BY FREDA MIKLIN
At the Greenwood Village City Council meeting on December 6, GV Police Chief Dustin Varney recognized Officer Rodney Valenzuela as the 2020 sworn police officer of the year.
Varney explained that all non-supervisory level GV police officers are eligible for this award and the winner is selected by his or her peers in the department. He explained, “Officer Rodney Valenzuela has been with us for 18 years and is assigned to the SRO (School Resource Officer) Unit…This award is presented to the officer whose consistency and excellence in service deserves special recognition. A recipient reflects the department’s core values and is known for their exceptional job performance and contribution to its efforts.”
Describing some of the accomplishments that led Officer Valenzuela to be selected for this honor, Chief Varney said, “He’s conducted a variety of safety drills including full student lockdowns. He taught new teachers standard response protocols in case there’s an active threat. He has developed close-down procedures. He has worked very hard to support the school community by participating in school activities including graduations, parades and handing out lunches to needy students.” As well, he has been one of the two Public Safety Brothers on social media.
In addition to his efforts in our schools, Varney cited some of Officer Valenzuela’s other work. It was a very long list that included: instructing every year at the summer youth police academy, working with local homeowner associations, taking on a special project to prevent crime through environmental design at the Landmark Towers parking garage, and taking a lead role in making sure that the police department had all the COVID-19 prevention gear that they needed.
On a personal note, this reporter, who is a 30-year resident of Greenwood Village, has known Officer Valenzuela for most of his 18 years here. In my experience, he exemplifies all that is good about community policing. The Villager extends its warmest congratulations to this fine public servant on a well-deserved reward.