University Police officers, citizens honored at department’s annual awards

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Officer DeRon McIntyre’s (left) leadership skills and ability to only settle for the best allowed him to claim the supervisor of the year award, handed to him by deputy chief Eric Whiteside. Credit: Courtesy of Max Gamble

University Police Department officers were honored at the annual OSUPD award ceremony Friday to recognize their efforts and community members.

Awards included Officer of the Year, Supervisor of the Year, the Distinguished Service Award and the Canine Team Award. Seven community members were also honored through the citizen award.

“It was a very hard selection process, but we’re here today, we think we got the best of the best here,” Deputy Chief Eric Whiteside said.

Whiteside and fellow Deputy Chief Dennis Jeffery presented the awards at the ceremony, starting with the Officer of the Year award.

Officer Steve “Adam” Tabor, who has served as the University Police’s longtime training coordinator, was awarded Officer of the Year for involvement in the improvement of the department’s officers training following guideline changes after 2020.

Tabor also won Officer of the Year in 2009 but said this year’s award means much more to him.

“My job here is to highlight and document all the work that is done by the other officers and by the supervisors and instructors, non-sworn in staff. I put all of that work into a document and send it off to the attorney general’s office,” Tabor said. “I think when I look at those two awards on the wall, this one is probably going to have more meaning to me because of that.”

Supervisor of the Year went to Lt. DeRon McIntyre, recognized by many of his colleagues as a strong leader.

“DeRon never accepts good or even great, he wants excellence,” Night-Watch Supervisor Alan Horujko, who nominated McIntyre for the award, said.

McIntyre said he is always learning from others to improve.

“You work with great people, and I’m constantly trying to catch up with them and their different skill sets,” McIntyre said. “We all have different skill sets, and to be honest, I think we all deserve accolades — definitely my co-workers because we really do put a lot of time and effort into trying to make this place into what it is.”

The Distinguished Service Award is handed out to officers who have shown exceptional performance or growth in a certain skill and/or difficult task. Officers Dave Ferimer, Louis Gibson and Adam Featherling were honored with this award…

Ferimer was nominated for his reliability and ability to take on complicated events. Gibson was nominated for his professionalism and excellence, and Featherling for his assistance in critical training exercises.

Jeffery said team awards, which included awards to the ordnance, joint policing and canine teams, should not be looked at any differently than the awards handed out to specific people.

“We look at the team awards as equally as important as individual awards since we all have each other’s back,” Jeffery said.

The Ordnance Team Award was awarded to officers Tabor, Douglas Welker, Jason Becker, Jeremy Allen and Dustin Mowery for their active threat training planning and execution.

Officers Welker, Ariel Ross and Thomas Schneider were honored at the ceremony with the joint policing team award for their efforts in lowering crime numbers in the university’s off-campus student living areas.

Bryan Thompson, Steven Laman, Kyle Yeager and Chuck Gierach took home the Canine Team Award for their help in keeping sporting events, concerts and other university gatherings and venues safe with their K9 sweeps.

The Citizen Award was given to seven individuals in the community who helped University Police in its annual active threat training.

Nominated by the University Police ordnance team, Elizabeth Marsh, Geoff Abbate, Katharina Border, Diana Bunting, Janet Christopher, Libby Gierach and Christy Wilson were all honored with the citizen award.

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