UCF Police Sgt. Earns National Law Enforcement Leadership Award

Posted October 15, 2014

Whether you’re a police officer responding to the scary unknown or a defensive lineman working to contain the offense, Christopher Gavette is the type of guy you want on your team.

The UCF Police Sergeant prioritizes being there for others, giving back to the community and serving as a role model.

“Being a police officer is not about riding around in a car,” Gavette said. “It’s about getting out there, shaking hands and making this a better community to be a part of.”

It’s that attitude that’s made Gavette one of three winners in the RISE Awards, presented for the first time by TASER and PoliceOne to members of law enforcement who have made extraordinary contributions to the police community and the public.

Officers from across the country were nominated in three categories, and Gavette won in the police leadership category for dedicating himself to training and educating other officers in an effort to create a better police department and safer community.

“It’s an honor for the agency as a whole and for Chris individually to be selected for the leadership award,” said UCF Police Chief Richard Beary. “What’s telling about this is being nominated by one of his personnel. A lot of times as a supervisor, the people who work for you don’t always like the decisions that you make, so it means a lot for an individual officer to take the time to commend a supervisor.”

Ofc. Frank Imparato, who worked as a patrol officer under Gavette’s supervision, nominated him.

“I saw the awards online, and when I got to the leadership category, it said something to the effect of a leader is someone who embodies training, family and dedication to the department. When I read the description, I thought, ‘That’s Chris,’” Imparato said. “The type of person he is personally and professionally, I just couldn’t be happier that he’s getting this well-deserved recognition.”

Gavette and Imparato were two of the first officers to respond to a call in March 2013 about an active shooter in the Tower 1 residence hall.

“It wasn’t ‘You go in first’ or ‘I’ll wait out here, let me know how it goes,’” Imparato said. “It was ‘Let’s go in and do this together.’ A supervisor says ‘Go.’ A leader says ‘Let’s go.’”

Gavette is a two-time graduate of The Florida State University, earning a bachelor’s degree in criminal justice and a master’s degree in criminology. In 2002 he graduated from the Pat Thomas Law Enforcement Academy near Tallahassee, where he was president of his academy class.