Butte police officer Joshua Stearns recently was named Officer of the Year by the nonprofit organization that protects and advocates for victims of domestic and sexual abuse, Safe Space.
Cathrine Beaunae, Safe Space executive director, cited Stearns’ thoroughness in a particularly harrowing incident involving a partner-family member assault last February when a man discharged a gun next to the victim’s head. Beaunae said Stearns responded in a kind and compassionate manner and his thorough response helped make the incident “a little less traumatic” for the victim and led to the man’s prosecution.
The annual award acknowledges “the positive responses by our law enforcement officers to domestic violence and sexual assaults,” said Beaunae during her presentation at the ceremony.
“We know that domestic violence calls can be very challenging for first responders, and we appreciate your daily dedication to protecting the safety of the victims and their families,” Beaunae told Stearns at the presentation. “Due to your committed effort, the Butte community is a safer place to live, and knowledgeable about how violence in the home is unacceptable, against the law, and will no longer be tolerated.”
Clients who are helped by the Butte police department in cases of domestic violence or sexual assault, and who received services from Safe Space, fill out “Police Officer Response” questionnaires. Officials from Safe Space gather data from these questionnaires, based on clients’ experiences, and recognize the officer who goes above and beyond the call of duty when helping victims.