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Honoring those that protect and serve

BUPD hosts its 3rd annual awards reception to recognize officers and students for their work during the past year. Megan Brezka represents the Student Safety Advisory Committee and accepts the certificate. Photo by Katelyn Edwards

Day in and day out, the Bradley University Police Department is charged with keeping the campus safe.

Eleven officers and 10 students were acknowledged for their part in preserving the safety of Bradley’s campus at the BUPD Awards ceremony Tuesday.

Jeff Hensley received the Officer of the Year Award for his service and work on cases. He also received a Meritorious Service Award alongside Officer Justin Kitts for finding the suspect of an off-campus shooting.

“It’s always nice to feel respected by your peers,” Hensley said. “I think it’s important to let people know the work that we do here.”

Officers Andrew Rossi and Darmon Swanson also received the Meritorious Service Award for how they handled an off-campus stabbing situation.

Chief of police Brian Joschko said it is a challenging job and the ceremony is a way to sincerely thank his employees.

“We’re here 365 days a year. We’re here around the clock,” Joschko said. “The campus may be completely shut down, but we still have police officers out there checking our campus buildings and patrolling our on-campus and off-campus area, make sure that our students and their property are safe. That can be a thankless job.”

The members of the Student Safety Advisory Committee were also recognized. They are student volunteers that work close with the police officers on campus safety initiatives.

“I feel honored, but it’s not so much about being recognized as it is about the work that we do, working with the police officers and doing our part as students to make the campus safer for everyone,” junior health science major Megan Brezka said.

Bradley seniors John Schulz and Alyssa Young received the Citizen Commendation Award for separate instances of observing and reporting actions prevented someone’s property being stolen out of a vehicle.

Seniors Ariel Casper and Kelly Golbeck were awarded Student Patrol Employees of the year.

“It’s important to reinforce the notion that it’s not the police department’s job alone to provide safety and security,” Joschko said. “It truly takes an entire village or, in this case, an entire university to make for a safe campus.”

Hensley, Lt. Jerry McCean and Sgt. Seth Warren were also recognized as field training officers. Sgt. Kaleb Campbell is also a field training officer, but was not in attendance. They are educated in training, documenting and evaluating other officers.

“That’s a really hard job, but it’s also a very important job,” Joschko said. “Without good quality training, we wouldn’t have good quality officers.”

Service pins were handed out at the ceremony for every five years of service at BUPD. Sgt. Nick McCumber was recognized for five years and Lt. Nora Fales was acknowledged for 30 years.

For the first time, promotions to lieutenant and sergeant were officially recognized at the ceremony. McCean and Warren took the oath and their wives pinned new badges to their uniforms. Campbell was also recently promoted to sergeant. 

Brezka said the ceremony is an important event to appreciate the officers.

“[The ceremony] gives us an opportunity to publicly recognize the police officers who do such a great job serving us every day with all the behind-the-scenes work that they do to make Bradley a safer place,” Brezka said.

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