Four SUNY Oneonta University Police Department officers who assisted a local Oneonta Job Corps Academy student in a life-threatening situation were honored Tuesday by SUNY officials for heroism and professional service.
And a retired chief of police at the State University College at Oneonta was recognized with a lifetime achievement award.
Tech. Sgt. Shawn Callahan, Officer Mark Cardinali, Lt. Sherri Drumm and Tech. Sgt. Daniel Rommer were among 14 University Police personnel statewide to receive SUNY’s system-wide Professional Service Award.
SUNY Chancellor Nancy L. Zimpher and University Police Commissioner R. Bruce McBride honored recipients at the 2013 SUNY University Police Awards ceremony in Albany on Tuesday afternoon, according to a media release.
Former SUNY Oneonta Police Chief Barton Ingersoll, who retired this year, received a Lifetime Achievement Award, officials said. Ingersoll, whose service to SUNY began in 1973, spearheaded the process that led to the SUNY Oneonta University Police Department’s receipt of state law enforcement accreditation in 2011.
SUNY Oneonta University Police Department Chief Daniel Chambers, who succeeded Ingersoll in May, nominated the four officers in recognition of their efforts to save the life of a Job Corps student who collapsed on West Street near the campuses in the town of Oneonta on Aug. 31. Chambers said in the release that he was proud to congratulate them.
“They demonstrated teamwork and went above and beyond the call of duty in response to an emergency off campus,” Chambers said.
Christopher Kuhn, director of the Oneonta Job Corps Academy, said University Police responded quickly after students called 911 on Aug. 31 when one of their peers collapsed. Students started cardiopulmonary resuscitation, which University Police continued, Kuhn said.
“I really appreciated their heroic efforts,” Kuhn said. “It was just unfortunate that the student died.”
Kuhn said Xavier Smith, 19, of Freeport, N.J., who was taken to A.O. Fox Memorial Hospital in Oneonta, had suffered a heart attack. Smith had joined the program in August and was exploring career options at the 291-student center.
“It was just a tragic loss for the center,” Kuhn said.
SUNY Oneonta has 17 sworn University Police officers, college spokesman Hal Legg said Tuesday.
In Albany, SUNY Cortland University Police Chief Steven Dangler, chair of the Chiefs Awards Committee, presented Callahan, Cardinali, Drumm and Rommer with a plaque for their achievement and bars for their uniforms.
SUNY police officers are charged with maintaining the safety and security of state campuses, the release said, and also work closely with other agencies.