The Daily Post gives a thumbs up to Gwinnett citizens who have stood apart this week.

Stevens named top cop

The American Legion of Georgia has recognized Lt. Bill Stevens of the Duluth Police Department as the 2006 Law Enforcement Officer of the Year. Stevens received the same award for the entire southern region of American Legion last year, and he was also a finalist for the national award.

Stevens was nominated by American Legion Chattahoochee Post 251 in Duluth. Judging for the award was based on contributions to community, civic duty and support and dedication to active-duty American troops.

Stevens has remained busy since retiring from the Gwinnett County Fire Department about a year ago.

He started a small nonprofit called Operation One Voice to raise money for families of fallen special operations soldiers by selling commemorative coins. Last year, the organization raised $65,000 to meet the educational needs of the children of those soldiers.

In 1999, he conceived Operation Drive Smart, a state-funded drivers' education program for teenagers hosted by the Duluth Police Department. Last year, about 100,000 students from 15 high schools across the state participated in the program.

Earlier this year, Stevens was named Public Safety Person of the Year at the first annual Gwinnett County Valor Awards for his work with Operation One Voice.

Arena scores NCAA women's hoops

The Arena at Gwinnett Center's basketball resume got even stronger Thursday when the Duluth facility was selected as a first- and second-round site for the 2009 NCAA Division I Women's Basketball Championships.

In its short history, the Arena has hosted plenty of basketball, including the annual high school state semifinals and finals and regular-season men's games featuring Georgia and Georgia State. The SEC Women's Basketball Championships are slated for Gwinnett in 2007, as is the annual Russell Athletic Shootout featuring women's college basketball teams.