UPD Officers Receive Various Awards for their Heroic Actions

UPD Column

   As some of you may remember, last November, two members of the University Police Department were involved in rescuing a retired Hartwick professor from a submerged car in the Hunt Union pond. Sgt. Leonard went into the water and broke the rear window of the vehicle, while Dispatcher Skovira held the rope tied to the flotation device and pulled Sgt. Leonard and the gentleman safely to shore. That rescue has resulted in various awards for the two rescuers. The first public acknowledgement came at halftime of the women’s basketball game during the Battle of the Red Dragons. Skovira and Leonard were given plaques from the college in appreciation of their efforts. Sgt. Leonard has also been advised he will be receiving the Heroism Award in Saratoga, on May 27 at the New York State University Police Chiefs Conference. On May 17, Sgt. Leonard will also be attending a ceremony in Binghamton, where he will be the recipient of the Real Heroes Award from the American Red Cross. This event is put on in conjunction with TV station WBNG, in Binghamton, and Time Warner Cable. This is a highly publicized event, so keep an eye on the news and in the papers around that time to see members of your campus community recognized.

   There is one award that Skovira and Leonard recently learned they will be receiving that was quite a shock. They were advised that the International Association of Campus Law Enforcement Administators selected them to receive the Award for Valor in Reno, Nevada. The two will be flown to Reno and put up at the Peppermill Resort for two nights by the Association. They will receive the award during the opening ceremonies for the annual convention. The story of their rescue and their bios will be published in the Campus Law Enforcement magazine as well. This rescue and the subsequent awards give you just a glimpse of the dedicated and professional members that make up your UPD here at Oneonta State. This was an unusual event that received a good deal of publicity. However, all of the members of UPD are committed to serving this campus community every day to the best of their abilities no matter what the situation may be.

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