Warwick resident, K-9 officer recognized by Attorney General with Justice Awards
Warwick resident George Whalen and Warwick Police Officer Aaron Steere were honored recently by Attorney General Peter F. Kilmartin with Justice Awards.
Justice Awards are given in recognition of individual and organizational excellence and commitment to justice and the community. Each Justice Award is presented in honor of one of the eight previous Attorneys General: Arlene Violet, Richard Israel, Herbert DeSimone, Dennis Roberts, James O’Neil, Jeffrey Pine, Sheldon Whitehouse, and Patrick Lynch.
“There are so many hard working, dedicated individuals that quietly go about doing their job every day without any expectation of being recognized for their good works, their commitment to helping others, and for making Rhode Island a stronger, safer place,” said Attorney General Peter Kilmartin. “George Whalen and Officer Steere are two of those quiet heroes whose contributions have enhanced our quality of life and improved the safety of our community.”
George Whalen received the Attorney General Richard Israel Justice Award for Consumer Protection. Whalen has served as Executive Director for the Contractor’s Registration and Licensing Board (CRLB) for more than 25 years, where he is responsible for regulating all contractors in Rhode Island.
Whalen was presented the Justice Award by former Attorney General Arlene Violet, who said, “George is the heart and soul of the CRLB and works tirelessly on behalf of consumers. His leadership and expertise has improved the contractor licensing process in Rhode Island, and more importantly, he has gotten financial relief for countless of Rhode Island homeowners.”
Warwick Police Officer Aaron Steere received the Attorney General Sheldon Whitehouse Justice Award for Drug Enforcement. Officer Steere has been a handler for K-9 Viking for more than five years, and together they have become an important resource for the Warwick Police Department and the High Intensity Drug Trafficking Area Task force (HIDTA) and the DEA on multiple narcotic investigations and arrests. Last year through his work, Officer Steere and K-9 Viking were responsible for the seizure of $557,200 in suspected narcotics money, 69.7 pounds of marijuana, 9.3 kilograms of heroin and fentanyl, and 9.1 kilograms of cocaine and crack.
In speaking about his accomplishments, Kilmartin noted, “Officer Steere has contributed greatly to getting deadly drugs off our streets and out of the community, inevitably saving lives.”
Officer Steere was unable to attend the Justice Awards ceremony. Accepting on his behalf was Warwick Police Captain Joseph Hopkins.