Newark Police Sgt. David Lee knows tactics.
It’s those tactics that helped the sergeant, who also serves as a SWAT team leader, direct a team that placed eighth out of more than 30 tactical teams in a regional competition known as Urban Shield in late October.
And it’s his overall work as a law enforcement officer that landed him two separate prestigious honors from the county and city last month.
Lee is one of eight Alameda County law enforcement officers in who received a 2012 Alameda County District Attorney’s Officer Recognition Award. The honor was awarded to him as a result of his role in the investigation and closure of an illegal marijuana dispensary in Newark.
But the awards didn’t stop there. Lee was also recognized as the City of Newark’s Employee of the Year, which Lee called “a huge honor.”
“I had no idea that I was even in the running for employee of the year until they announced the award and my family was present during the awards ceremony which was equally surprising,” he said.
Lee added that the county District Attorney’s Officer Recognition Award was a “prestigious honor” and that the Newark Police Department “had a lot of faith in me to handle a problem with an illegally operated Marijuana Dispensary and all I did was my job.”
“The final outcome exceeded my expectations with the amount of illegal activities they were conducting but I was simply doing my job as an investigator. The rest, including the award, was unexpected, but I was pleasantly surprised.”
The desire to make a difference and help people is the reason why Lee said he chose to become a police officer.
“The majority of my family entered into business or medicine but I wanted a career that would reward me with more than monetary rewards,” Lee said.
Lee’s duties span beyond being a patrol sergeant and SWAT team leader. He is also a defensive tactics instructor and firearms instructor. Those roles, he said, allows him to share his training with other officers who also contribute to protecting the community.
“My primary goal as a Newark Police Officer is the safety of the community I serve and protect, “ Lee said. “My goal is to train our officers to respond effectively to incidents in the community as if the victims were our own family members.”
Lee joined the Newark Police Department as an officer in April 2003 and holds a bachelor’s degree in criminal justice from California State University, Stanislaus.