Sgt. Rita Warfield of the Durango Police Department received the statewide Terrorism Liaison Officer of the Year award.
A terrorism liaison officer serves as the principle point of contact for a public-safety agency in matters related to terrorism information, said Colorado State Patrol Sgt. Rich Smith.
There are 860 terrorism liaison officers in Colorado, including five in La Plata County, he said.
Warfield has lived in the Durango area for more than 30 years and has been with the Durango Police Department for 19 years.
Warfield is involved with Sexual Assault Services Organization and Alternative Horizons. She also is a hostage negotiator for the department, a crisis intervention team member and an outlaw motorcycle gang investigator.
In addition, Warfield was trained to become a terrorism liaison officer through Homeland Security. She has served in that capacity since 2008.
“Terrorism liaison officers are basically the eyes and ears of the community,” Warfield said.
Terrorism liaison officers are responsible for collecting, reporting, retrieving and sharing materials related to terrorism, Smith said.
They also conduct, coordinate and facilitate departmental training with regard to terrorism and terrorist-related subjects, he said.
Warfield received the Terrorism Liaison Officer of the Year award because she has worked to share information with her agency as well as other agencies in Southwest Colorado, Smith said.
“She works closely with the other terrorism liaison officers in her region to maintain communication and sharing of information,” he said. “Sgt. Warfield is commended for her continued dedication to the protection of the citizens of Colorado.”