By RYAN SHERIDAN
Daily Press writer
The Colorado Brand Board and the Colorado Cattleman's Association has recognized Moffat County Sheriff's Deputy Gary Nichols as their Law Enforcement Officer of the Year. Nichols was awarded this honor for his work with and for the state livestock industry. Nichols was selected from 15 nominees from across the state of Colorado.
The nomination was made by local cattleman and brand inspectors through the Colorado Cattleman's Association (CCA) and the state board of stock inspection, said Gary Shoun, Colorado Brand Commissioner.
"Gary Nichols was recognized for the work he did with the livestock industry," Shoun said. "In livestock movement interdiction prevention work and Hoof and Mouth disease issues, Gary really took the bull by the horns and took it upon himself to disseminate information and assistance. He also put in a lot of work to help train other officers about livestock issues.
"Gary is very active, and he continues to educate himself on these issues. He is an exceptional person."
Shoun also credits the Moffat County Sheriff Department for allowing Nichols to attend educational opportunities and commit time to livestock industry issues.
Nichols duties include investigating livestock and machinery theft, neglect and cruelty to animals, livestock transportation violations and educational efforts focused on preventing these problems.
The Sheriff's Office is extremely pleased about Nichols receiving this award, Moffat County Sheriff Buddy Grinstead said.
"We are excited that Gary was recognized by the CCA and the Brand Board," he said. "Gary's work goes along with our philosophy of working with our ranching community on several issues. To work in this capacity is a volunteer position, and Gary has done a great job in his duties. His inspiration and leadership got a lot done."
Nichols has been with the Sheriff's Office for 18 years, and last year volunteered to cover livestock investigations for Moffat County. He was raised on a cattle ranch in Missouri. The county he grew up in is the number one producer of feeder cattle in Missouri, which is a big part of his success in working with the local livestock and agriculture industries, he said.
"I was surprised to win this award," Nichols said. "It's nice to be recognized by the people you work with, and for the work you've done locally and statewide. Traditionally, you hear a lot of negative ideas about law enforcement, but we have a good relationship with the ranching and agricultural communities of our area. I really enjoy working and visiting with the ranching community."