UCFPD Celebrates Year of Success and Dedication

Posted February 4, 2016

UCF Police officers, employees and campus and community partners gathered Thursday at the FAIRWINDS Alumni Center to celebrate a year of hard work and success.

UCFPD staff members and supporters were honored for their contributions with awards presented by UCF Police Chief Richard Beary and Deputy Chiefs Carl Metzger and Brett Meade.

Det. Amber Abud was named Officer of the Year for her work ethic and attention to detail on multiple sensitive, high-profile cases. An officer since 2006, she is in her first year as an investigator and also volunteers for community causes during her spare time.

Other department awardees included:

  • Employee of the Year: Debbie Pope is senior information specialist and records manager. Pope joined UCFPD in 2012 and has played a critical role in connecting UCFPD with the campus and community. She serves as president of the USPS staff council and helps to organize UCFPD’s annual Law Enforcement Torch Run campaign.
  • Supervisor of the Year, Sworn: Cpl. Peter Osterrieder joined UCFPD in 2006 and was promoted to corporal in 2014. Osterrieder has excelled at his supervisory duties while also maintaining his role as a departmental armorer and instructor. He eagerly takes on additional responsibilities and continues to grow as a leader.
  • Supervisor of the Year, Civillian: Records manager Carla Markx is a four year UCFPD vet and the leader of UCFPD Records. She’s well-versed in state and federal laws, and she serves as director of administration for the Florida Records Management Association. She also represents UCFPD on numerous charitable campaigns.
  • Victim Advocate of the Year: Advocate Christey Oberbeck Victim Services is committed to doing well for all she comes in contact with and helping people recover from crises. She facilitated last fall’s mock sexual assault trial, event incorporating sign language into the program to be more inclusive.
  • Dispatcher of the Year: Shannon Gately is the deserving recipient of the Dispatcher of the Year. In September, her skills were praised for keeping a female 911 caller calm and comfortable during a domestic disturbance call until officers arrived on the scene. The call resulted in an arrest of the suspect in question.
  • Community Service Officer of the Year: CSO Daniel Hooker is being recognized for his hard work and willingness to help. His peers appreciate how eager he is to help others complete their tasks while also juggling his own duties.
  • Safe Escort Patroler of the Year: Donneshia Smith started her SEP career in 2014 and has continued to help the program grow. In 2015, she was one of the top SEPS in self-initiated calls, going above and beyond to seek out students who may need safe escorts. Her efforts helped SEPS double its ridership in 2015.
  • Chief’s Award: The Chief’s Award recognized the group of leaders who helped UCF obtain a grant for 150 doses of the life-saving drug Naloxone and oversee training for UCF police officers. As a result of their hard work, UCFPD is the first agency in Central Florida to carry the drug used to reverse a heroin overdose. They are:
    • From Student Development and Enrollment Services at UCF: Maribeth Ehasz, Dr. Michael Deichen, Anthony Jenkins, Tom Hall, and Sheryl Gamble
    • From UCFPD: Sgt. Dale Dennany, who coordinated training for all sworn officers
    • Community partners: Carol Burkett, Orange County Drug Free Coalition, and supporters David Siegel and Mara Fraizer
  • Life Saving Award
    • Sgt. James Mangan and Ofc. Melissa Guadagnino: On Sept. 21, Sgt. Mangan and Ofc. Guadagnino responded to the Health and Public Affairs Building for a call about an unresponsive student. They administered CPR and assisted paramedics, and their response made it possible for the student to be transported and receive additional medical attention.
    • Ofc. Frank Imparato: On Jan. 12, Ofc. Imparato received a call about a missing, endangered young woman. He took the initiative to search for the student using information provided to dispatch, and he found her. Thanks to Ofc. Imparato, she’s getting treatment and is safe.
    • Sgt. Elwood Furnas and Ofc.Matthew Scott: On Jan. 21, Sgt. Furnas and Ofc. Scott responded to a shooting at the Marquee Apartments. They set up a perimeter and bravely provided aid to the victim, a Valencia student who had been shot in the torso. They maintained their composure in a stressful situation, and the victim is OK, thanks to their professionalism.
  • Promotions: Lt. Anthony Merola, Cpl. Adam Casebolt, Cpl. Alan Elliot, Senior Dispatcher Michael Charles, and Senior Dispatcher Robert Ramos
  • UCFPD Commendations
    • Officer of the Year Nominees: Ofc. Scott Freeman, Lt. Anthony Merola, Ofc. Joel Witherspoon, Ofc. Frank Imparato, Ofc. Matheus Flores, and Ofc. Chase Crane
    • Employee of the Year Nominee: Public Information Officer Courtney Gilmartin
    • Supervisor of the Year, Sworn, Nominees: Sgt. Elwood Furnas, Sgt. Matthew Fazi, Sgt. Anthony Chronister, and Cpl. Erik Lashinsky
    • Supervisor of the Year, Civilian, Nominee: Shannon Arft
  • Community Partners Commendations
    • Chief’s Advisory Council: This is a group of students and faculty and staff members who meet with the Chiefs to discuss campus safety and student welfare. They are: Meghan Kircher, Fraternity & Sorority Life; Nick Larkins, Student Government Association; Erika Cohen, College of Medicine; Scott Launier, United Faculty of Florida; Arian Bryant, Housing and Residence Life; Edwanna Andrews, Social Justice and Advocacy; Paul Viau, Registrar’s Office; and Dr. Tamalia Hanchell, Counseling and Psychological Services.
    • Training and teaching: Training is critical for all of our officers, and a thank you was given to Dr. Kim Spence for providing autism training and Maria Beckman for providing Title IX education.
    • SNAP: Carol Burkett from Orange County’s Drug Free Coalition and Sgt. Mike Deeb from the Orange County Sheriff’s Office were honored for their partnership on the Sector II Noise and Alcohol Patrol, which combats alcohol-related issues near UCF.
    • Other generous supporters: Charlie Fish, Chick-fil-A; Matthew Palma, Wal-Mart Neighborhood Market; Christine Musselman and Justin Cronan, Wawa; Sam Phou, Southern Philly Steaks; and Naser Baker and Ali Bhojani, Audio Excellence and HG2 Vehicle Lighting
  • Unit Citations: As UCFPD continues to grow, the campus and community partners and staff who served on interview and oral boards during the past year were thanked for their time and efforts.
    • Campus and community partners: Norman Poe, Bryan Rintoul, Anne Starke, Capt. Mary Huggins, Anthony Jenkins, Justin Andrade, and Arian Bryant
    • UCFPD staff: Maj. David Zambri, Sgt. Anthony Chronister, Sgt. Christopher Gavette, Sgt. James Mangan, Sgt. Dale Dennany, Cpl. James Roop, Cpl. Peter Osterrieder, Det. Eric Walton, Det. Amber Abud, Det. Pablo Vargas, Ofc. Curt Myhre, Ofc. Peter Stephens, Ofc. Joel Witherspoon, Ofc. Freddie Tirado Sr., Ofc. Christopher Holt, Ofc. Timothy Isaacs, Ofc. Amelia Bray, Ofc. Melissa Guadagnino, Ofc. Anthony Alonso, Det. Dwight King, Robin Collins, Christine Mouton, Sarah Laake, Coretta Cotton, Breanne Tucker, Courtney Gilmartin, Shannon Arft, Mayra Lopez-Duprey Diaz, Kellie deArmas, Patricia Fuller, Alexandra Kontos, and Anthony Holmes
    • Safe Escort Patrol Services: The SEPS team was thanked for their dedication to fellow students and record-breaking year of safe escorts. They are Kyle Sindelar, Jacob Hernandez, Zachary Lambe, Ryan Montgomery, Donneisha Smith, William Lowe, Melissa Gentile, and Casey Craig.