On Saturday, May 16, Pana Police Officer Adam Ladage was presented with the 2014-15 Enrique Camarena National Officer of the Year Award, presented by the National Benevolent and Protective Orders of Elks. The award was presented during the Spring Elks State Convention held in the Hilton Hotel, Springfield.
Officer Ladage was presented with the Enrique Camarena statue (seen at right), which will be on display throughout the community for citizens to view. The statue will be returned in the spring of 2016 and presented to the 2015-16 officer of the year.
The Elks Enrique Camarena Award was established by the Benevolent and Protective Orders of Elks to recognize and honor law enforcement officers who have made a significant contribution in the field of drug prevention and who personify Agent Camarena’s belief that “one person can make a difference.”
Special Agent Enrique Camarena was a slain DEA agent, murdered by the Mexican Drug Cartel, while investigating drug trafficking into the United States. He was brutally tortured and killed in 1985. One officer is selected from each state to receive the State Award, and from the state award winners, one officer is selected to receive the National Award.
Pana Elks Lodge 1261 submitted Officer Ladage as a nomination to the State Drug Awareness Chairman for the 2015 Illinois Enrique Camarena Award. On Jan. 24, Ladage was recognized at the annual awards banquet as the 2015 Illinois Enrique Camarena Award winner, and later recognized as the National Officer of the year. The Pana Police Department would like to thank the Pana Elks Lodge for their continued support of law enforcement and their families.
“Officer Ladage’s dedication was recognized by being the recipient of this prestigious award, and we congratulate and thank him for his service to our community,” Pana Police Chief Daniel Bland said.