Fiesta (left) and Brown.
URBANA – U. of I. Police made two high-level promotions this week as it continues looking for the best ways to handle the evolution of the department.
U. of I. Police Chief Jeff Christensen announced that sergeants John Brown and Joan Fiesta will move into new positions as lieutenants. Lt. Brown is now in charge of first shift and special events, and Lt. Fiesta oversees support services.
Lt. Brown started his career with UIPD in 1990 as a police officer. Over the years, he has served as a field-training officer, a narcotics investigator, a Metropolitan Emergency Tactical Response Operations team member and is a highly-trained crime scene and arson investigator. He also is the unofficial historian of the department and speaks enthusiastically about UIPD’s origins. Lt. Brown has received numerous awards for performance and fitness, and he also is the public guardian for Champaign County.
Lt. Fiesta started her career with UIPD as a Student Patrol Officer in 1991 and was hired as a police officer with UIPD in 1993. Lt. Fiesta has served as a field-training officer, a defensive tactics instructor, and has been deeply involved with all aspects of training at UIPD for many years. She has received numerous letters of recognition for her outreach and educational efforts supporting the mission and vision of the Division of Public Safety and the University. Lt. Fiesta was the 1995 Officer of the Year and received the Chancellor’s Distinguished Staff Award in 2013. She has received multiple merit and commendation awards as well as three Director of Public Safety Recognition awards in 2000, 2006 and 2014.
The vacancies were created by the recent promotions of Capt. Matt Myrick and Capt. Tony Brown. Christensen said the promotions will solidify the U. of I. Police Department’s position as a community-based organization with the safety of students, faculty, staff and the entire surrounding community as its priority.