LUPD Marks National Police Week with Ceremony

An assembled crowd of roughly 130 gathered outside the Lehigh University Police Department’s headquarters on Packer Avenue on a sunny May morning to honor the work and service of the 35-member department. The ceremony was part of an annual event to commemorate National Police Week.

The ceremony was led by LUPD Chief Jason Schiffer, who joined the force in January following the retirement of former chief Ed Shupp, who stepped down after nearly four decades with the fully accredited  LUPD. Also in attendance were President John Simon, Assistant Chief Chris Houtz and several representatives from the Bethlehem Police Department.

Simon told the crowd that he realizes that the top concern of students, their families and prospective students is the issue of safety, and he often assures them that Lehigh will do all that they can to keep the community safety. “I am able to make that promise in full confidence–in large part because of the outstanding work that the Lehigh University Police Department does, in conjunction with the equally outstanding Bethlehem Police Department, on a daily basis,” he said.

“The job of a police officer is a demanding one, and it’s often a thankless one,” he said. “But it’s a job that each and every one of you does to the highest standards of professionalism. On behalf of my administration, our staff and faculty, and especially our students and their families, I thank you for a job very well done.”

Simon also commended LUPD community outreach efforts, which generate considerable goodwill toward the families and businesses of the South Side, and with the Lehigh students who live in many of the neighborhoods surrounding campus.

Schiffer echoed many of Simon’s comments, noting how impressed he has been with the department’s level of professionalism and dedication since he joined the LUPD earlier this year. 

“Many times it may seem that our work is not valued,” he said, “but I believe that each and every one of you deserves to be honored for the work that you do.”

Before conferring awards, Schiffer asked the crowd for a moment of silence to honor the 128 police officers nationwide who were slain during the past year.
Following the half-hour ceremony, attendees took tours of the new facility and enjoyed a luncheon provided by Lehigh’s Dining Services.

This year’s award winners include:

Commendation Awards
Sgt. David Kokinda (3)
Off. Lora Martin (2)
Off. Pat McLaughlin
Officer Drew Devery (4)
Sgt. Brian Kelly
Cpl. Josh Milisits (2)
Off. Matt Hyman (3)
Off. Rich Holmes
Col. Jim Christman
Off. Mark Schaller (2)
Lt. Rich McGarr
Sgt. Eric Smith
Off. Mark Ferencin
Off. Scott Ednie
Off. Greg Nolf
Dispatcher Christina Pulley

10-Year Service Awards

Off. Greg Nolf
Off. Mark Schaller
Off. John Torres

Educational Service Awards

Jacquelyn Davis
Elizabeth Miller Coleman
Christina Pulley
Jeffrey Reinhard
George Schlogl
Off. Michael Dragovich
Off. Drew Devery
Off. Matt Hyman
Sgt. David Kokinda
Off. Diano Reavis
Cpl. Josh Milisits
Sgt. Brian Kelly
Cpt. Sean Burdock

Civilian Awards
BEMS Paramedics Chris Erdman and Benjamin Perry
LUEMS Captain Bryan Beck

Photos by Christa Neu

To view more photos from the ceremony, to go Scenes from South Mountain.

Related Stories

lehigh university police department Premier Agency

Lehigh University Police Department earns Premier Agency Status, the ‘top echelon’ of agencies in Pennsylvania

Only 2% of agencies earned the status, which requires at least five-time re-accreditation

Grace is a yellow Labrador Retriever training to be a therapy K9.

Therapy Dogs Join Lehigh University Police Department

LUPD is adding a yellow Labrador Retriever and chocolate Labrador Retriever to offer comfort to students and connect with the community.

lehigh steps building

Division of Campus Safety Draws Together Areas Dedicated to Community Safety

The new division, led by current Lehigh University Police Department Chief Jason Schiffer, builds on work to support campus safety and aligns Lehigh’s safety services.