The Liberty Lake Police Department has announced the honorees of its year-end awards that recognized the exceptional contributions by three members of its law enforcement staff. The awards were formally presented as part of the regular meeting of the Liberty Lake City Council that was held on Jan. 3.
The 2022 Sergeant’s Award was presented to Master Police Officer Stephanie Olivas, who has been part of the Liberty Lake police staff since February 2019.
The department’s first-ever Lieutenant's Award was given to Master Police Officer Derek Arnold, who has served with the Liberty Lake police since October of 2019.
And the 2022 Officer of the Year Award was given to Officer Jordan Sowell, who joined the Liberty Lake police in July of 2020.
♦ In presenting the 2022 Sergeant’s Award to MPO Olivas, Sgt. Mike Bogenreif recognized her assistance for colleagues while she was off duty by providing Spanish language translation during their interactions with a suspect, a contribution that allowed the officers to handle the situation in a timely manner and to respond to other calls for service. Additionally, Olivas has become a certified car seat technician and will be holding classes in the future to help Liberty Lake residents install their child car seats correctly. Plus, she has become the department’s background investigator for newly hired officers.
Sgt. Bogenreif said: "Officer Olivas has allowed us to adjust her shift to accommodate for the agency's needs, making a safer work environment for her shift partners. She is a team player who always puts the needs of the department over hers."
2022 Lieutenant’s Award recipient Derek Arnold was noted for his duties as the department’s armorer, pistol instructor, and primary weapons instructor for all of the staff’s weapons platforms.
♦ In his remarks about Arnold, Liberty Lake Police Lt. Darin Morgan said: “He completely revised our current inventory by verifying and inspecting each weapon for the department. He revised our qualification standards and made them more relevant to meet the current standards in law enforcement qualifications.”
Morgan also noted that Arnold took an active role in filling in as the staff’s field training officer coordinator, ensured compliance with Law Enforcement Support Office weapons and property from the government surplus system, and is a crew chief for the multi-jurisdictional Spokane County Air Unit.
♦ Liberty Lake Police Chief Damon Simmons presented the last of the three awards during the Jan. 3 City Council meeting. He opened his remarks by noting: "The profession of law enforcement has changed dramatically over the past couple of years. The day-to-day challenges officers face has increased exponentially, and stepping up to meet those challenges is as difficult. Observing even the most seasoned officer battle these challenges is impressive.”
Chief Simmons called 2022 Officer of the Year recipient Sowell “magnificent” in meeting those challenges, and added: “Officer Sowell's commitment to public safety, our community, and our agency is reflective in his exemplary work ethic and attitude. He is a great example of the fact that leadership is not based on stripes, bars, leaves, or stars. He is truly an instrumental part of our agency, fulfilling our vision and our mission.”