URBANA – Officer Elma Halpin was named officer of the year, and many of her colleagues at the Division of Public Safety were honored for their excellent work this month at the department’s annual awards ceremony.
In particular, Halpin’s general excellence in community policing and her willingness to volunteer for extra work to keep the community safe was noted as she received the Ralph F. Hamlin Officer of the Year Award.
“In a profession that can certainly seem to weigh you down at times, Officer Halpin lifts you up,” the award citation read. “She understands that, by bringing a willingness to help others and a positive attitude to her work, she improves the ability of everyone around her to keep our campus community safe.”
Halpin’s colleagues were well-decorated, too. Telecommunicator Kristy Mecum was named the Carol Bailey Civilian Employee of the Year for her positive attitude, willingness to help others and efforts to streamline department processes to save on time and resources while making those tasks easier and more efficient. Richard Endsley was named the Security Officer of the Year for going out of his way to help campus community members on multiple occasions. Conner Weber was honored as the Student Patrol Officer of the Year for his excellent decision-making ability and the leadership he shows in the program.
“It is clear that these members of our division and all those who were recognized for outstanding work during the past year make student safety a priority every day,” said Executive Director of Public Safety and Chief of Police Craig Stone. “Our staff members bring an unmatched level of dedication and professionalism to their work.”
Campus community members were honored as well. Illini Union Assistant Director Dementro Powell was honored with the Cathy Acevedo Award, which is awarded annually to a staff member who has demonstrated substantial accomplishments that have strengthened the campus community in the spirit of diversity, inclusiveness, student rights and police-student relationships.
College of Engineering staff members Andrea Franklin and Elaine Goss were recognized for their outstanding efforts to help a student experiencing a medical emergency.
Microbiology researcher Yekaterina Golubeva and Chemical Sciences Assistant Professor Taras Pogorelov were honored for intervening in and breaking up an attempted robbery of a student on the Quad.
“These outstanding achievements show that it is not just Division of Public Safety staff members who make crucial contributions to campus safety,” Stone said. “It is clear that all of our community members are committed to creating a safe campus environment where students can be successful.”
The full list of awards:
Service Recognition Awards
Excellence in Fitness
Educational Achievement Award
Benjamin Wood, Master’s in Public Administration
Abby Johnson (2)
Rodney Mitchell (2)
Michelle Schroeder (3)
Mike Unander (2)
Patrick Funkhouser (Champaign Police Department)
Cory Christensen (Champaign County Sheriff’s Office)
Rob Benoit (2)
Grant Briggs (2)
Excellence in Community Policing
Student Patrol Commendations
Campus Emergency Planning Recognition Award
Lorraine “Cathy” Acevedo Award
Citizen Commendation Award
Director of Public Safety Recognition Award
Student Patrol Officer of the Year
Security Officer of the Year
Carol Bailey Civilian Employee of the Year
Ralph F. Hamlin Officer of the Year