Local Law Enforcement Officers Honored for Commitment to Drug Abuse Prevention
Two local police officers are being honored this week by the United States Attorney’s Offices for the Northern and Southern Districts of Iowa and the Drug Enforcement Administration (DEA) for their commitment to reducing drug abuse in their communities. The recipients of the 2016 Enrique S. Camarena Award are Officer Al Fear of the Cedar Rapids Police Department and Officer Dustin Lindaman of the Waterloo Police Department.
The award is named after Enrique “Kiki” Camarena, who was an 11-year veteran agent of the DEA before being kidnapped, brutally tortured and then murdered in Mexico in 1985 while working undercover gathering information and evidence about drug lords. This award is presented each year to local law enforcement officers who best exemplify the qualities and principles for which Agent Camarena gave his life—specifically, making their communities a safer place to live through outstanding drug prevention and enforcement efforts.
This year’s award recipients have gone above and beyond the call of duty in pursuit of a drug-free community:
- Through his commitment to reducing drug abuse within both the Northern and Southern Districts of Iowa, Officer Al Fear is a worthy recipient of this distinguished award. Over the past year, Officer Fear developed a robust heroin prevention initiative aimed at educating addicts, health care professionals, educators, students, law enforcement officers, and the general public on the dangers of opioid and heroin abuse. Officer Fear is passionate about preventing the spread of opioid and heroin addiction and making a difference in the lives of individuals addicted to opioids and heroin.
- Through his commitment to educating middle school students and their families about the dangers of drug abuse, Officer Dustin Lindaman is a worthy recipient of this distinguished award. In his position as School Resource Officer for Waterloo Central Middle School, Officer Lindaman has the unique opportunity to build positive relationships with students, to serve as a role model, and to have important conversations with students at a critical time in their development. Through these conversations, Officer Lindaman emphasizes the detrimental impact that drug abuse has on the student and his or her family.
Kevin W. Techau, United States Attorney for the Northern District of Iowa commented on this year’s award recipients, stating, “The communities these officers serve are safer because of their hard work and dedication. They richly deserve the honor of receiving the Enrique S. Camarena award. Officer Lindaman’s work highlights the enormous value of the School Resource Officer program, which places police officers in schools around the state working on drug abuse prevention while promoting school safety. Through his tireless efforts, Officer Lindaman has established a high level of trust with Central students, serving as both a role model to students and an important source of education and information about the dangers of drug abuse. Officer Fear, in conjunction with both law enforcement and community efforts, has led a strong effort to prevent and combat the prescription drug abuse and heroin epidemic across Easten Iowa.”
Darin T. Thimmesch, the Assistant Special Agent in Charge for the DEA also commented on this year’s award, stating, “The DEA is committed to working with our law enforcement partners at all levels to reduce the availability and abuse of illicit drugs in the communities we serve. We are honored to be a part of this distinguished award presentation in memory of fallen DEA Special Agent Enrique S. Camarena. Special Agent Camerena gave his life fighting against the powerful drug cartels in Mexico while trying to protect the country he served from evils of drug distribution and abuse. This award exemplifies the outstanding investigative efforts of these law enforcement officers in disrupting the illegal activities of the drug trafficking organizations operating in and around the Iowa City and Cedar Rapids communities, as well as preventing the further distribution of these highly addictive, deadly drugs.”
The Enrique S. Camarena Award is presented each year during Red Ribbon Week. Red Ribbon Week is an alcohol, tobacco, and drug prevention awareness campaign observed annually in the United States.
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