2009 Employee of the Year:
Name: Ed Kafel
Current Assignment: Training Section
Deputy Kafel's citation is found below.
Deputy Kafel is an extremely skilled, conscientious and tenacious individual who possesses the maturity and leadership needed in law enforcement training today. Deputy Kafel has been assigned to the Support Services Bureau as a Training Deputy since 2002. Deputy Kafel consistently receives positive feedback regarding the many interactions he has with law enforcement professionals throughout the state. He is highly respected as a leader in law enforcement training. His “can do” attitude combined with his attention to detail and ability to follow through make him one of the most efficient employees in this office. Deputy Kafel takes ownership of his responsibilities and remains cognizant of not only his duties, but the entire mission of the team. He never shirks a task, can multi-task proficiently, and never seeks recognition for himself. He does this exceptionally well, while maintaining a command presence and stout personal constitution. His humble approach to life and the job he does, make him a rather unique individual and one who brings great credit upon this organization.
Ed is an experienced member of the Colorado Police Officer Standards and Training (POST) Firearms Subject Matters Expert (SME) Committee. During the period of 2005-2008, Deputy Kafel conducted a total of 20 “test outs”; the P.O.S.T. process for allowing law enforcement officers from out of Colorado to “challenge” the P.O.S.T. requirements and seek state certification to work in Colorado as a sworn peace officer. Additionally, Ed has conducted more than 13 on-site inspections of other P.O.S.T. certified basic law enforcement academies. Of the 16 people in the State of Colorado who are P.O.S.T. certified to conduct test-outs and site inspections, Deputy Kafel leads the group. When people around the state meet Ed Kafel in this forum, they see an example outstanding professionalism and attention to detail. The Training Section recently received the following e-mail from Ms. Kristi Quintana, the Colorado Police Officers Standards and Training Firearms SME Committee Chair:
“Ed has the respect and admiration of the entire SME Committee, as well as the POST staff – he is intelligent, professional, competent and has a well honed sense of humor to the delight of all of us. Over and above the test-outs and inspections, he has attended virtually every meeting, has helped with the crafting of lesson plans, and has given great insight on the discussions regarding qualification courses, as well as always providing thoughtful comments on the many other issues that are covered by the committee. You have a one in a million man with Ed – I’m delighted that you are willing to share him with the rest of us. – he makes us all better.”
The El Paso County Sheriff’s Office is extremely proud of Deputy Ed Kafel’s sincere approach he takes while performing his duties. He is never satisfied with the status-quo, recognizing the life of one of our deputies may hinge on the training he or she receives. While he goes about doing what needs to be done, it is his persistence, commitment, and diligence that tend to plug the dike when those around him are beginning to feel the pressure.
2008 Employee of the Year:
Name: Matthew Stoneback
Current Assignment: Research and Planning
Deputy Stoneback's citation is found below.
Deputy Stoneback was assigned to the Research and Planning Section in June of 2007. Since his arrival, Deputy Stoneback has hit the ground running making significant contributions that have been felt across the Sheriff’s Office. Deputy Stoneback is unequivocally one of the most creative employees assigned to the Support Services Bureau. Matt's talents are many but his niche is in the Information Technology arena. Matt almost single handedly produced the Annual Awards Ceremony presentation that was technologically unprecedented in the history of this Office. He was able to streamline the production by almost two hours while improving the clarity and format of the overall presentation. Many laudatory remarks were made by the Sheriff, Senior Staff and visiting dignitaries as a result of his efforts.
Another huge undertaking was in the Sheriff Office web page. Again Matt proved his technical savvy by developing the web site template, assisting County Information Technologies with the coding of the template into the Content Management System program and finalizing the look and content. Matt worked closely with the entire Command Staff ensuring their information was updated and the timeline was adhered to. Matt was instrumental in migrating the web page from the development site to the operational site which was done well within the planned three hour window. Matt continues to manage the project refining and trouble shooting as needed.
Deputy Stoneback has unlimited potential and has made himself an indispensable asset to the Support Services Bureau and the Sheriff’s Office. Below are the highlights of Matt’s contributions within the last year:
- Assisted County IT with the coding of the County's web page program (CMS).
- Redesigned the Sheriff's Office web page template.
- Worked with key members throughout the Office and revamped the web page contents in its entirety.
- Developed a remarkable digitized presentation for the Annual Awards Ceremony which completely enhanced how we present the ceremony now and in the future.
- Assisted organizing two Teen Academies and developed all printed material to support them.
- Upgraded the Support Services bureau still photography equipment.
- Attended a Nikon school to further his photography skills and maximize the new equipment purchased.
- Was selected as the primary events photographer for the Sheriff’s Office and as such, attended a myriad of functions as photographer throughout the year.
- Assisted with the design layout of the invitations for the Peace Officers Memorial.
- Assisted Internal Affairs with the mapping and graphics on several major cases.
- Completed two Bachelor's Degrees from Alma College (Bachelor of Arts, Bachelor of Music Education.)
- Completed over 150 Computer Voice Stress Analysis (CVSA) tests during the year.
- Instructed on several occasions for the Deputy Recruit and Detention Specialist academies.
- Assisted with the design, layout and production of the Annual Report and Behind the Badge quarterly publications.
As demonstrated above, Deputy Stoneback is an outstanding employee who has gone above and beyond his normal course of duties. Through his own initiative, he has in many ways redefined the mission of the Research and Plans Section combining a multimedia component not enjoyed previously. For these reasons, he has been unanimously chosen as the 2008 Employee of the Year.
2007 Employee of the Year:
Name: Ralph Losasso
Current Assignment: Investigations Division, Major Crimes
Detective Losasso's citation is found below.
On August 10, 2004, Detective Losasso was investigating a violent attempted sexual assault involving a handgun. Detective Losasso determined an older white male had responded to an advertisement for the sale of a wedding dress. When the suspect contacted the victim at her apartment, he produced a gun and told the victim if she screamed he would kill her. The victim was able to fend off the suspect who subsequently fled the scene.
Detective Losasso submitted DNA evidence recovered from the scene to the FBI’s Combined DNA Index System. On February 1, 2006, Detective Losasso was notified by the Colorado Bureau of Investigation that a match had been made between the DNA evidence he submitted and unsolved sexual assault case in Tuscaloosa, Alabama, occurring in 1991. In the Tuscaloosa case, the victim was abducted at knife point.
Detective Losasso took the innovative step of obtaining an arrest warrant for the holder of the DNA profile obtained in his case preventing the statute of limitations from expiring.
In May 2006, Detective Losasso traveled to Tuscaloosa, Alabama. While there, he learned that a series of incidents involving wedding dresses advertised for sale were likely linked to the two confirmed assault cases. Detective Losasso reinvestigated a sexual assault case in Madison, Alabama. He reprocessed the crime scene, locating and collecting additional evidence not initially collected.
Detective Losasso was able to connect the sexual assault cases with a 1981 murder which occurred in Tulsa, Oklahoma. As with the other cases, the Tulsa victim advertised her wedding dress for sale. An individual fitting the description of the suspect in the sexual assault was seen by witnesses at the victim’s residence only hours before her body was discovered by neighbors. The victim had been sexually assaulted and strangled.
Realizing he was pursing a serial rapist and murderer who was operating throughout the United States, Detective Losasso sought help from the television show “America’s Most Wanted”.
Detective Losasso spent months working and traveling with the staff of “America’s Most Wanted”, preparing for the broadcast that would release information to the public in this case.
On November 18, 2006, Detective Losasso traveled to the AMW studios in Washington, D.C. to take calls from tipsters as the AMW episode was being broadcast live. Since that broadcast, over 200 tips have been received on what is being dubbed the “Wedding Dress Rapist” case.
Detective Losasso’s tenacity and skill as an investigator has brought to light to the nation’s law enforcement community and the public, a very dangerous and deadly predator who must be caught. He is continuously working with his counterparts in Alabama for the apprehension of this serial criminal.