UCF Police officers, employees and campus and community partners gathered Thursday at the FAIRWINDS Alumni Center to celebrate a year of hard work and success.
UCFPD staff members and supporters were honored for their contributions with awards presented by UCF Police Chief Richard Beary and Deputy Chiefs Carl Metzger and Brett Meade.
Det. Amber Abud was named Officer of the Year for her work ethic and attention to detail on multiple sensitive, high-profile cases. An officer since 2006, she is in her first year as an investigator and also volunteers for community causes during her spare time.
Other department awardees included:
Employee of the Year: Debbie Pope is senior information specialist and records manager. Pope joined UCFPD in 2012 and has played a critical role in connecting UCFPD with the campus and community. She serves as president of the USPS staff council and helps to organize UCFPD’s annual Law Enforcement Torch Run campaign.
Supervisor of the Year, Sworn: Cpl. Peter Osterrieder joined UCFPD in 2006 and was promoted to corporal in 2014. Osterrieder has excelled at his supervisory duties while also maintaining his role as a departmental armorer and instructor. He eagerly takes on additional responsibilities and continues to grow as a leader.
Supervisor of the Year, Civillian: Records manager Carla Markx is a four year UCFPD vet and the leader of UCFPD Records. She’s well-versed in state and federal laws, and she serves as director of administration for the Florida Records Management Association. She helps people on campus understand the very important Clery Act, and she represents UCFPD on numerous charitable campaigns.
Victim Advocate of the Year: Advocate Christey Oberbeck Victim Services is committed to doing well for all she comes in contact with and helping people recover from crises. She facilitated last fall’s mock sexual assault trial, event incorporating sign language into the program to be more inclusive.
Dispatcher of the Year: Shannon Gately is the deserving recipient of the Dispatcher of the Year. In September, her skills were praised for keeping a female 911 caller calm and comfortable during a domestic disturbance call until officers arrived on the scene. The call resulted in an arrest of the suspect in question.
Community Service Officer of the Year: Daniel Hooker is being recognized for his hard work and willingness to help. His peers appreciate how eager he is to help others complete their tasks while also juggling his own duties. For his dedication to leading, learning and growing.
Safe Escort Patroler of the Year: Donneshia Smith started her SEP career in 2014 and has continued to help the program grow. In 2015, she was one of the top SEPS in self-initiated calls, going above and beyond to seek out students who may need safe escorts. Her efforts helped SEPS double its ridership in 2015 as compared to the year before.
Chief’s Award: The Chief’s Award recognized the group of leaders who helped UCF obtain a grant for 150 doses of the life-saving drug Naloxone and oversee training for UCF police officers. As a result of their hard work, UCFPD is the first agency in Central Florida to carry the drug used to reverse a heroin overdose. They are: From Student Development and Enrollment Services at UCF, Maribeth Ehasz, Dr. Michael Deichen, Anthony Jenkins, Tom Hall, and Sheryl Gamble. From UCFPD, Sgt. Dale Dennany, who coordinated training for all sworn officers. And community partners Carol Burkett, Orange County Drug Free Coalition, and supporters David Siegel and Mara Fraizer.
Other honors included life-saving awards and unit citations, and staff members were recognized for promotions. Campus and community partners also were thanked for their support of UCFPD.
A full list of awardees is available here.