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Associate Attorney General Vanita Gupta Delivers Remarks at Awards Ceremony for Recipients of Fifth Annual Attorney General’s Award for Distinguished Service in Community Policing in DeKalb County, Georgia


DeKalb County, GA
United States

Remarks as Prepared for Delivery

Thank you, U.S. Attorney Erskine. Thank you for your warm welcome here in the Northern District of Georgia.

Thank you, Chief Ramos, for your leadership and Piedmont Technical College for hosting us today.

I also want to extend my sincere appreciation to everyone involved with organizing today’s ceremony, including Rob Chapman and his amazing team at the Office of Community Oriented Policing Services (COPS Office).

It is truly a privilege to be a part of this very special award ceremony that acknowledges the great work so many officers do every day to protect and serve our communities.

In this fifth annual Attorney General’s Award for Distinguished Service in Community Policing, we received nearly 350 nominations for officers, deputies and troopers across 39 states. Of these, 18 were selected to receive this year’s prestigious award. And we are honored to have three of these officers from the DeKalb County Police Department here with us today.  

In my travels across the country throughout my career, I have met countless officers and deputies with a dedication to the safety and well-being of their communities. This award is an opportunity for the Department of Justice to formally recognize individual officers and deputies for the invaluable work that they do for us every day that, unfortunately and far too often, goes unnoticed.

The work of the three detectives that we are honoring today – Detective Prather, Detective Ricketts, and Detective Webber – exemplifies a commitment to building trust between law enforcement and communities. It is emblematic of the extraordinary devotion to community that we see in so many law enforcement agencies and by so many officers and deputies – it is the best of policing.

And it is why we are celebrating these officers today. These officers care about the community they serve, and they have taken it upon themselves to go above and beyond the work expected of them to help forge positive relationships between law enforcement and the youth of DeKalb County.

We couldn’t be more honored to recognize their work and the work of all the officers that are receiving this year’s award.

To announce all the winners for this year’s award and to personally present these three officers with their awards, I would like to introduce our 86th Attorney General Merrick Garland.

Attorney General Garland is not only committed to lifting up the service and dedication of our nation’s law enforcement officers – but he has also made supporting the safety and wellness of officers a top priority at the department.

And I know he is as thrilled as I am to be with all of you to celebrate today’s honorees and reaffirm the department’s support for all who serve in law enforcement, and work incredibly hard to keep our communities safe.

Please join me in welcoming Attorney General Garland to present the honorees with their awards.

Thank you.

Updated March 17, 2022