SUNY Chancellor Applauds Recipients of 2019 Police Awards

November 12, 2019

Officers Demonstrated Heroism in Saving Lives and Professional Commitment to Public Safety

Albany – State University of New York Chancellor Kristina M. Johnson today commended the recipients of the 2019 Police Awards, who were recognized by the SUNY Police Chiefs Association in a ceremony in Saratoga Springs today. The annual awards honors lieutenants, officers, and staff who played a key role in life-saving events in the past year, as well as others on the New York University Police force for their outstanding professional service.

"I commend the men and women of our university police department for their tireless commitment and vigilance in keeping our students and campuses safe," said SUNY Chancellor Johnson. "While these awards recognize several outstanding officers, today and every day we thank and appreciate all of our officers across our campuses for their hard work that allow us to deliver the highest quality education for our students."

The Life Saving Awards recognize police who helped saved lives during the past year. These awards went to:

  • SUNY New Paltz: Lieutenants John Ritayik, Jr., and Ryan Williams; officers Antonio Stenta, Talia Badillo, Justin Larchevesque, and Victor Torres; and dispatchers Nicole Thompson and Susan Best
  • SUNY Oneonta: Emergency Manager Dave Lincoln, dispatcher Nic Brent
  • SUNY Plattsburgh: Officer Joshua Coons
  • Stony Brook University: Lieutenant John Stankaitis and officer Laura Murphy
  • SUNY System Administration: Officer Jenelle Kelsey

The following University Police received the Professional Service Award, which recognizes members for acts that greatly enhance the operation of the respective university police departments:

  • SUNY New Paltz: Lieutenant Ryan Williams, Officer Ryan Law
  • SUNY Oneonta: Lieutenant Michael O’Donnell
  • SUNY Delhi: Lieutenant Timothy Hess, and Officers Jason Lonecke and David Vorisek
  • SUNY Old Westbury: Lieutenants Christopher Annunziato and Renee Znack; Investigator Ryon Burnett; and Officers Brett Cruickshank and Devin Gottlieb
  • University at Buffalo: Investigators Therese Banas and DJ Rehberg; Officers Sergio DiSanto and Eric Radder; and Dispatchers Alaina Reid and Kristen Herr
  • University at Albany: Investigator John McGuire
  • SUNY Geneseo: Officer Richard Arnone
  • SUNY Fredonia: Lieutenants Brian Studley, Benjamin Miller, and Scott Martin; and Officer James Huels
  • Buffalo State: Lieutenants Willard C. Moreland and Daniel R. Harris; Investigators Renee M. Polniak and Steven W. Cahoon; and Officers Steven M. Buscaglia, James M. Fitzgerald, Edward A. Helling, Scott K. Richards, James R. Urbanski, and R. John Wood; and Staff Assistant Darlene M. DiCesare
  • SUNY Purchase: Officer Charles Canero

About the State University of New York
The State University of New York, which celebrates its 75th anniversary this year, is the largest comprehensive system of higher education in the United States, and more than 95 percent of all New Yorkers live within 30 miles of any one of SUNY’s 64 colleges and universities. Across the system, SUNY has four academic health centers, five hospitals, four medical schools, two dental schools, a law school, the country’s oldest school of maritime, the state’s only college of optometry, and manages one US Department of Energy National Laboratory. In total, SUNY serves about 1.4 million students amongst its entire portfolio of credit- and non-credit-bearing courses and programs, continuing education, and community outreach programs. SUNY oversees nearly a quarter of academic research in New York. Research expenditures system-wide are nearly $1.1 billion in fiscal year 2022, including significant contributions from students and faculty. There are more than three million SUNY alumni worldwide, and one in three New Yorkers with a college degree is a SUNY alum. To learn more about how SUNY creates opportunities, visit

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