Police accept awards
Normally South Lake Tahoe Police gather at the briefing room for an update on the latest crimes. Thursday afternoon was different – it felt more like a family gathering.
Armed with a table full of punch and cake, Chief of Police and Fire Brad Bennett played the role of a proud father and handed out five awards to city employees.
The Arthur Duane Ritter Memorial Officer of the Year award went to Detective Cameron Carmichael. He’s been with the department since 1992.
Bennett mentioned “pure honesty” when he spoke about Carmichael’s dedication to the job. Carmichael was clearly honored by the award, even more so because Capt. Ritter is one of the people who encouraged him to leave a job as a deputy in San Diego and come to South Lake Tahoe to work for the police.
Ritter, at one point, sent Carmichael a list of housing from the newspaper in hopes it would entice him to the mountains. Ritter died several years after Carmichael joined the force. Ritter’s daughter was at the ceremony to give out the award.
“I take a lot of pride in my work,” Carmichael said. “It really means a lot when people take the time to tell you you’re doing a good job. It hits home, makes you feel good.”
Awards also went to Detective Lori Scott. She was honored by the city and California Department of Justice’s Bureau of Narcotics for distinguished service. She’s worked at SLEDNET, South Shore’s multiagency drug enforcement team, for four years and has been with the police department for 14 years.
Bennett described Scott as an incredibly hard worker with a passion for the job. When ask why she became a police officer she said she first got inspiration from cop shows on television.
“It’s a lot different from TV,” she said. “It’s better actually. You meet some very good people and it’s always different.”
Also honored Thursday were Reserve Officer Rafael Elias and South Lake Tahoe Police Explorers Nathan Coats and Matthew Morrison.
All three volunteer time to the police department. Elias is bilingual, speaking English and Spanish. He often serves as a translator when he rides with an officer and they encounter a Hispanic who doesn’t know any English.
Explorers, ages 14 to 21, learn the basics of law enforcement by assisting patrol officers on ride-alongs and in alcohol and tobacco stings. Explorers also compete in tactical competitions around the country.
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