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Eric Dickinson, right, has received the ILEETA Trainer of the Year Award

A local police officer continues to draw positive attention nationally for himself, his department, and the city of Vinton.Vinton Police Department Lieutenant Eric Dickinson was honored on March 25th as the 2014 Trainer of the Year at the annual conference of the International Law Enforcement Educators and Trainers Association (ILEETA) in Lombard, IL. The award was presented by Law Officer magazine editor, Dale Stockton, in front of 700 law enforcement trainers in attendance.

Recipients of the award are nominated and chosen based on training ability, leadership, safety, interpersonal communication skills, and long-term commitment to training above and beyond assigned duties. “Past recipients of the award are a Who’s Who of the best law enforcement trainers nationwide so it was an incredible honor to be included among them,” Dickinson said.

Dickinson also taught two sessions at the conference, and assisted in teaching another one.

In addition to training local officers while on-duty with theVinton Police Department for the last 16 years, Dickinson also teaches for Kirkwood Community College’s EMS program, and an Oklahoma based training company called SAFETAC. However, the majority of Dickinson’s training efforts both statewide and nationally over the last two years have been without compensation as part of a non-profit officer survival training campaign known as “Below 100.”

This award is the most recent in a series of accomplishments for Dickinson. His first published book addressed medical tactics for police officers and was released several months ago. Several law enforcement academies nationwide are considering adopting it as a text book for their training programs.

In February, he traveled to Washington D.C. at the invitation of the U.S. Department of Homeland Security for two days of briefings and panel discussions regarding the response of law enforcement, firefighters, and EMS personnel to mass shootings and bombings. Out of approximately 30 speakers and panelists, Dickinson was the only representative from a rural agency invited to speak at the event.

Despite the accolades, Dickinson is quick to give credit to others. “Chief (Jeff) Tilson has supported my growth as an instructor in various disciplines and has also been very supportive of my efforts with the Below 100 training program,” Dickinson said. Dickinson also credits his wife, Rachel, for her understanding and support of both his law enforcement career choice and his training obligations that sometimes require extensive travel and the use of vacation time for something other than family time. “We’re a team. I know that she has things covered at home and she knows the training I deliver saves lives and makes officers more effective at keeping their communities safe.”

(Photo courtesy of Law Officer magazine.)

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