Officers from 10 agencies were proclaimed tops in their field this August, at the National Association of Police Organizations Seventh Annual TOP COPS Awards. Held this year in conjunction with the association's 22nd Annual Convention, the gala event featured several luminaries who play law officers on TV.
Masters of ceremony, Richard Belzer and Lynn Russell, along with other celebrities, handed out the prestigious award to State Trooper Scott D. Quist, Alaska Dept. of Public Safety, Div. of Fish and Wildlife; Dep. Richard Carmona, Pima Co. (Ariz.) S.D.; Officers Cynthia French Romik Keshishi and Sgt. Joan Leuck, Los Angeles P.D.; Special Agent Blake L. Boteler, BATF, Colo.; Det. Sgt Joe Delia, Maryland Heights (Mo.) P.D.; Officer Dennis Devitte, Las Vegas Metropolitan P.D.; Officer Lee F. Evans, West Windsor Twnshp (N.J.) P.D.; Special Agent in Charge Michael S. Vigil, DEA, Caribbean Field Div., Puerto Rico; Sr. Special Agent Donald A. Daufenbach, U.S. Customs Service, Utah; and Dep. Joseph D. Craig and Sgt. Patrick A. K.C. Saulet, King Co. (Wash.) S.O.
According to NAPO's Jody Couser, nearly 1,200 people filled D.C. Warner Theater to applaud the TOP COP winners. One of the highlights of the evening, she told Police, was the announcement of the Citizens Choice Award winner Officer Dennis Devitte, of Las Vegas Metropolitan P.D. In other NAPO news, during its annual conference, the organization's delegates voted overwhelmingly to officially endorse Vice President Al Gore's presidential bid. In the course of a campaign speech, Gore pledged continued support for law enforcement officers and paid tribute to TOP COPS Awards winners.