VAIL — Colorado U.S. Senator Michael Bennet has congratulated Vail Police Department Chief Dwight Henninger and Catholic Charities Regional Coordinator Megan McGee Bonta on being named recipients of the 2013 L. Anthony Sutin Civic Imagination Award. The U.S. Department of Justice Office of Community Oriented Policing Services gives the award annually to honor creative, successful and forward-thinking collaborations between local law enforcement agencies and the communities they serve.
Henninger and Bonta are being recognized for their efforts to advance the Eagle County Law Enforcement Immigration Advisory Initiative. The two worked to bring together stakeholders to form the Eagle County Law Enforcement Immigration Advisory Committee, which has helped reduce the rate of crime against the immigrant community and increased police-immigrant community trust.
“Colorado’s communities are stronger when people like Chief Henninger and Megan are working together to create safe and inviting places to live,” Bennet said. “The Eagle County Law Enforcement Immigrant Advisory Committee opens up the lines of communication to build trusting relationships between local police and the immigrant community. We can all be grateful Colorado is home to these two outstanding individuals who are making a difference in their community.”
Bennet, a member of the “Group of Eight” that crafted and helped pass the Senate’s landmark bipartisan immigration bill, worked to include provisions in the bill to support integration efforts similar to those in Eagle County. In addition to strengthening relationships between law enforcement and immigrant communities, integration services help immigrants connect with resources, work towards citizenship, learn English, and contribute civically and economically to their communities.
The L. Anthony Sutin Civic Imagination Award is named in memory of Tony Sutin, who served as a founder and deputy director of the COPS Office from its creation in 1994 until 1996. Sutin was widely known and respected for his relentless commitment to service and community.