Achievements in campus safety recognized at ceremony

URBANA – Officer Elma Halpin was named officer of the year, and many of her colleagues at the Division of Public Safety were honored for their excellent work this month at the department’s annual awards ceremony.

In particular, Halpin’s general excellence in community policing and her willingness to volunteer for extra work to keep the community safe was noted as she received the Ralph F. Hamlin Officer of the Year Award.

“In a profession that can certainly seem to weigh you down at times, Officer Halpin lifts you up,” the award citation read. “She understands that, by bringing a willingness to help others and a positive attitude to her work, she improves the ability of everyone around her to keep our campus community safe.”

Halpin’s colleagues were well-decorated, too. Telecommunicator Kristy Mecum was named the Carol Bailey Civilian Employee of the Year for her positive attitude, willingness to help others and efforts to streamline department processes to save on time and resources while making those tasks easier and more efficient. Richard Endsley was named the Security Officer of the Year for going out of his way to help campus community members on multiple occasions. Conner Weber was honored as the Student Patrol Officer of the Year for his excellent decision-making ability and the leadership he shows in the program.

“It is clear that these members of our division and all those who were recognized for outstanding work during the past year make student safety a priority every day,” said Executive Director of Public Safety and Chief of Police Craig Stone. “Our staff members bring an unmatched level of dedication and professionalism to their work.”

Campus community members were honored as well. Illini Union Assistant Director Dementro Powell was honored with the Cathy Acevedo Award, which is awarded annually to a staff member who has demonstrated substantial accomplishments that have strengthened the campus community in the spirit of diversity, inclusiveness, student rights and police-student relationships.

College of Engineering staff members Andrea Franklin and Elaine Goss were recognized for their outstanding efforts to help a student experiencing a medical emergency.

Microbiology researcher Yekaterina Golubeva and Chemical Sciences Assistant Professor Taras Pogorelov were honored for intervening in and breaking up an attempted robbery of a student on the Quad.

“These outstanding achievements show that it is not just Division of Public Safety staff members who make crucial contributions to campus safety,” Stone said. “It is clear that all of our community members are committed to creating a safe campus environment where students can be successful.”

The full list of awards:

Service Recognition Awards

5 years

Corey Brooks
Kenny Costa
Joseph Dreher
Christopher Elston
Alisha Funkhouser-Walker
Elma Halpin
Tara Hurless
Eric Stiverson
Michael Unander

10 years

Chuck Hoskins
Kristy Mecum
Jerry Sandage

15 years

John Wright

20 years

Robert Benoit
Aaron Landers

25 years

Jennifer Payan
Vicki Strom

Firearms Award

High Pistol

Kent Jones

High Rifle

Grant Briggs

Excellence in Fitness

Jason Bradley
Grant Briggs
Elma Halpin
Daniel Leake
Rodney Mitchell
Nate Park
Kaleb Schroeder
Michelle Schroeder
Dylan Short

Educational Achievement Award

Benjamin Wood, Master’s in Public Administration


Abby Johnson (2)
Drew Osterholt
Daniel Leake
Rachael Ahart
Tyrel Ledbetter
Rodney Mitchell (2)
Grant Briggs
Matthew Ballinger
Michelle Schroeder (3)
Mike Unander (2)
Alex Tran
Patrick Funkhouser (Champaign Police Department)
Jeff McCracken
John Wright
Kristy Mecum
George Sandwick
Doug Beckman
Taylor Franzen
Tara Hurless
Riccardo Bell

Merit Awards

Doug Beckman
Rick Bell
Cory Christensen (Champaign County Sheriff’s Office)
Chuck Hoskins
Darren Lewis
A.J. Martin
Pete Milinkovic
Rob Benoit (2)
Grant Briggs (2)
Chris Elston
George Sandwick
Michelle Schroeder

Excellence in Community Policing

Kyle Krickovich
Michelle Schroeder

Student Patrol Commendations

Baylor Eaton
Drew Barto
Conner Weber
Mackenzie Barnhart
David Raynes

Campus Emergency Planning Recognition Award

Susie Lighty

Lorraine “Cathy” Acevedo Award

Dementro Powell

Citizen Commendation Award

Andrea Franklin
Elaine Goss
Yekaterina Golubeva
Taras Pogorelov

Director of Public Safety Recognition Award

Barb Robbins

Student Patrol Officer of the Year

Conner Weber

Security Officer of the Year

Richard Endsley

Carol Bailey Civilian Employee of the Year

Kristy Mecum

Ralph F. Hamlin Officer of the Year

Elma Halpin