The UCF Police Department on Monday held an awards ceremony to celebrate the department’s achievements in 2016.
UCFPD officers and staff—along with family, friends and members of the community—watched as awards were presented to members of the department, community partners and other local law enforcement agencies.
Cpl. Pablo Vargas received the Officer of the Year Award for his contributions to the Investigations Division and UCFPD. Ofc. Julie Wilk earned the Life-Saving Award for performing the Heimlich maneuver for nearly a minute on a university employee.
Other department awards included:
CIT Officer of the Year: Det. Melissa Guadagnino, Investigations Division
Supervisor of the Year (Sworn): Sgt. Dale Dennany, Training Division
Supervisor of the Year (Civilian): Robin Collins, Communications Division
Employee of the Year: Shawna Meyers, Records Division
Dispatcher of the Year: Steven Keith
Community Service Officer of the Year: Daniel Hooker
Safe Escort Patroller of the Year: Casey Craig
Officer Chase Crane received the Chief’s Award for his hard work as acting corporal for his squad.
An additional Chief’s Award was given to the following individuals for creating the 2017 Officer First Class Examination, which will be used for agency promotions: Lt. Christine Gigicos; Lt. James Mangan; Lt. Derrick Stockdreher; Sgt. Dale Dennany; Kellie DeArmas; Carla Markx; Christine Mouton; Cynthia Pugsley; Patricia Trovillion; Dr. Ross Wolf; and Renee Grigor.
Commendations for exceptional service were given to Sgt. Chris Gavette; Ofc. Dan Ryley; Ofc. Nelson Mendez; Ofc. Maurice Thompson; SEPS driver Casey Craig; Ofc. Danielle Hughes; Ofc. Recruit Latesha Johnson; Cpl. Pablo Vargas; Sgt. Scott Freeman; and Special Events Manager Alexandra Kontos.
Unit citations were given to teams that demonstrated excellence and went above and beyond. They included SEPS, the Resource Management Information Technology Unit, and the team of UCFPD officers and staff members who worked to raise more than $15;000 for Special Olympics Florida by participating in the Publix Torch Run Campaign.
Public safety partners that supported game day operations and political events also received unit citations. They included: Altamonte PD; Apopka PD; Belle Isle PD; Casselberry PD; Division of Alcoholic Beverages and Tobacco (ABT); Edgewood PD; Kissimmee PD; Lake Mary PD; Longwood PD; Ocoee PD; Orange County Fire Department; Orange County Sheriff’s Office; Orlando PD; Osceola County Sheriff’s Office; Oviedo PD; Sanford PD; Seminole County Sheriff’s Office; Windermere PD; Winter Park PD; UCFPD; and UCF’s Office of Emergency Management.
Members of the community honored for their contributions to UCFPD and campus safety included: Federal Eastern International Mears Destination Services; Bancorp; Carl Black Orlando GMC; Chick-Fil-A; Dr. Tom Hall; Matt Reeser; Hatim Bukhari; Mothers Against Drunk Driving (MADD); The Keri Anne DeMott Foundation; GrayRobinson, Attorneys at Law; and Academy Sports and Outdoors.
Additional recognitions were given to sworn and civilian personnel who received promotions; officers who did an outstanding job completing the physical abilities test; and members of the department who had perfect attendance.