The Iowa State Sheriffs' and Deputies' Association (ISSDA) presented its annual ISSDA GOLD STAR Awards for excellence in leadership on public safety and law enforcement issues in Iowa in December.
The GOLD STAR Awards are given to no more than five individuals each year who, through their public service, demonstrate genuine dedication to supporting the goals and ideals of ISSDA's mission "To Serve and Protect the People of Iowa." Two lawmakers have been selected for the honor this year.
Recipients of the 2013 GOLD STAR Awards, who were publicly thanked and recognized at the ISSDA Winter School Banquet in Des Moines, were:
Steve Sodders receiving his Gold Star Award from the Iowa State Sheriffs' and Deputies Association (ISSDA) president, Mahaska County Deputy Don DeKock.
phoot/Eric J Salmon
Senator Steve Sodders of State Center for his experience as a Marshall County deputy sheriff and for sharing his first-hand experiences as a peace officer in the Iowa Senate. Senator Sodders is a respected resource on all public safety matters and is always accessible and helpful on issues related to the safety of Iowans.
Sodders represents Tama, a portions of Marshall and Black Hawk counties in the Iowa Senate.
Rep. Chip Baltimore of Boone for his passion and dedication to a fair and impartial criminal justice system in Iowa. As an attorney and chair of House Judiciary Committee, Rep. Baltimore has met with ISSDA members many times to learn about public safety issues and the impact of legislation on the citizens of Iowa.
As recipients of the GOLD STAR Award, they each receive a plaque that resembles the ISSDA Gold Star emblem, which is the badge worn by Iowa sheriffs and deputies. The awards will be presented at the annual Winter School banquet on Tuesday, Dec. 10, in Des Moines. Approximately, 200 local and state public safety officials attended the event.
Recipients are selected for this honor by "sheriffs and deputies" of the ISSDA Legislative Committee and Board of Directors, who work side by side with policy makers each year on public safety and law enforcement issues that directly impact Iowans. No more than two members each of the Iowa House and Senate and no more than one member or agency of the Executive Branch are eligible to receive the award each year.
"Protecting Iowa citizens and keeping peace in our communities is one of the primary roles of government," says ISSDA President Jerry Dunbar of Washington County. "While we are fortunate in Iowa to have overwhelming support of public safety initiatives among our legislative delegation and state leaders, the recipients of the GOLD STAR Award have distinguished themselves by going above and beyond to respond to serious public safety and criminal justice challenges. This is a special honor that is not given lightly; it is an honor these individuals have earned through their public service."