For the second year in a row, Officer Rich O’Brien of the Butte-Silver Bow Law Enforcement, has been named 2020’s Safe Space Domestic Violence Officer of the Year.
Butte-Silver Bow Sheriff Ed Lester was not at all surprised O’Brien again received the award.
“This award is just further proof that Rich is dedicated to helping victims and always goes the extra mile,” Lester said.
Safe Space, a domestic violence and sexual assault prevention and awareness nonprofit, assists victims and survivors. Throughout the year, clients are asked to fill out a questionnaire in which they evaluate the officers they work with.
The group uses these responses to choose the Domestic Violence Officer of the Year.
For the past 23 years, Safe Space has granted the annual award every October, which is Domestic Violence Awareness Month.
O’Brien received this year’s award at a dinner held Thursday night at The Derby.
“It’s very humbling to know that the people we are trying to help appreciate what we do,” said Officer O’Brien.
Cathrine Beaunae, Safe Space executive director, described O’Brien as a kind and compassionate officer who has always taken the time to explain legal rights to domestic violence victims.
“On a personal note,” Beaunae said, “Officer O’Brien would always call Safe Space for the victim so we could advocate for them.”
“Rich is a big guy with an even bigger heart,” said Lester. “He just does a fantastic job.”
O’Brien, who has been with Butte Law Enforcement for the past 10 years, is a graveyard-shift patrol officer and wouldn’t have it any other way.
“I love that shift,” he said.
As far as the officer is concerned, domestic violence cases are some of the hardest cases to deal with.
“Unfortunately there are far too many of them,” he shared, “and we do the best we can to assist the victims.”
Get local news delivered to your inbox!
Subscribe to our Daily Headlines newsletter.