Lakewood Police Chief Finalist For America's Most Wanted 'All-Star Officer'
A dedicated lawman from Lakewood, carrying on a family tradition of public service, has been chosen as a finalist in the 2011 America's Most Wanted All-Star Contest, sponsored by Sprint. Chief Bret Farrar of the Lakewood, WA Police Department is the second weekly finalist chosen by the public through online voting in the contest, which honors the work of first responders.

Chief Farrar, following in the footsteps of his grandfather, has been a police officer for more than 20 years, with both the Lakewood P. D. and the Pierce County Sheriff's Department. He's been involved in many high-profile cases, including investigations of several murder and abduction cases involving young boys and girls. He says this strongly influenced the way he raised his own daughter: "She'll probably tell you that I was paranoid ... I just wanted to protect her."

As a Chief, Bret Farrar has dealt with the most traumatic event a department can face. In 2009, four Lakewood Police officers were shot to death in a coffee shop by a gunman who was later killed in a shootout with police in Seattle. According to Kalina Miller, who serves on Lakewood's Public Safety Advisory Board and submitted the All-Star nomination, "Chief Farrar was instrumental in supporting the families and the community in getting through it." He attended every fundraiser for the families, and the Chief says he gave so many hugs at them that he was nicknamed the "hugging chief." On the first anniversary of the shooting, Chief Farrar memorialized his fallen officers by organizing the "Fallen Officer Food Drive" for the Lakewood Food Bank. The drive this past November was so successful that it will become an annual event.

During his career, Bret Farrar has received several honors including the Medal of Valor, The Lifesaving Medal, and the Special Commendation Medal of Merit. When he and his wife were diagnosed with cancer only two days apart, and went through chemotherapy treatment together, it was an occurrence that he faced with his usual grit and determination. "It sounds crazy," the Chief says, "But I'm glad we experienced cancer at the same time because neither one of us had time to wallow in self pity."

Chief Farrar is the second of eight weekly finalists to be chosen by the public in this year's AMW All-Star Contest. Any member of the public can nominate and vote for their favorite first-responder online. The nomination process is simple: Go to AMW.com to fill out a short form naming your top choice and explain what makes this person an All-Star.

Each weekly finalist will be profiled on America's Most Wanted (Saturdays, 9:00-10:00 PM ET/PT on FOX). Through online votes, the public will choose the grand-prize winner. In May, AMW Host John Walsh will present the 2011 AMW All-Star winner with a check for $10,000 at a ceremony in Washington DC and the winner will receive a trip to the NASCAR SPRINT Cup Series? All-Star Challenge at the Charlotte Motor Speedway in Charlotte, North Carolina.

Nominations are open at AMW.com until noon (ET) on April 2, 2011. Members of the public may vote for their favorite first responder once a day, every day. Finalist voting runs through midnight April 10th. Grand-prize winner voting will run April 21st through May 8th. Please visit AMW.com/AllStar for more information.

Voting has begun, so let's do everything we can to make sure Chief Farrar wins this award from 'America's Most Wanted'.

CLICK HERE TO VOTE