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ASU Police employees honored at awards ceremony

March 31, 2009

Lives saved, thieves caught and the fruits of hard work were celebrated at a recent awards ceremony to honor exemplary ASU Police Department employees and local civilians.

ASU Police Officers Katie Fuchtman and Dan Gaughan each received a Lifesaving Award for their actions in helping to resuscitate an elderly man who went into full cardiac arrest at ASU’s Gammage Auditorium in December. Gammage employee Virginia Fairchild was given a Citizen Meritorious Citation for her part in the incident.

Gammage employees didn’t have to wait long for ASU officers to arrive. “It was less than two minutes after we placed the call,” Fairchild says.

Because of the quick action of ASU Police, Gammage staff and the Tempe Fire Department, the man survived, arriving at a local hospital with a pulse and ultimately undergoing surgery at another hospital to remove a blockage in his heart. The three individuals were also awarded the first Environmental Health & Safety Lifesaving Certificate.

“It is stories such as these that make working with members of the ASU Police Department so rewarding,” says John Pickens, ASU Police Department Chief of Police. “These individuals who regularly go above and beyond the call of duty deserve our recognition and thanks. I appreciate everything that they have done to make ASU a safe environment.”

Morgan R. Olsen, ASU’s chief emergency policy executive, expressed his appreciation for the department and its understanding of the student population.  

“You provide a unique form of law enforcement. Community policing is extremely important,” says Olsen, ASU executive vice president, treasurer and chief financial officer. “There are laws that need to be enforced, but at the same time you realize that you are dealing with a group of young people who are experiencing perhaps their first opportunity for freedom.” 

Sometimes officers are instrumental in saving one of those young lives such as an incident in fall of 2008 when three individuals intervened as a young woman attempted suicide. Officer Joseph Montgomery and Corporal Patrick Lindbergh were given a Lifesaving Award and Jared Warner was awarded a Citizen Meritorious Citation for preventing the woman from jumping from a campus building.

“The witnesses were unanimous in their opinion that it was her intent to harm herself.  Fortunately the officers were able to pull her back on to the landing,” said Jay Spradling, ASU Assistant Police Chief who served as master of ceremony for the event.

Other award winners are consistently dedicated to doing their jobs in an ethical manner and routinely going above and beyond the call of duty. Officer Eric Goff was cited as the sworn Employee of the Year for his ability to respond quickly to incidents on campus as a trained motorcycle officer, his leadership in the department’s bike program and his willingness to solve problems such as fixing two water leaks on campus. He also convinced a Web site operator to remove negative information about a student who considered suicide and dropping out of school because of the posting.

ASU Lead Police Aide Marc Canez was honored as civilian Employee of the Year for his work at the Downtown Phoenix campus where his leadership, work ethic and customer service are evident. Training new police aides, helping transition to a new radio system and responding when a major storm caused damage on campus are a few of his accomplishments.

Other award winners include:

The Chief’s Citation award went to Commander Brenda Van Amburg, Records Supervisor Devie Yeamans, Communications Supervisor Michelle Potts and Senior Technical Support Analyst Zach Chamberlin for their efforts in repairing and rebuilding a major software system within the department.

Alyson Boyd was awarded a Citizen Meritorious Citation for turning in a wallet that she found on campus containing $350.

Jack Nash and Jason Granger of CORE Construction were awarded Citizen Meritorious Citations for consistently addressing issues during and after construction for the police department’s new building.

James Weiser was given a Citizen Meritorious Citation for helping to thwart a bike theft operation on campus and recovering his own bike in the process.

Kristian Borkman and Matthew Rapp were awarded Citizen Meritorious Citations  for their role in helping to apprehend a thief who stole a purse from the Computer Commons and had two felony warrants out for his arrest.

Doris Cornett established a volunteer program for the department and was awarded a Citizen Meritorious Citation.