By Bette and Ed Sharpe
Special to Independent Newsmedia
Glendale Police Department officer and Copper Canyon High School’s school resource officer Ryan Winfield was named Officer of the Year by a Glendale American Legion post last week.
The American Legion Arrowhead — John E. Ford III, Post 144 honored Mr. Winfield Thursday, June 7 and presented him with a certificate and plaque declaring him the post’s 2017-18 Officer of the Year during a ceremony at the group’s regular meeting place at the Denny’s near 51st and Thunderbird avenues.
Mr. Winfield plans to retire in about two months after more than 20 years of service.
“I’m humbled and thankful to be recognized by such a great group of people,” Mr. Winfield said. “I’m proud to represent the Glendale Police Department for this award and I’m thankful for the American Legion Post 144 for recognizing me as their Officer of the Year.”
In addition to Mr. Winfield’s on-campus duties as GPD’s school resource officer at Copper Canyon High School, 9126 W. Camelback Road, Glendale, he coordinates charity basketball games and touch-a-truck events for special needs students. This past year, he coordinated with police, fire and medical rescue teams to have SWAT vehicles, fire engines, mobile command centers and a helicopter at the events. Beyond these events, he has been instrumental in making a difference in the lives of two students.
In May, Mr. Winfield became aware that a senior student wanted to attend prom, but his family did not have the financial means to obtain a tuxedo. Mr. Winfield personally paid for a tuxedo rental for the student and showed him how to put on the ensemble, so the student could attend prom.
In December, Mr. Winfield had a conversation with another senior student. He learned that the student had a 3.8 grade point average and hoped to attend Grand Canyon University in Phoenix, to study physical therapy. She would be the first in her family to attend college; however, her family was not able help with tuition.
Mr. Winfield helped get the student a summer internship at R.I.S.E. Orthopedic & Sports Physical Therapy in Surprise and also partnered with the Anthony Holly Foundation to obtain a $1,000 scholarship for the student. The money obtained was money he raised participating in the Ironman Arizona Triathlon in November 2017.
GPD Commander Colby Brandt said Mr. Winfield is “still bringing it every single day” and said Mr. Winfield’s award coming from the veterans of American Legion was “a little more special in the fact that you guys have all sacrificed so much of your own for your country and for your community.”
Ms. and Mr. Sharpe photograph and write for Glendale Daily Planet. For more photos of this event, visit GlendaleDailyPlanet.com.
Photos by Ed Sharpe / Special to Independent Newsmedia: