Gabrielson Wins Police Reporting Award For Stories On Abuse At Disabled Centers


Reporter Ryan Gabrielson of California Watch has won the 2013 Al Nakkula Award for excellence in police reporting for exposing the shoddy practices of an internal police force patrolling California's developmental centers for the disabled. The award, presented by the University of Colorado and the Denver Press Club, is named for a former Rocky Mountain News police reporter known for his dogged journalism. Gabrielson won for his series Broken Shield, an 18-month investigation that uncovered systemic failures at the state Office of Protective Services and prompted a criminal investigation, two new laws, staff retraining, policy changes and a management shake-up. Broken Shield has already been honored this year with the 2013 George Polk Award for state reporting. Second place in the Nakkula contest went to Peter Dujardin of the Daily Press in Newport News, Va., for his series “Selling Smoke,” about a 19-month, $4 million police sting that failed to generate a single arrest.

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