exceptional and communities safer. We are also aware of innovative community policing programs law enforcement organizations in Colorado offer in order to make their communities safer. The CACP Awards Committee needs your help in nominating officers, volunteers, law enforcement executives or organizations deserving of recognition.

The Awards Committee Chair, John Camper, asks that you share this information with the leaders in your organization. Encourage them to review the award guidelines and consider nominating a deserving organization, law enforcement executive, police officer or volunteer for one of CACP’s many awards.

What makes this process work are leaders who volunteer to review the award categories. This does not take a lot of time and is critical to a fair review of the nominations. If you are interested please email John Camper, [email protected], or call 303.239.4202.

Categories and Nomination Requirements

Nominations for all categories except Police Officer of the Year (application required) should be submitted on agency letterhead. Please include award category in the statement and verify that nominee meets the designated criteria. Nominations should be submitted to the CACP office. Awards are presented at the annual conference in June.

Please submit nominations to John Camper at [email protected].



Summary: Given for exceptional achievement in any police endeavor, either on-duty or off-duty, including extraordinary valor, crime prevention, investigative work, community policing, traffic safety, drug control and prevention, juvenile programs and training programs.

Award Criteria:
The nominee must be a sworn full-time commissioned police officer below the rank of chief.

An agency may submit for multiple candidates.

Nominations should be made for police endeavors that occurred during the calendar year prior to January of the year submitted.

Award application (see below) must be submitted. Nominations should include a statement on agency letterhead of the specific circumstances involving distinguished police performance. Supplemental material such as departmental citations, letters of commendation and newspaper clippings will be accepted.

Nominations MUST have a signed endorsement from the agency head.

A candidate will be recognized for each of the five (5) CACP regions. From those applicants that are recognized, one candidate will be chosen to receive the Police Officer of the Year Award.

Police Officer of the Year Application

Executive Awards


Summary: Given for Long Term Professional and Ethical Contributions to Law Enforcement and the People of Colorado as a Colorado Chief of Police.

Chief Charles Steele served the City of Loveland for thirty years, with 29 of those years being as Chief of Police where he served honorable and professionally from 1947-1976. Chief Steele distinguished himself by instituting high values and ethical standards before they were common in law enforcement. At his death in 1991, many came to the funeral to state that Chief Steele's counseling had positively turned their life around. The large number of people at his funeral and the fact that even today in Loveland many still refer to Chief Steele as "The Chief" attest to his concern, popularity and effectiveness.

Award Criteria:
The Nominee must be or have been the Chief Executive Officer of a Colorado Government Law Enforcement Agency.

The Nominee must be a member (or retired member) in good standing of the Colorado Association of Chiefs of Police.

The Nominee must have been a Chief Executive Officer of a Government Law Enforcement Agency(ies) for not less than 10 years.

The Nominee must have maintained high personal and professional standards and ethics throughout their career. Holding forth these values and ethics at times of unpopularity, difficulty, and adversity shall cause greater consideration of the nominee.

The Nominee must have worked to encourage and develop high professional values and ethics over the course of their tenure in law enforcement. Examples by way of writing, programs, projects and actions should be included with the nomination.


Summary: Presented to a Colorado Law Enforcement agency Chief Executive for innovative program implementation, which contributed to making Colorado a better and safer place to live.

Chief Ralph Smith served as Chief of Police for Fort Collins from June 5, 1967 to January 2, 1984. Chief Smith distinguished himself as a leader in him community and throughout the state. Long before it was common policing, Chief Smith brought to Fort Collins the concepts of computerization, the one to one car plan and electronic mail. He was active in the Colorado Association of Chiefs of Police, acted as mentor to many CACP members, and was well loved by his community and his personnel. Chief Smith passed away while Fort Collins Police Chief in 1984 and the size of his funeral spoke of the fact that he was greatly admired and loved.

Award Criteria:
The Nominee shall be an active or retired member of the Colorado Association of Chiefs of Police who has served, or is serving, as the Chief Executive Officer of a Colorado Law Enforcement Agency.

The Nominee shall be a member in good standing of the CACP, or a former member who retired in good standing.

The Nominee shall have designed and implemented one or more innovative policing techniques or programs with the goal of improving performance results, building partnerships with the community, or meeting department goals. The weight of the nomination will increase with proven success of the techniques or programs.

The innovative program or technique listed in the nomination need not necessarily be totally unique or original, however, the weight of the nomination shall be increased for each addition, refinement or adaptation which has not been known to have been used elsewhere. The weight of the nomination shall increase with the originality of the concept or idea; therefore, a totally new and original program (never used anywhere) would carry more weight than implementing a program, which has been used elsewhere but adapted to a Colorado Department.

Agency Awards


Summary: Given To a Colorado Law Enforcement Agency, which has pioneered a totally innovative program, policy or concept not knowingly used elsewhere, to further the professionalism of Law Enforcement, and/or the service to citizens.

Award Criteria:
The Award is based upon totally innovative program(s), policies, or technology, not knowingly used elsewhere.

Weight of the nomination is increased with the level of risk taking (without sacrificing ethics or safety), and radical innovation differing from long standing tradition.

The nominated agency must have been willing to share with sister agencies the program(s), policies or technology, which resulted in the nomination.

The weight of the nomination increases with the commonality of the problem for which the program, policy or concept was implemented.

The program, policy or concept defined in the nomination need not necessarily have been successful in correcting a problem or the problem for which it was designed.

The nominated agency must be a CACP member's agency in good standing at the time of the program, policy or concept and award.


Summary: The CACP American Spirit Award is given to any agency serving less that 10,000 population (and to its chief executive) for professional contributions to Law Enforcement while limited in resources, manpower and finances.

This Award is specifically targeted to those agencies, serving smaller communities, which do not allow limited manpower, resources or finances to inhibit them in seeking to provide more than basic services. The Award shall be given to small agencies, which ascribe to high standards, set and attain high performance goals, and provide their community with uncompromisingly professional service, despite adversity.

Award Criteria:
The nominated agency shall be an agency in good standing with the CACP and actively involved with the CACP.

The nominated agency shall be the Primary Law Enforcement Agency serving a population of not more than 10,000.

The nominated agency shall have distinguished itself as extraordinary through one or more of the following: Service, Standards, Attained Goals, and Professionalism.

The nominated Agency shall have a justified reputation for overcoming manpower, financial, resource or other limitations to provide professional service and programs not commonly found in traditional small agencies.

The nominated agency shall have a demonstrated dedication to training all its personnel, including management.



Summary: Given to a Colorado Citizen who without regard for their own well being, became involved in assisting the Police Department.

Award Criteria:
The Nominee must have become involved in assisting a Law Enforcement Officer(s) or a crime victim in the State of Colorado.

The assistance provided to the victim or the Law Enforcement Officer(s) must have been without regard to the nominee's own safety. The more heroic and dangerous the assistance provided by the nominee, the greater the weight of the nomination.

The Nominee shall have received no financial gain from the assistance provided to the Law Enforcement Officer(s) or Victim(s).

The Nominee shall not have been employed by a Law Enforcement Agency at the time of the act.

The Action, which led to the nomination, must have been voluntary, unsolicited, and courageous.


Summary: Given to a Colorado Citizen who, without other compensation, distinguishes themselves through long term and selfless volunteer work to a Colorado Law Enforcement Agency.

Award Criteria:
The Nominee must have distinguished him/herself as a volunteer at an agency in good standing with the CACP.

The volunteer work shall have been without compensation or remuneration.

The volunteer work shall have played a meaningful role in providing services to the citizens of the community and/or the agency personnel.

The Volunteer work shall have occurred over a length of time, with weight of the nomination increasing with length of service, value of contribution, dependability of performance.

The volunteer work may be either in a uniform or a non-uniformed position.
The benefit of the volunteer work shall be able to be quantified in some method of measurement (i.e. length of time, amount of hours, tasks completed, amount of money saved).


This Award is to be given for the following:

To any certified Police Officer in the State of Colorado, while on or off duty. Any reserve or part time certified Officer while serving a department on duty.

Performance of a deed, above and beyond the policies and procedures of any department or agency, which results in the saving of a human life, or which placed the officer in extreme peril of his/her life.

Submission to the Awards Committee by Agency Chief in good standing or other members of the Colorado Association of Chiefs of Police.