Members of the campus community gathered in the courtyard of the Lehigh University Police Department headquarters in mid-May to take part in what LUPD Chief Jason Schiffer said was both a memorial service and awards ceremony. The annual ceremony is part of Lehigh’s observance of National Safety Week.
“We gather during Police Week to celebrate accomplishments, but also to honor and pay respect to those officers who have paid the ultimate price in service to their communities,” he said. “This year, the police memorial in Washington D.C. added the names of 158 officers who were killed in the line of duty in 2018. Since the first known line of duty death in 1786, more than 21,000 U.S. law enforcement officers have made the ultimate sacrifice.”
Schiffer drew on the quote inscribed upon the National Police Officer’s Memorial in Washington, D.C.: “It is not how these officers died that made them heroes, it is how they lived.”
He then detailed a number of accounts where local citizens and LUPD officers and staff went above a beyond to contribute to community safety.
“We share the common goal of providing the highest level of service and commitment to our community,” he said. “Many times, we work side-by-side, responding the same calls for help and sharing information to solve crimes and be the best community servants we can be. I am grateful for our partnership and for how willingly Bethlehem shares its resources, and I hope that the City feels the same way about Lehigh.”
Schiffer was joined at the ceremony by Lehigh administers Patricia Johnson, vice president of Finance and Administration and Ricardo Hall, vice provost for Student Affairs, as well as Bethlehem Police Chief Mark DiLuzio and Deputy Chief Scott Meixell.
The following individuals were cited for extraordinary contributions over the past year:
- ABM employee Jessica Rosado, who discovered a male who appeared to be unconscious, called for help from the LUPD and directed officers to the individual. He was treated at a local hospital for the life-threatening condition.
- LUPD Officer Kyle Fisher, who was checking on the well-being of a student who was at Lehigh over the Thanksgiving break. The student had a medical issue, and had difficulty getting food since many businesses were not open for the holiday. Officer Fisher drove the student to a local store, purchased food for the student and drove him back to his residence. Fisher also helped help raise funds for young children at the Children’s Miracle Network fundraiser that was recently held in Lamberton Hall.
- Officer Matt Hyman, who tended to a child who had been struck by a car near the Lehigh campus.
- Sgt. Sean Burdock and Officers Matt Hyman and Mark Schaller, who assisted local police in pursuing and apprehending a reckless driver who crashed his car near Saucon View apartments.
- Lt. David Kokinda, Officers Hyman, Cory Gonzalez and Assistant Chief Chris Houtz, who helped Bethlehem Police apprehend an individual who was wanted for outstanding criminal warrants.
- Asst. Chief Houtz, Lt. Kokinda, Officers Dan Herb and John Barrington, Dispatcher George Schogl, Security Guard Edmund Lamontagne, IT Specialist Dave Ramsey and Dean of Students Staff Lori McClaind, who worked together to aid a student in crisis.
- Lt. Joshua Milisits, Sgt. James Christman, Sgt. Michael Dragovich and Officers Dan Herb and Cory Gonzalez, who assisted Bethlehem Police in taking into custody an individual who was breaking into student rented houses over the winter break.
- Sgt. Michael Dragovich, who assisted Bethlehem Police officers in taking a burglary suspect into custody.
- Officer Ryan Dagnall, who apprehended an individual involved in criminal mischief. Dagnall also helped Bethlehem PD apprehend an individual involved in an altercation in an off-campus bar.
Schiffer acknowledged the LUPD team effort that was required for the large-scale launch of the university’s GO campaign last fall, which involved K-9 explosive detection, plain-clothes security for artist Halsey, and extensive uniformed operations both within and beyond the venue set up on the Asa Packer Campus. Those individuals included Houtz; Captain Richard McGarr; Lt. Kokinda and Lt. Brian Kelly; Sgts. Sean Burdock, Sgt. Jim Christman and Dragovich; Inv. Diano Reavis; K-9 Officer Greg Nolf; Officers Richard Holmes, Hyman, Lora Martin and C.R. Stokes, Jaime Leauber, Kyle Fisher and John Torres; Dispatchers Christina Pulley and Jackie Daws; IDEAL Manager Will Hlay and Assistant Manager Mark Issermoyer.
Schiffer also recognized the contributions of Elizabeth Miller Coleman, who was promoted last year to business manager for the LUPD, and welcomed officers who joined the ranks within the last year. They include Herb, Gonzelez, Barrington, Jaime Leauber, Ryan Dagnall and Nicholas Alexander.