University Police Officers Honored for Heroism, Professional Service

November 12, 2014

Albany – State University of New York Police Commissioner Bruce McBride and Deputy Commissioner Paul Berger today honored officers from throughout SUNY for heroism and professional service.

“The University Police and commanding officers we honor today have gone above and beyond in their service to SUNY students and to our campus communities, and we are proud to recognize their efforts,” said Commissioner McBride. “Thank you as well to the many University Police officers and staff across New York who protect our campuses and ensure the safety of SUNY students, faculty, staff, and visitors.”

SUNY Canton – Heroism Award

Deputy Chief Alan Mulkin, Lt. Brian Kurish, Officer David Callahan, Canton Police Sgt. James Santimaw

On April 24, 2014, a student contacted University Police to speak with Lt. Brian Kurish. Knowing the student and listening to what he was saying, Lt. Kurish recognized a concern and dispatched Deputy Chief Alan Mulkin and Officer David Callahan to check on the student. The student was located on a nearby bridge with a cordage tied to himself, and he jumped off the bridge when the officers arrived. Officer Callahan and DC Mulkin attempted to pull the student up from the bridge, but were unable to do so. Officer Callahan cut the cordage and the student fell into the river below. DC Mulkin and Officer Callahan went into the river and were able to rescue the student. Canton Village Police Sgt. James Santimaw and off duty UPD Officer John Hudson had arrived and were able to assist in bringing the student ashore saving his life.

University at Albany – Professional Service Award

University Police Officer John McGuire

In 2013 and 2014, Police Officer John McGuire took the lead on training for the University at Albany Police Department.  Officer McGuire, a 14-year veteran of the department, is a certified K9 Officer, R.A.D. Instructor, and Drug Recognition Expert. He is a highly sought after instructor by many of the surrounding agencies due to his professionalism and ability to convey information in a comprehendible manner. Upon receiving his DRE certification, Officer McGuire was asked to assist in the training of new DRE classes by the Governor’s Traffic Safety Committee two years in a row. He has also taken a lead role in the University’s heroin and other drug use prevention efforts. Officer McGuire’s community outreach has far exceeded the departments’ expectations.

University at Buffalo – Professional Service Award

Lt. Jonathan Fletcher

On May 2, 2013, University Police received a fire alarm for one of the campus dorms. Lt. Jonathan Fletcher responded and observed that one of the rooms was on fire and that the building was full of smoke. Lt. Fletcher went into the building to evacuate the occupants and escort responding firefighters to the location of the fire. Once the scene was secure, Lt. Fletcher discovered that the fire was started due to illegal activity. Lt. Fletcher was able to identify the subject, which led to their arrest and prosecution.

University at Buffalo – Professional Service Award

Officer Brian Horst

On December 21, 2013 Officer Brian Horst was assigned dispatching duties when he received a call from a suicidal veteran. Utilizing University Police and outside agencies, Officer Horst was able to determine the subject’s location and dispatched officers to the location. Responding officers were able to locate the subject before he was able to cause any harm to himself. The subject was transported to the local VA hospital for proper treatment. Officer Horst thoroughness and professional cooperation with outside agencies helped this incident conclude with a positive outcome for all involved.

SUNY Buffalo State College – Professional Service Award

Lt. James Urbanski, University Police Officers Brian Bidell, Kenneth Herberger, James Huels, Matthew Taylor

On April 22, 2014, a student was the victim of an armed robbery by five suspects. The student’s cell phone was taken at gun point and the student was assaulted. Officer James Urbanski responded, located the victim, and began gathering important suspect descriptions and information so that Lt. Daniel Harris, Officers Brian Bidell, Kenneth Herberger, James Huels, and Matthew Taylor could conduct a search of the area locating the five suspects. They were subsequently identified by the victim and his property recovered. The suspects were charged and convicted on attempted robbery in the second degree.

SUNY Oswego – Professional Service Award

University Police Officers Thomas Woodruff, Evan Proulx, Daniel McCarthy

On July 26, 2014, during the Oswego Harbor Fest 5K race, Officer Thomas Woodruff was assigned to traffic control when he noticed that a runner was down. Officer Woodruff responded to the runner as a bystander called 911. Officers Evan Proulx and Daniel McCarthy arrived and all subsequently all officers began to administer CPR and use the portable AED in which they carry. The runner was stabilized until the ambulance arrived and care was turned over to the EMTs. The individual was transported to a local hospital to receive advanced cardiac care. All officers involved showed professional actions and dedication during stressful situations which reflect greatly on themselves and the department.

About SUNY’s University Police
SUNY’s University Police provides leadership and support for the police departments on SUNY campuses across New York State. Based at System Administration in Albany, NY, the commissioner and deputy commissioner promote collaboration among campus departments and oversee university-wide efforts in training, operations, standards, employee relations, and campus safety. In 1998, the legal status of SUNY officers was changed to “police officer,” granting them the same training and law enforcement capabilities as municipal police. All University Police departments are full partners in various state, regional, and local crime information sharing and investigative task forces.

About the State University of New York
The State University of New York 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 2023, 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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