We’ve reviewed the submissions and our committee has narrowed down the choices to these outstanding finalists for 2021 Law Enforcement Partner of the Year! The Law Enforcement Partner of the Year is someone who is more than an exemplary member of their department, but a true partner with the retail community to make a difference, and an impact, on retail crime. They go above and beyond to support the fight against shoplifting, ORC and fraud. They are making a positive impact in the lives of others and leading by example, whether through successful times, times of change, or times of adversity.
The Hall exists to recognize, celebrate, and reward those in and around the retail loss prevention industry, honoring achievement and excellence across a variety of categories. The Law Enforcement Partner of the Year category is intended to recognize outstanding performance by an individual, worthy of recognition during a specific year. To be eligible for nomination, the Law Enforcement Partner must currently be, or must have been, in the role for which they are being nominated, for some or all of the calendar year of nomination. Individuals must be nominated by someone other than themselves.
AND THE FINALISTS ARE…
FINALIST: Ed Fritz, Crime Prevention Supervisor
Boise Police Department
Ed contributes so much time and energy to our local ORCAID program, Not only does he oversee this, he also works closely with my local LP team in my valley, and he is 120 miles away. Ed is a great example of leadership and teamwork. I am happy to nominate Ed for this award and I would be honored to be able to see him win this award as well. Ed—keep doing what you are doing, sir!
FINALIST: Detective Jason T. Maes, CFE DOUGLAS COUNTY F.I.R.S.T. TASK FORCE
Castle Rock Police Department
Detective Jason Maes should receive the Law Enforcement Partner award as he has partnered with me on three separate investigations. Det. Maes is very responsive to emails and also is available when I have called him on several occasions. We have several optical locations in the Colorado market that have been targeted by individuals who have taken large amounts of optical eyeglasses and sunglasses. We were first targeted by a group of individuals that Det. Maes and other law enforcement partners helped identify and this group was responsible for taking $50,619 worth of optical eyeglasses and sunglasses.
The second was a couple that we had on several of our store cameras and Det. Maes and team were able to identify them by the tattoos they had on their body. The couple was responsible for taking $87,000 worth of optical sunglasses. The most recent investigation Det. Maes helped with was a female that is currently targeting our stores still and has taken over $7,000 worth of optical sunglasses. It is great to have a law enforcement partner like Det. Maes.
FINALIST: Detective Jon Houston and Officer Wesley Aslin ,
Sacramento Police Department
Their exceptional follow through after store was Looted resulting in 25 Felony Charges.
On the evening of May 31, 2020 the State Capitol of California was besieged by thousands of protestors in support of the Black Lives Matter Movement. While most of these protestors were peaceful, violence and looting erupted as darkness came in the downtown Sacramento area. At the center of this violence was the Capitol building, and the hardest hit buildings were the businesses and retailers surrounding the Capitol including the Rite Aid Pharmacy located in a historic building walking distance from the Capitol building.
Over a period of several hours Rite aid was looted and eventually a fire was set inside the store. The contents of the store was a total loss just under $2 million dollars. Hundreds of buildings and retailers were burglarized and damaged and it took most of the downtown Sacramento area months to reopen again as a result of the destruction. Rite aid suffered significantly in the Sacramento market with 9 burglaries at several other stores but the Downtown Sacramento Store was the hardest hit.
In the weeks to follow with continued protests and looting the Sacramento Police Department and Rite aid had their hands full with trying to build cases against those who participated in the looting. Rite Aid regional asset protection Leader Connie Ribble was able to locate an eager and motivated police detective named Jon Houston to work the case. In a period of 2 months the Rite Aid team and 2 Sacramento Police Officers reviewed hundreds of hours of video, Facebook postings, street cameras, Twitter feeds, and Snap Chat videos to put together prosecutable cases.
In an agreement with the Sacramento District Attorney’s office to vehemently pursue prosecutions for all the felony cases, the team worked nonstop to secure arrest warrants, interview suspects and sort through recovered merchandise to identify Rite Aid property. In the end the Looted and Burned case was the largest successfully prosecuted looting case in the Sacramento Region with a total of 13 suspects arrested and charged with 25 felonies. So far, five suspects have been convicted and sentenced to more than 450 days in jail. The remainder of the cases are still pending disposition in Sacramento Superior Court.
FINALIST: Sergeant Jeff Thomas,
Harris County Sheriff’s Department
Sergeant Jeff Thomas goes above and beyond to assist real time armed robbery events in his jurisdiction. He doesn’t stop at his border or at the end of his shift to offer up his support. Often I find him engaged in an event calling for resources from his home, quickly alerting his deputies, Houston PD officers, or DPS personnel in Harris County. Jeff will also lend his support and expertise to other law enforcement agencies in the region. He will coordinate the sharing of information to support the law enforcement and private business partnership to affect crime in Harris County, arrest criminals and deter violent criminal acts and interrupt organized retail theft.
Sergeant Thomas and his team of Sheriff’s Deputies are responsible for the direct and indirect apprehension of hundreds of criminals, clearing dozens of crimes, and returning hundreds of thousands of dollars of retail merchandise. Sgt. Jeff Thomas and two representatives on the Department of Public Service, Houston, were recognized in 2019 by Houston Crime Stoppers at their annual luncheon for their crime fighting efforts. Jeff’s been doing this kind of over-the-top public service for years.
FINALIST: Detective Robert Ahlers
Cincinnati Police Department
Due to the location of our retail/grocery unit, we experience an extensive number of thefts. A large quantity of these thefts end up escaping and/or are determined after the incident has taken place. For the past several years, Detective Ahlers has been a dependable partner gaining the identity of these suspects, completions of warrants, physical arrest and being an influential impact towards appropriate sentencing through the courts.
Detective Ahlers was continually fed theft incidents several times each month. Quite often, he would receive several thefts at once. Although theft may not be a top priority for a larger city police departments, Detective Ahlers always made us feel that these cases were of substantial importance as he had a diligence to make sure all necessary information was streamlined back to the store’s asset protection department.
FINALIST: Officer Jeffrey Butler
Cincinnati Police Department
For the better part of a year to a year in a half, Officer Jeffrey Butler has become one of our most trusted officers. Due to the location of our unit, we experience an extremely high volume of theft. Large quantities of these theft cases were witnessed thefts that eluded apprehension and cases where the crime was not observed live but discovered on video after the fact.
Without question, he has made us feel like a priority with filing theft reports and, at times, will receive several different cases simultaneously. His communication of case status is unparalleled. He has always been open to receiving new-found information regarding old cases. At times, he has re-opened cases that had been previously closed due to lack of information.
Any retail store would feel honored to work with a law enforcement officer like Officer Butler.
FINALIST: Adam Berg, Criminal Intelligence Research Specialist
New England State Police Information Network
Adam Berg, Criminal Intelligence Research Specialist at the New England State Police Information Network, took the initiative to help support multiple law enforcement agencies in Massachusetts, Connecticut, and Rhode Island.
An ORC group involving eight subjects were aggressively stealing merchandise grab-and-run style. The group impacted ten major retailers across a total of five states creating hundreds of thousands of dollars of losses and disruption to businesses. Mr. Berg provided a secure platform for retailers, police agencies and FBI to communicate and collaborate. Mr. Berg helped track incidents and keep law enforcement agencies updated with current activity. Mr. Berg’s passion with connecting law enforcement with retailers helped tremendously with information gathering, ensuring the right people have all the facts of the investigation.
Mr. Berg is an asset with keeping eyes and ears on ongoing issue of ORC impacting cities and towns in New England and beyond. NEORCA is highly appreciative of Mr. Berg and the value of NESPIN.
FINALIST: Frank Martinez
Los Angeles Police Department Senior Lead Officer
LAPD Senior Lead Officer Frank Martinez is not only an exemplary member of his department, but he is also a true partner with the retail community. Officer Martinez has supported Rite Aid and other retail partners in the fight against dishonest customer, organized retail crime, and fraud activity in and around the downtown Los Angeles market.
Officer Martinez has provided store teams and the asset protection partners with support and training surrounding safety and prevention. In addition, Officer Martinez has spoken at store level meetings, as well as facilitated meetings with retail partners to gather timely evidence that ultimately lead to several significant arrests. Officer Martinez followed up with the neighborhood prosecutor’s office on multiple occasions to monitor subjects’ criminal prosecution for Rite Aid. During protest and civil unrest Officer Martinez has taken the time to reach out to retailers and provided best practices to minimize losses.
Lastly, Officer Martinez has consistently provided stores with a level of care and professionalism that is second to none. It is clear that Officer Martinez’s passion and collaborative relationships has positively impacted our store. Officer Frank Martinez is our Law Enforcement partner of the year!
FINALIST: Detective Brandi “May” Streeter
Oklahoma City Police Department
Investigations Larceny Unit
Detective Brandi “May” Streeter is a dedicated member of the Oklahoma City Police Department and an outstanding partner to the retail loss prevention community. Her hard work, along with other members of the Oklahoma City Police Department, helped to establish the Organized Retail Crime Unit within the police department and has led to the development and successful prosecution of many organized retail crime investigations throughout the state of Oklahoma and beyond. Her partnership and tireless efforts working with the retail loss prevention community and OKORCA have proven to be extremely important and greatly appreciated by all those that have worked with her and the team at Oklahoma City Police Department. We applaud her hard work and efforts and are proud to nominate Brandi for Law Enforcement Partner of the Year!
HOW TO VOTE
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