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UIPD Employee of the Month

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  • Security Guard Joseph Dreher (May 2020)

    Housing Security Guard Joseph Dreher was selected as our May employee of the month for his recent actions which exhibit the importance of our security guard team.

    Security guards are an added level of security and protection to supplement our fully-sworn police force. Guard Dreher was patrolling near Daniels Hall, where he observed someone walking away from the Engineering Senior Design Laboratory Annex building, which is near Daniels Hall but kind of tucked away and a little bit secluded. Relying on his observations and security experience, Guard Dreher knew that something seemed amiss and decided to confront the person who was trying to leave the area. That person admitted that he had been using a blowtorch to burn the window frame, and Guard Dreher quickly called for police backup. The individual was charged with arson and criminal damage to state-supported property, and who knows what could have happened if Guard Dreher did not interrupt the incident.

    This is just one example of Guard Dreher’s efforts to enhance the safety of our campus and of our community members, and we sincerely appreciate and applaud his work. Well done!

  • Sergeant Jason Bradley (April 2020)

    Sgt. Jason Bradley was selected as the April employee of the month for his flexibility and his leadership during a very difficult time for everyone – police departments included. As many of our officers have, Sgt. Bradley has continued coming to work in his role as a dayshift patrol supervisor while many other employees throughout our state were sent home. What has made Sgt. Bradley stand out is that he has taken many of the challenges that COVID-19 has presented to our department and faced them head on – chief among those have been his efforts to adjust scheduling to reduce the risk of his coworkers exposure, and procuring extra personal protective equipment to make sure that UIPD officers have the supplies they need to do their jobs effectively. All the while, he has maintained his usual supportive attitude toward his coworkers, both sworn and non-sworn. During this difficult time, Sgt. Bradley has stepped up to make sure that UIPD officers have the tools they need to keep themselves and our community members safe.

  • Officer George Sandwick (March 2020)

    Officer George Sandwick was selected as the March employee of the month for his continued determination in identifying and holding accountable criminal offenders that detract from the quality of life on campus for our students, faculty and staff.

    We’ll give you a specific example:

    Not long ago, Officer Sandwick took a theft report in which a pair of headphones were stolen from the Illini Union Tech Zone. The offender put one pair of headphones in his bag and brought a second pair to the cashier to attempt a purchase. The credit card transaction was declined, and the offender abandoned one pair of headphones at the checkout but left the store with the second pair still concealed in his bag.  The next day, a very similar theft occurred at the Illini Union Tech Zone. Officer Sandwick reviewed security camera footage and worked with Tech Zone employees and other witnesses who were in the area to identify a suspect. After the offender made some attempts to dodge police, Officer Sandwick eventually found the suspect and listened to his confession.

    Theft is the most common crime on college campuses across the country, and ours is no exception. Although property crime may generally be perceived as less severe, it has a huge impact on people who are victimized. Officer Sandwick realizes this, and he gives his full attention and effort to any person who reports any crime on our campus, no matter the circumstances. Without Officer Sandwick’s intervention here, it is likely that this would have continued and more people would have been impacted.

  • Officer Pete Milinkovic (February 2020)

    Officer Pete Milinkovic was selected as the February employee of the month for his dedication to the department’s mission and his willingness to assist in keeping our campus safe, even while he was injured. While assigned to light duty because of that injury, Officer Milinkovic assisted with crime prevention, emergency planning and investigative work. According to the UIPD detective sergeant, Officer Milinkovic “proved to be the hardest worker I’ve seen in a very long time.” He closed out a number of old cases, solved some new ones, and even found time to help train new recruits. He also assisted with evidence documentation and packaging. Although it’s called “light duty,” Officer Milinkovic still worked hard to serve the campus community even though injury prevented him from patrolling on the street. His efforts during the past several weeks are exemplary and a reflection of his dedication to protecting our students, faculty, staff and visitors.

  • Security Supervisor Greg Snipes (January 2020)

    Security Guard Supervisor Greg Snipes was selected as the January Employee of the Month for his leadership and team-oriented attitude in providing an extra layer of security for the campus community. His thorough and consistent work ethic, coupled with his keen awareness as a trained observer, shows his true dedication and commitment to the safety and security of our students and campus community. Furthermore, he leads from the front, challenges himself to improve, and sets a great example for his staff. Even with significant, daily administrative obligations, Greg continues to be one of our group’s top performers while patrolling campus. He frequently fills in for others in their absence to keep our security coverage sustainable and is the ‘glue’ that holds our program together, all while maintaining the highest standards.

  • IT Associate Corey Plotner (December 2019)

    IT Associate Corey Plotner earned the December employee of the month award for his excellence in supporting our public safety mission. The level of IT support UIPD needs cannot be overstated, especially when you think of all of our equipment like mobile data computers, radios, body-worn cameras, law enforcement databases and much more. Corey takes great strides to support the mission of the police department. He is approachable and proactive in responding to the needs of our department, finds solutions to problems large and small, and maintains a positive attitude. He is always working to make the job easier and more effective for our patrol officers and, as a result, makes our campus a safer place to live, work and study.

  • Officer Dan Leake (November 2019)

    Officer Dan Leake was selected as the November employee of the month for his continuous commitment to public safety and his willingness to go above and beyond. Officer Leake’s sergeant noted that he is proactive throughout his patrol shifts and uses his knowledge and skills to make good stops with people who are committing or who have committed crimes on campus. Officer Leake was particularly active during the month of September, when he was involved in numerous cases related to illegal drug possession, burglary, trespassing, driving under the influence and aggravated assault, among others. He is detailed and thorough, and always maintains respect and empathy when dealing with campus community members. Officer Leake’s keen observational skills and attention to detail are an asset to the University of Illinois Police Department and to the entire campus community.

  • Compliance Coordinator Jennifer Payan (October 2019)

    Compliance Coordinator Jennifer Payan was selected as the October employee of the month for her consistent quality of work. For someone like Payan tasked with the immense responsibility of maintaining the university’s compliance with the federal Clery Act, the early fall is an extremely busy time. Payan led the way in getting the university’s massive Annual Security and Fire Safety Report published while covering Protection of Minors responsibilities for another staff member who was away from the office. Payan’s efforts are important to remain in compliance with federal law — and more importantly, to ensure that the university is transparent and accurate in reporting crime statistics and security policies so that campus community members can make informed decisions about their safety. The University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign has regularly been recognized in professional circles as a leader among peer institutions in this aspect, a direct result of Payan's efforts.

  • Officer Darren Lewis and K-9 Bane (September 2019)

    Officer Darren Lewis was selected as the September employee of the month for his demonstration of commitment to the safety of the entire Champaign-Urbana community when he and K-9 Bane tracked and located an armed suspect in an off-campus neighborhood. Just minutes after someone fired a gun at the window of an unoccupied vehicle in an Urbana neighborhood, Officer Lewis and Bane tracked the suspect to a backyard about two blocks away, where he was found hiding in the bushes. He was arrested without incident and was charged with aggravated discharge of a firearm. Officer Lewis and K9 Bane displayed excellent skills in tracking and locating the individual. They have diligently trained over the past year to master these techniques, and their efforts have made our community safer.

  • Security Guard Troy Mitchell (August 2019)

    Security Guard Troy Mitchell was selected as the August employee of the month for his commitment to campus safety. During the summer months, the level of activity and foot traffic significantly decreases within the campus community. However, Security Guard Troy Mitchell has remained highly alert as he continues to identify safety issues. Specifically, on a summer night, Mr. Mitchell noticed a group of four intoxicated individuals on the rooftop of a five-story laboratory and called police officers to address the situation. There have been incidents in the past where students have been severely injured in similar scenarios, and this could have been a dangerous situation if it had gone unnoticed. This is just one example of Mr. Mitchell’s consistent commitment to the safety and security of the campus community.