On Friday, June 7th, Canadian County Sheriff Chris West was notified that Sergeant Maurice “Mo” James had been selected as the American Legion Department of Oklahoma’s 2024 Law Enforcement Officer of the Year, for all of Oklahoma.  James, a thirty-year veteran of the Oklahoma City Police Department (OCPD) began working at the Canadian County Sheriff’s Office in 2020 after a full career with OCPD.  Upon arrival, James was assigned to the Sheriff’s Office Narcotics Division and has worked as a Criminal Interdictor ever since.  

James was selected as the American Legion Post 353 (Mustang) Officer of the Year earlier this year, and then submitted to the state office for state-wide Officer of the Year consideration.  The awards ceremony is scheduled for Saturday, July 20th during the American Legion, Department of Oklahoma annual Convention, which will be held at the Embassy Suites Hotel in Northwest Oklahoma City. 

“From day one Mo has been a serious impact player, he hit the ground running and has never slowed down.  His fast pace and high energy attitude would make you think he’s just a rookie, but he’s been a motivated and hard-working cop for over thirty years,” said Chris West, Canadian County Sheriff.

Earlier this year, Sheriff Chris West was notified that Canadian County Sheriff’s Deputy, Sergeant David Cates, had been named to receive the National Sheriffs Association (NSA) “Charles ‘Bud’ Meeks Award for Deputy Sheriff of the Year for Merit” – 2024.

The award will be presented at the 2024 National Sheriffs Association’s Annual Conference Awards Luncheon, held in the Oklahoma City Convention Center’s Ball Room on June 26, 2024.  In addition to being named as the Deputy of the Year for Merit, Cates was presented with the NSA’s prestigious Medal of Merit on March 27, 2024.

Cates who began working at the Sheriff’s Office in March of 2015, worked his way up the ranks from being a Detention Officer in the Jail, to a Patrol Deputy and then eventually into the Investigations Division where he leads the Internet Crimes Against Children unit.  Not only does Cates serve as an Investigator, but he also volunteers in several additional duties, including heading up the Peer Support Unit, Honor Guard and as one of the counties activity coordinators.

During the NSA conference, Canadian County Sheriff Chris West will swear-in as the 1st Vice President of the National Sheriffs Association.  West, who was first elected to the NSA Board of Directors in 2019 will swear in to his new position along with other members of the Board of Directors and Executive Committee officers on Thursday, June 27th at the NSA President’s Banquet.

“Sheriff Chris West and the Canadian County Sheriff’s Office is the epitome of great leadership, community and performance,” proclaimed Jonathan Thompson, Executive Director, and CEO of the National Sheriffs Association.  The selection of Sergeant David Cates as Deputy of the Year demonstrates that GREAT people come from GREAT effort, training, and commitment to quality and transparent law enforcement.  Thank you, Sheriff West, and Sergeant Cates,” said Thompson.

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Photos:  Sergeant James accepting American Legion, Post 353 award from Paul Ray; Sheriff West presenting Medal of Merit to Sergeant Cates.


Chris West 


Canadian County, OK