Cpl. Don LaPiere is the Collier County Bar Association’s 2009 Law Enforcement Officer of the Year.
LaPiere received the award, which annually recognizes outstanding efforts by local law enforcement officers, at a luncheon at the Naples Yacht Club on Friday.
“We felt that Cpl. Don LaPiere was a singular example of how a rank-and-file member of the agency can find ways to make extraordinary contributions to our community,” the Bar Association stated in its nomination of LaPiere.
LaPiere's contributions include his work with the local Teen Court program and the Reality Journey, an annual presentation where volunteer actors dramatize the aftermath of a teen drinking party and subsequent fatal DUI car crash.
“Don’s tireless support of (the Reality Journey) has played an important role in making clear to area youths that drinking and driving is a deadly serious problem,” the Bar Association stated.
LaPiere is retiring in May after nearly 20 years with the Collier County Sheriff’s Office, most of that time in the Bailiffs Bureau.
“Don is the consummate professional in the courtroom and has always demonstrated a unique appreciation of the fact that everyone who enters a courtroom is under tremendous stress, and that Don’s tone and demeanor can help alleviate some of that,” the Bar Association stated.
Bailiffs Bureau Lt. Ed Busby called LaPiere, whom he has supervised for more than a decade, “Mr. Reliable.”
“He’s the quintessential perfect model employee,” Busby said.
Cpl. Don LaPiere accepts the 2009 Law Enforcement Officer of the Year Award as Collier County Judge Janeice Martin looks on during a luncheon at the Naples Yacht Club on Friday. Martin is also president of the Collier County Bar Association, which presented the annual award to LaPiere. Photo by Joe Geoffroy/CCSO