Estherville, Iowa, Police Officer Honored for Commitment to Drug Abuse Prevention | USAO-NDIA

An Estherville, Iowa, police officer is being honored by the United States Attorney’s Offices for the Northern and Southern Districts of Iowa and the Drug Enforcement Administration (DEA) for his commitment to reducing drug abuse.  The recipient of the Enrique S. Camarena Award is Captain Nathaniel Dunlavy of the Estherville Police Department.      

The award is named after Enrique “Kiki” Camarena, who was an 11-year veteran agent of the DEA before being kidnapped, brutally tortured, and then murdered in Mexico in 1985 while working undercover gathering information and evidence about drug lords.  This award is presented each year to local law enforcement officers who best exemplify the qualities and principles for which Agent Camarena gave his life—specifically, making their communities a safer place to live through outstanding drug prevention and enforcement efforts.

Captain Dunlavy has gone above and beyond the call of duty in pursuit of a drug-free community, worked tirelessly to reduce drug abuse, and is a worthy recipient of this distinguished award.  Captain Dunlavy spent over a decade as the DARE officer for Estherville schools.  During that time, he expanded the program to include all students in kindergarten through fifth grade.  He also started teaching refresher courses in middle and high school, ensuring the students he previously taught remembered what they learned.  Through the DARE program, Captain Dunlavy impacted an entire generation of students.

Captain Dunlavy’s contributions to keeping young people drug free did not end with his work in the DARE program.  He volunteered thousands of hours of his own time to teach, coach, and mentor hundreds of youth.  Through his interactions with students, he not only served as a teacher, but as a positive role model.  Captain Dunlavy is especially good at identifying young people who may be on a bad path, connecting with them, and helping them avoid drug use or other destructive behaviors. 

Peter E. Deegan, Jr., United States Attorney for the Northern District of Iowa, stated, “Captain Dunlavy is dedicated to educating students about the risks of drugs and substance abuse.  By his actions, he has demonstrated that engaging with young people and being a positive role model is key to ensuring students remain drug free.”

“Captain Dunlavy’s commitment to students as a school resource officer, DARE program leader, coach, mentor and friend, exemplify the beliefs of fallen DEA Special Agent Enrique (Kiki) Camarena,” DEA Omaha Division Acting Special Agent in Charge Darin Thimmesch said. “Kiki strongly believed that one person could make a difference in the life of another and Captain Dunlavy has proven that true time and time again.  On behalf of DEA, we thank Captain Dunlavy for his service and encouragement to future generations to live a drug-free life.”

United States Attorney Deegan will present Captain Dunlavy with the Enrique S. Camarena Award in Estherville on January 26, 2021.

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