Three Berthoud officers receive awards
By Amber McIver-Traywick
Three members of the Larimer County Sheriff’s Office (LCSO) Berthoud Squad were recently recognized for their exceptional service. Sergeant Jim Anderson, Corporal Steve Wicker and Deputy Kevin Kingston all received recognition at the LCSO’s annual awards ceremony held on Monday night, Jan. 28, at Timberline Church in Fort Collins. In the opening statements, Sheriff Justin Smith acknowledged that getting nominations for the awards is difficult, as most of the officers see their actions as simply, “doing their job,” a sentiment echoed by the Berthoud Squad officers who received their awards.
The Distinguished Service award is given to those who have shown exceptional qualities in their service with the LCSO and to the communities they serve. Anderson was recognized for his work in developing and leading the Berthoud squad since he took the position in April of 2014. Sheriff Justin Smith presented the award to Anderson and commented on the efforts he has made to develop trust in supporting the Berthoud community as he makes progress to restore the communities “faith in law enforcement” after the former police department was disbanded. Smith also recognized that because of his efforts in the town, the Berthoud Area Chamber of Commerce selected Anderson as its Citizen of the Year for 2018. Smith quoted the chamber’s statement of why they had selected Anderson by saying it was in part due to his “unfaltering concern and love for the residents of Berthoud.” Smith continued by saying, “In the current political climate, to have a law enforcement officer recognized in this manner speaks volumes about the job Sgt. Anderson is doing.” Smith also acknowledged Anderson’s strong character and leadership abilities. “His accomplishments over the last 4 1/2 years shows his dedication and his commitment to the community and his profession.”
Deputy Kevin Kingston, who is currently the Student Resource Officer for Turner Middle School, was given a Meritorious Service award. On Feb 17, 2018, Kingston was off-duty with his son at Foothills Mall in Fort Collins. While in the parking lot Kingston witnessed two loss-prevention officers come out of a store attempting to stop a female shoplifter who was physically assaulting the employees. The suspect’s partner, who was waiting in a getaway vehicle, backed out of his parking spot at a high rate of speed which resulted in him running over a concrete barrier and almost hitting the store employees. The man violently tried to remove the woman from the officers to escape when Kingston stepped in. After giving the man commands to stop, which he ignored, Kingston physically subdued the suspect and held the scene until Fort Collins police arrived. Inside the SUV the man was driving were two small children who had been injured due to the “reckless and violent behavior of their parents.” Kingston received superficial injuries during the incident, but as Sheriff Smith, who presented the award, stated, “The decision Deputy Kingston made that day reflects positively on his commitment to protect the citizens of Larimer County,” whether on duty or off.
Corporal Wicker was presented the Lifesaving award for his actions aiding a suicidal woman who shot herself with a shotgun severing an artery in her leg. Wicker took quick action to apply a tourniquet to the victim keeping pressure on the wound until Emergency Medical Services arrived. Wicker’s actions very likely saved the woman’s life.
The ceremony included announcing promotions within the LCSO, longevity of service for those having served 20 to 35 years, Sheriff’s Commendations, Unit Commendation, Meritorious Service, Lifesaving, Distinguished Service and a Medal of Valor was awarded.
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