DPS Honors Employees, Community Members at Seventh Annual Awards Ceremony
The Department of Public Safety honored 10 of its employees, along with two members of the Students for Community Safety Program and one Parole Officer with the New York State Department of Corrections and Community Supervision at the seventh annual DPS Awards Ceremony, held at 5:00 p.m. at Drumlins Country Club on Thursday, May 1, 2014. The awards honored the exceptional achievements of DPS staff members throughout the past year. Their outstanding accomplishments continue to contribute to the safety and security of the Syracuse University community.
The award recipients were:
Saketh Binkam, a Residential Security Aid for the Students for Community Safety Program, was presented a Community Member Recognition Award for his quick action and persistence in reporting a non-complaint party attempting to enter Watson Hall that resulted in the arrest of a suspended student for harassment and trespass.
James Slater of the Steam Station was recognized for his excellent communication skills, his consistent dependability and positive attitude towards working with the DPS on any issues after-hours and for his aid on September 1, 2013, when a lightning strike incident injured two DPS officers on Syracuse University’s South Campus. Additionally, Sergeant Timothy Salanger, Patrol Senior Specialist Kim Isaac, Officer George Wazen, ECC Coordinator James Keefe, and ECC Specialist Kelly Pergrem were recognized with certificates of appreciation for their individual and collective actions that evening in response to the incident.
Parole Officer John Snyder of the New York State Department of Corrections was recognized for his quick and selfless action on February 15, 2014, when he joined in a foot pursuit with DPS officers and helped apprehend two suspects in a series of burglaries in campus academic buildings.
Students Jing Zhu, Rucha Avinash Somani, and Yu Sun were presented with Community Member Recognition Awards for their help in building a mobile Android application for the Department, which hosts social feeds, releases, and a map of recent incidents all on one platform.
Detective Cleveland McCurty, Jr. received the Grant Williams Excellence in Service Award and the Vice President’s Award for Excellence in Overall Performance for his consistent work ethic, his relationship-building with community organizations and University community members, his tireless work on DPS Crime Prevention initiatives, and his willingness to work whenever and wherever requested. The Vice Presidents’ Award is presented to an officer who performs a series of acts of exceptional achievement to the department and the University. The Grant Williams Award commemorates the dedication and commitment to service exemplified by the late Major Williams in his four decades of service to the Department of Public Safety and to the University.
Undergraduate student Aminah Foxworth was awarded the Grant Williams Memorial Scholarship for her hard work and dedication to the Students for Community Safety Program as a Student Supervisor. Aminah sometimes works upwards of 40 hours per week filling in when necessary for shift coverage, in addition to performing well as a full-time student.
Emergency Communications Center (ECC) Coordinator Linda Koser-Martin received the Excellence in Law Enforcement Award for her help investigating numerous crimes across the campus area by searching through and cataloguing security camera footage as evidence.
Public Safety Residential Receptionist Susan Pope-Millet received the Outstanding Students for Community Safety Employee Award for her competence and concern at her posts in residence halls across campus. Susan knows and treats the residents and building staff with respect and her work performance is above and beyond expectations.
Officer Jeffrey Mertell was presented the Outstanding Peace Officer Award for his reliability and his willingness to help on a variety of shifts, hours, and events when the need arose. Officer Mertell took it upon himself to help resolve dangerous conditions in the Campus West area when construction made traffic and parking conditions unsafe.
The Outstanding Communications Officer Award was presented to ECC Coordinator Shannon Day and ECC Manager James Santoferrara – Day for her consistent poise under pressure, professionalism, and quick thinking on the job, and James for his adept management of the ECC’s technological infrastructure improvements.
Training Coordinator Daniel Lebron was presented with the Spirit of Justice Award for his work over the years with Toys for Tots and his efforts at providing multi-lingual safety information and presentations for Spanish-speaking and other international students.
The Distinguished Performance Award was presented to three members of the department for their continuing commitment to going above and beyond their required duties. Detective Robert Bleyle, Sergeant James McLellan, and Community Services Officer Nicholas Lostumbo were presented with this award – Bleyle for his work on documenting standards and procedures for Accreditation, McLellan for his flexibility and willingness to fill in on a variety of shifts and a number of capacities, and Lostumbo for his actions on January 19, 2014, when he aided in the arrest of a suspicious person who had previous trespass warnings to stay off University property.
Sergeant Timothy Salanger, Detective Michael Toia, ECC Specialist Shannon Donohue, and Officer Gregory Scheurer were presented with the Meritorious Service award for their individual and collective actions to track, identify, pursue, apprehend, and arrest two burglary suspects in a foot chase on February 15, 2014.
Officer Michael Patsos was presented with the Meritorious Service Award for his actions as one of the first responders to the lightning strike incident on September 1, 2013, as well as his overall efforts with planning events and encouraging department members to participate in various Health and Wellness initiatives.
Senior Detective Ed Weber received the Chief’s Heroism Award for his actions on the night of September 1, 2013, when the patrol car he was riding in with Patrol Senior Specialist Stanley Prue was struck by lightning. Weber called for emergency medical services and worked to minimize PSS Prue’s injuries while he waited in the storm for help to arrive.
Each award recipient significantly impacted the collective efforts of the Department of Public Safety, and it is due to their efforts that the reputation of DPS as a service provider and professional law enforcement agency has continued to flourish.