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NSA: 2012 Sheriff of the Year
By National Sheriffs’ Association
Published: 01/26/2012

ALEXANDRIA, VA – The National Sheriffs’ Association (NSA) is pleased to announce that Paul D. Laney, Sheriff of Cass County, North Dakota has been selected as the recipient of the 2012 Ferris E. Lucas Award for Sheriff of the Year. The Ferris E. Lucas Award will be presented at the Opening General Session on Sunday, June 17th at NSA’s Annual Conference in Nashville, TN.

The National Sheriffs’ Association established the Ferris E. Lucas award in 1995 to recognize an outstanding sheriff of the year for contributions made to improve the Office of Sheriff on the local, state, and national levels, and for involvement in the community above and beyond the responsibilities required. The award is given in memory of Ferris E. Lucas, NSA Past President (1944-46) and executive director (1964-82), who completed 50 years of distinguished service and leadership in law enforcement. This year’s award is sponsored by Pursuit Products, Inc.

In November 2006, Sheriff Laney was elected Sheriff of Cass County, ND. Prior to being elected Sheriff, he was a 17-year veteran of the Fargo Police Department, rising to the rank of Lieutenant, as well as the Commander of the Red River Valley SWAT team. Now in his sixth year as Sheriff, he commands an agency of 140 full-time employees, as well as approximately 40 volunteers.

During the historic record flooding of 2009, Sheriff Laney supervised the rescue of 168 residents from their flooded homes. He coordinated the multi-agency flood response to the Red River Valley area for the last three consecutive years, to include the formation of a Tactical Operations Center (TOC) approach in which multiple agencies worked side-by-side for flood response/rescue operations. Sheriff Laney’s dedication and efforts with the Cass County TOC has led to a declaration from the Federal Emergency Management Administration (FEMA) that Cass County’s TOC concept be adopted and implemented as a “best practice” nationwide.

On the heels of flooding in Eastern North Dakota in 2011, the western part of the state and much of the southern region was significantly impacted by record Missouri River flooding. Sheriff Laney offered assistance to other parts of the region both in terms of TOC protocol; manpower; and equipment. Airboats, which had been secured the previous year through grant funding, and operators spent weeks assisting in the Minot and Bismarck areas. Sheriff Laney and other personnel traveled to South Dakota to advise on matters related to establishing TOC operations. This resulted in critical time saving measures during a rapidly developing and dynamic situation.

Furthermore, as Sheriff, Sheriff Laney has organized a United Emergency Action plan with the Assistant Superintendant of Fargo schools that put all schools within Cass and Clay counties on the same emergency response plan for critical incidents. He has also created a Field Readiness Training Program for licensed officers that allows for increased staffing without having to hire additional staff; created a Corrections Emergency Response Team to respond to disturbances and disruptive inmates in the Cass County jail; and developed an Office of Professional Standards (OPS) to investigate internal and external complaints against the Cass County Sheriff’s Office personnel. Sheriff Laney holds a Bachelor’s Degree in Management from the University of Mary and also a Master’s Degree in Management with emphasis in Human Resources from the University of Mary. He is a veteran of the United States Marine Corps; currently serves as the President of the North Dakota Sheriff’s and Deputies Association; and is an active member of the National Sheriffs’ Association, serving on NSA’s Drug Enforcement and Special Operations committees. Sheriff Laney and his wife Patty, who is an attorney and the Director of the Criminal Justice Program at Rasmussen College in Fargo, have two daughters.

The National Sheriffs’ Association (NSA) is the largest association of law enforcement professionals in the United States, representing more than 3,000 elected sheriffs across the nation, and a total membership of more than 20,000. NSA is a non-profit organization dedicated to raising the level of professionalism among sheriffs, their deputies, and others in the field of criminal justice and public safety. Throughout its seventy-one year history, NSA has served as an information clearinghouse for sheriffs, deputies, chiefs of police, other law enforcement professionals, state governments and the federal government. NSA also provides management training for sheriffs and their command personnel at the National Sheriffs’ Institute and through other innovative programs, workshops, and seminars. The National Sheriffs' Association, located in Alexandria, Virginia, also oversees the highly successful Triad Program and Neighborhood Watch.


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