Oregon Officers Receive Attorney General Award for Distinguished Service in Policing | USAO-OR

PORTLAND, Ore.—U.S. Attorney Billy J. Williams congratulates Sergeant Jason Thien of the Curry County Sheriff’s Office and Detective Archie Lidey of the Grants Pass Department of Public Safety, who were honored by United States Attorney General William P. Barr for their distinguished service in policing. The awards were announced on November 3, 2020. 

The Attorney General’s Award recognizes individual state, local, and tribal sworn rank-and-file police officers and deputies for exceptional efforts in policing. The awarded officers and deputies have demonstrated active engagement with the community in one of three areas: criminal investigations, field operations or innovations in community policing. This year, the department received 214 nominations recognizing a total of 355 individual officers, deputies, and troopers. There were 39 states represented in the nomination pool, covering state, local, campus, sheriff, and other agency types. This year’s awards recognized the exceptional work of 23 law enforcement officers and deputies from 12 jurisdictions across the country.

The Distinguished Service Award for Sergeant Thien was in the category of Criminal Investigations and reads as follows:

In Curry County, Oregon, Sergeant Jason Thien often works alone on his shift, where he services a 1,600-square mile county and more than eighty miles of the Pacific Coast Highway. Even so, he did not hesitate to give it his all when word came down of a widespread manhunt for a murder suspect, who was thought to be in Curry County. Working his contacts, combing property records, and using other investigative tools, he found his man. Thanks to Sergeant Thien’s dedicated efforts, he apprehended the subject, who will soon be facing charges.

The Distinguished Service Commendation for Detective Lidey was in the category of Innovations in Community Policing and reads as follows:

When Josephine County, Oregon, suffered a funding crisis, Detective Archie Lidey zoomed into action. The situation was dire, with staffing reduced at the sheriff’s office and the jail, limiting the number of offenders that could be housed. Citations were issued to most criminal offenders instead of placing them under arrest. But Detective Lidey began a grassroots effort to find and maintain funding. As a founding member of Securing Our Safety (SOS), formed specifically to overcome the law enforcement–funding crisis, Detective Lidey organized a 5k race that grew to 700 participants in 2020. Lidey and SOS also raised over $60,000 to complete a study of local justice and law enforcement programs. They also formed a nonprofit called Grace Roots, to establish a residential treatment center for people with addictions; and he was key in establishing the Grants Pass Treatment Center, a methadone and suboxone treatment program for substance abuse addiction. Josephine County went from having no treatment facility to one that now sees more than 300 patients a day. And funding-wise, it has all paid off: since 2013, Detective Lidey has coordinated events and contributions that now total $324,000.

“There is no career nobler than that of a police officer, and the 23 officers we honor this year demonstrate that clearly,” said Attorney General William P. Barr. “These individuals are distinguished in their service for field operations and criminal investigations – from investigating homicides to drug trafficking to sexual exploitation and assault – to making positive change in their communities through innovative outreach to local residents. Their actions are a testament to what law enforcement officers contribute to our nation each day, keeping us safe from violent crime and building more trusting communities, and they are deserving of our collective thanks. I am pleased to honor these 23 officers for their distinguished service in policing.”

“I look forward to presenting these awards to Sergeant Thein and Detective Lidey” said United States Attorney Williams. “These awards are a testament to the dedication, bravery and skill of all law enforcement across our nation and I cannot be happier that two of our own have been recognized for their public safety efforts.”

U.S. Attorney Williams will present the award to Sergeant Thien on November 18, 2020, at 9:00 a.m. at the Curry County Board of Commissioners Annex in Gold Beach, Oregon, and to Detective Lidey on November 24, 2020, at 3:30 p.m. at the Department of Public Safety in Grants Pass, Oregon.

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