(Questions may be directed to Caribou Police Chief Michael Gahagan)
Annually the Benevolent and Protective Order of Elks seeks nominations for the Enrique S. Camarena Award, which honors law enforcement officers who have made a significant contribution in the field of drug prevention and who personify the belief of Drug Enforcement Agent Enrique “Kiki” Camarena that “one person can make a difference”. The Aroostook Chiefs of Police Association has submitted the nomination of Interim Sheriff Shawn Gillen for this award.
Special Agent Enrique Camarena was a DEA Agent murdered by a Mexican drug cartel, while he was investigating drug trafficking into the United States. He was brutally tortured and killed in 1985. His death gave rise to Red Ribbon Week, celebrated at this time of year, during which young people are asked to commit to a drug-free life.
Criteria for consideration for the Enrique Camarena Award are that the individual must be a law enforcement professional who is a positive role model, committed to a healthy lifestyle, and who has made an outstanding contribution in the field of drug awareness or prevention, while going beyond the normal responsibilities of his position.
In submitting the nomination, Caribou Police Chief Michael W. Gahagan, chairman of the Association said, “The Chiefs of Police in Aroostook County have all agreed that Sheriff Gillen fits the criteria for this award and is very deserving.”
Chief Gahagan further stated, “Interim Sheriff Gillen’s dedication to the people of northern Maine and passion for his job is evident in his work. He has been a proponent of the National Drug Take Back Day, held twice a year, and assists with coordination of that for the entire county. He helped initiate a prisoner volunteer service and continues it under his authority, a program that helps rehabilitate inmates and promotes community involvement while giving back to the towns and cities of Aroostook County.”
Chief Gahagan concluded by stating, “Interim Sheriff Gillen’s values, morals and ethics are admirable and his career is commendable. His employees look up to him as their leader. He is very worthy of this award.”
The nomination of Interim Sheriff Gillen will now be evaluated by the Special Assistant to the Maine Elks Association Drug Awareness Program Chair for submission as the State of Maine nominee to the national Drug Awareness Program chair.