Since he was a child, Detective Benjamin Russell always knew that he wanted to be a police officer, and his hard work and dedication were recognized when the 10-year law enforcement veteran received one of the top awards given by the Sparks Police Department.
Russell was presented with the peer-nominated Officer of the Year award, along with a Certificate of Commendation, at the Sparks Police Department’s annual awards ceremony earlier this month. More than 40 awards were presented to sworn and non-sworn employees and citizens in the community for their actions in 2015.
“I’m very prideful of wearing that uniform and standing behind this badge,” Russell said. “I’m just a firm believer that you back that badge and you treat the people right and remember that they’re human and we’re human.”
The 41-year-old detective was born and raised in Carson City and moved to the Reno/Sparks area after graduating from high school. In 2005, Russell began his career in law enforcement with the Sparks Police Department and has filled several roles, including patrol officer and training officer. In addition, he has been a member of the SWAT team and emergency vehicle operations.
“You got to have a heart for this for sure,” Russell said. “You put your life on the line, but I have a lot of faith in the guys and gals that I work with that we all go home. That’s the rule”
Russell said a detective must have the ability to focus on solving cases and bringing closure to crime victims.
“It’s the philosophy of the department that our community will always come first and our victims come first,” Russell said.
This mentality, along with dedication and commitment, have helped Russell be recognized as one of the top officers within the department.
“He continues to exemplify what all of our officers do, which is putting our community first and serving our community, being aggressive towards the criminal element that is victimizing our society and having that compassion for our victims,” said Sparks Police Chief Brian Allen.
“He’s an asset to our department,” Allen said. “He’s an asset to our community and having him be in the role that he is in, plus his previous role as trainer and passing on that knowledge and experience to the younger officers, is beneficial not just to our department, but our community and law enforcement in general. I wish we had more guys like him.”