CCUPCA Presents 20 Awards at Annual Dinner

SOUTH LAKE TAHOE, Calif. – Twenty campus safety officials took home the top awards at the California College and University Police Chiefs Association (CCUPCA) Conference Awards and Recognition Dinner on April 10.

The awards ceremony, which took place at the Embassy Suites Hotel in South Lake Tahoe, Calif., featured Keynote speaker John McGinnes, Sacramento County Sheriff. The awards handed out included the Award of Distinction, the Award of Merit and the Kirk Johnston Memorial Supervisor Award.

The Award of Distinction winners included the Los Angeles Community College District, Sheriff’s Department, where six of their officers took home top prizes. The group included Sgt. Richard Martinez, Det. Jeffrey Spelatz, Det. Chris Roberts, Det. James Lewis and Deputy Gregory Mendonca. The team was honored for an investigation they conducted on a student who was planning a “Columbine”-style attack on campus. The student was arranging to use firearms and other deadly devices.

In addition, Lt. Matthew Carmichael from the University of California Davis (UC Davis), Sgt. John McPeek of the Los Rios Community College District Police Department, and the University of California Merced (UC Merced) Mentor Program also received Awards of Distinction.

The Kirk Johnston Memorial award recipients included Pasadena City College’s Lt. Brad Young for supervising the 120-member police cadet program, supervising 20 department employees and developing campus-wide emergency response plans. In addition to Young, Lt. Craig Lee of Chapman University received the award after serving nine years with the public safety department.

Nine officials received the Award of Merit. Those winners included:

  • Officer Adam Pharris, Yuba Community College
  • CSO Supervisor Matthew Siordia, UC Merced
  • Officer Maria Botwright, UC Merced
  • Cpl. Eddie Hernandez, Allan Hancock College
  • Traffic Officer Rick Reyes, California State University Fresno
  • Traffic Officer Mervin Roman, California State University Fresno
  • Security Officer James Brown, Los Angeles Community College
  • Officer Michael Despain, Pasadena City College
  • Officer Jeffery Rabine, San Diego Community College District

For Botwright, the wins for her department were a surprise. “My partner and I both received one, and one of our CSOs won as well,” she exclaimed. “We didn’t know we had been nominated. It was really an honor.”

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