Petaluma Police Detective Earns Enrique Camarena Award

The Petaluma Police Department is proud to announce Detective Rick Cox is to be awarded the Enrique Camarena state-level award this Friday, May 16 in Palm Springs.
The Elks Enrique Camarena Award has been established by the Benevolent and Protective Order of Elks to recognize and honor law enforcement officers who have made a significant contribution in the field of drug prevention and who personify Agent Camarena’s belief that one person can make a difference.

Special agent Enrique Camarena was a slain DEA Agent, murdered by the Mexican Drug Cartel, while investigating drug trafficking into the United States. He was brutally tortured and killed in 1985.

His death precipitated the start of the Red Ribbon Campaign that we celebrate each year during October in his honor. The Red Ribbon Campaign was started by the Camarena family and friends as a tribute to Agent Camarena.

However it also serves as a reminder to all of use about the dangers of substance abuse. 

Prerequisites for this prestigious award require candidates to be a law enforcement professional. The candidate must be a positive role model committed to a healthy lifestyle.
The candidate is to have made an outstanding contribution in the field of drug awareness and prevention. The candidate is required to have gone beyond normal responsibilities in their position. 

Detective Rick Cox has been a police officer with Petaluma Police Department for over 19 years. Detective Cox was an outstanding patrol officer and was best known for his self initiated activity that resulted in many narcotic arrests.

Because of his experience, performance and drive to further combat illegal narcotics in Petaluma, he was selected as a K-9 Officer. During his tenure as a K-9 Officer, he and K-9 Max made numerous arrests of suspects for narcotic violations and seized many pounds of illegal narcotics.

Detective Cox and his K-9 partner also performed numerous community talks to schools, service groups and business owners. He has helped educate many young people on the dangers of drug possession, recognition and use.

Because of his hard work and excellent skills he was assigned to a Drug Enforcement Agency Task Force in 2008. While much of Detective Cox’s work has been confidential in nature, he has conducted many complex investigations involving organized crime, and assisted many local law enforcement agencies with smaller narcotic investigations.

Detective Cox has assisted the Petaluma PD in many small investigations that have resulted in over $1,000,000 in asset seizures and hundreds of pounds of illegal narcotics being seized. Many law enforcement officers will call Detective Cox for assistance in narcotic related investigations.

Detective Cox’s supervisor describes him as trustworthy, completes good investigations, has good officer safety tactics, and works well with the other employees. He further stated that often times Detective Cox has is hundreds of miles of away from him conducting an investigation and he trusts that he can make good decisions with little supervision.

Over a year ago, Detective Cox obtained another narcotic K-9. Detective Cox works diligently to keep his partner well trained to assist him in locating narcotics as part of his investigations.

Much of Detective Cox’s good work goes unnoticed because of the sensitivity of the type of cases that he works on. Many times he has had to sacrifice time with his family, special events or must work many days with little time off because a case may require constant surveillance or detailed evidence gathering.
Detective Cox has received many commendations for his work. Below are listed some current commendations and reviews. 

• In 2011 Detective Cox was nominated for the Sonoma County Exchange Club Officer of the Year. 
• In 2010 Detective Cox received a commendation for assisting in the arrest of gang members planning to commit armed robberies. 
• Between 2002 and 2007, K-9 Officer Cox and his partner Max received numerous awards at K-9 Trials throughout California

Detective Cox was nominated by Petaluma Police Lieutenant Tim Lyons for the regional Enrique Camarena Award. The nomination, submitted to our local Elks Club, earned Detective Cox the regional award.

After being named recipient of the regional award, Detective Cox’s nomination was automatically submitted for state consideration and the Petaluma Police Department learned earlier this month that Detective Cox was selected to receive the state level award.

He will be honored at a ceremony in Palm Springs, CA on Friday, May 16, 2014. 


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