Lakes Area Youth Service Bureau is pleased to announce that Sergeant Scott Dexter and Officer Rachel Columbus have together received the 2011 James Trudeau Law Enforcement Award given out annually by Lakes Area Youth Service Bureau since 2000. They were nominated by Wyoming’s Chief of Police, Paul Hoppe.
A reception in their honor will be held 6:30 p.m. Tuesday, June 19 in the council chambers at Wyoming City Hall (26885 Forest Blvd, Wyoming). A brief award presentation will take place during the council meeting which begins at 7 p.m. The public is invited to attend.
As social service liaisons and heads of the Wyoming DARE program, both officers are dedicated to youth and their families in our community. Chief Hoppe stated, “their professionalism and authentic compassion facilitates a recovery path for everyone involved; they both show compassion, enthusiasm, leadership, and generosity for serving local youth that goes well above and beyond department objectives.”
A recent letter from a grateful parent conveys the extraordinary dedication these officers bring to their work. “They were calm, patient, fair, and firm…they told my son that they liked him and knew he was a good kid… they did not, for one second, treat him like he was just a delinquent. I feel truly blessed to live in Wyoming where the police officers truly care about the people in their community.”
Sergeant Scott Dexter has been with the Wyoming Police Department for 25 years. He urges parents to get involved with their kids’ lives, know who they are hanging out with and what they are doing. “Keep an open line of communications, even if it is something you really don’t want to hear. It’s the parents’ job to keep their kids safe.”
Lakes Area Youth Service Bureau is one resource Sergeant Dexter uses to educate at-risk kids and keep them out of the criminal justice system. “It allows me to have discretion on the punishment while providing an assortment of classes and community service hours. It is also a resource that I can offer parents who are looking for ways to deal with their kids.”
Officer Rachel Columbus has been with the Wyoming Police Department for six years. Columbus said, “when I heard that Sergeant Dexter was also getting this award I thought it was quite fitting considering that I learned most of what I know from him. He has helped me to understand how important the kids in our community are to the future and how spending just a little extra time with a child can make a big difference in that child’s life.”
Sergeant Dexter describes Officer Columbus as stern and intimidating when called for but also understanding and caring.
“She does a marvelous job interacting with the kids through the DARE Program. They are always excited to see her.”