VFW honors Las Vegas police veteran

A 17-year Las Vegas police veteran was named Nevada's officer of the year on Tuesday by the Veterans of Foreign Wars.

Officer Kevin Stephens, who is assigned to the training bureau of the Metropolitan Police Department, was the recipient of the award for his training of police recruits and his service to the community, said Leonard Wenson of the downtown Las Vegas chapter of the war veterans' group.

The award was to be presented Tuesday night at the Police Department's Northwest Area Command center at 9850 W. Cheyenne Ave.

Wenson said Stephens was nominated by a colleague in the Police Department. A six-member committee of state VFW members chose Stephens over 40 other nominees from police agencies throughout the state.

Stephens' work with recruits stood out to the judges, Wenson said. Stephens was featured in an instructional video that shows recruits how to defend themselves. He also helped write the exam that recruits take in order to become an officer, and he teaches recruits how to conduct traffic stops, Wenson said.

Additionally, he helped coordinate an annual charity soccer game between Las Vegas police and a local fire department, according to Wenson. The game raises money for the Children's Miracle Network, a nonprofit that raises money for children's hospitals. Stephens also is involved with the Boy Scouts of America, helping local boys in their advancement through the program's ranks, Wenson said.