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ASU police honor those who went beyond call of duty

May 03, 2011

Arizona State University’s Police Department paid tribute to those who went above and beyond the call of duty in 2010 during a recent awards ceremony that featured keynote speaker Jason Schechterle.

The former Phoenix Police officer recalled events of March 26, 2001, that left him severely burned after a taxi traveling more than 100 miles per hour rammed his patrol car and it burst into flames.

Schechterle talked about how his life had changed since that day 10 years ago, how he worked to make patrol cars safer and how he founded the Beyond the Flames Foundation that works to assist individuals and families who experience similar trauma

Schechterle also told the story of how he became a police officer, a dream that he had since he was a young boy. That all changed when he was left with third- and fourth-degree burns over much of his body after the crash. Since the accident, he has had 52 surgeries.

And he’s learned that the one thing he can control in life is his attitude and how he views adversity.

“You will have your back against the wall many times. You might as well get used to it,” he said.  “Life is 10 percent what happens to us and 90 percent how we react to it.”

Schechterle encouraged the crowd of mostly police personnel at the ceremony to work to become better at their jobs, in their families and in life. Honored by master of ceremonies ASU assistant police Chief Jay Spradling at the event include:

• The Chief’s Citation award was presented to the Tempe Police Department and Chief Tom Ryff for the agency’s partnership and contribution to the university, especially during the past year when they arrested suspects in two student homicide cases. The department also participates in many ASU safety initiatives such as a simulated shooter exercise that tested the response of ASU Police, Tempe Police, Tempe Fire and other agencies.

• The Team Award was given to the Firearms Training Unit that worked to improve the program with additional training hours provided to officers, more classes offered and revamping the rifle certification course. ASU’s color guard also earned a Team Award for their service at funerals and awards ceremonies.

• Volunteer of the Year title went to Robert Brems who worked to keep the Emergency Operations Center working and designed a radio back-up system.

• The Civilian Employee of the Year went to Dispatcher Charity Bashore who was cited for her positive attitude, hard work with dispatch computer systems and aid to the department during efforts such as a holiday toy drive.

• Sworn Employee of the Year awards went to Officer Nathaniel Deveney for numerous drug and alcohol arrests and Cpl. Bryan Epps who is known as a “go-to guy” and a great mentor.

• Sgt. Phil Osborne was cited as Supervisor of the Year for his work on the Firearms Training Unit, always being approachable, pleasant to work with and knowledgeable about law-enforcement issues.

• Employees were honored for years of service including Sgt. Al Phillips who was honored for serving ASU for 25 years; Sgt. Mike Roper, Sgt. Marvin Tahmahkera and Commander William Orr for 20 years; and Sgt. Pam Osborne for 10 years.

• Recently retired sworn personnel include Sgt. Van Montoya who worked more than 30 years with ASU’s Police Department and Sgt. Mike Davenport who worked at Northern Arizona University before coming to ASU’s West campus.

• Remembered at the ceremony were two officers who passed away last year, Cpl. R Patrick Lindbergh and Officer James “Dutch” Lister.

• Expert marksmanship was cited with Sgt. Phil Osborne earning a Master Shooter award. Numerous individuals earned an Expert Shooting Award. 

• Also cited at the ceremony was canine handler Cpl. Parker Dunwoody, who was heralded by the Dallas Field Office of the Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives for his professionalism assisting during last year’s Super Bowl in Dallas when numerous locations need to be checked in extreme weather conditions.

• Citizen meritorious citations were awarded to: Danny Sullivan of the College of Technology and Innovation who consistently aids the department in emergency response issues; ASU Information Security Specialist Ryan Adler who provides information technology help; and Bryan Pack who was working for ASU Parking & Transit when he apprehended a suspect who had exposed himself to two young boys on the Tempe campus.