Corrales Police Officer Walter Heaton was recently presented with the VFW Law Enforcement Public Servant Award.

Heaton, who has been an officer in the village for more than 35 years, was presented with the award by Post #5432 Commander Terry Brown. Heaton was nominated by Police Chief Vic Mangiacapra for his selfless work in the community.

“Since joining the Corrales Police Department on May 3rd, 1986, Officer Heaton has proven himself to be instrumental in strengthening police-community relationships by constantly interacting with the public in a positive manner,” Corrales Police Chief Vic Mangiacapra wrote in his recommendation letter.

Heaton has taught Drug Abuse Resistance Program classes to elementary school students for more than 30 years and has also taught Gang Resistance Education and Training courses. Heaton also assists with community outreach efforts such as the Cops and Crayons school supply drive, Books and Badges student reading program and Neighborhood Watch.

“Year after year, Officer Heaton has been a steady presence at special events throughout the Village,” Mangiacapra wrote. “Officer Heaton has received 31 letters of commendation/appreciation and countless informal accolades for his outstanding services to the community.”