Published November 17, 2017
On Tuesday November 14, 2017, the State University of New York Chiefs of Police met in Saratoga, NY to recognize outstanding police work across the state. Officers from your University Police were among those honored with the Professional Service Award.
Sending severely intoxicated people to the hospital is a very common occurrence, and taking custody of juveniles until a guardian picks them up is something we are occasionally required to do. Thankfully, it’s a rare occurrence that we must send an intoxicated mother to the hospital, and are left to supervise her two young children, but that was exactly the situation that Lt. Fletcher and Officer Radder were faced with at a UB football game last September. Recognizing the impact this could have on the children, Lt. Fletcher was able to handle the situation with the mother in as dignified a manner as possible, and obtain necessary information from the children without alarming them. With the boys' help, he was able to contact an aunt who could come to campus to pick them up. In the meantime, Officer Radder was tasked with supervising the two boys while they waited. Now, Jon and Eric could have simply brought them back to our station to wait and maybe give them a can of pop, but they chose to do much more than that. Officer Radder took the boys down to the sidelines to see the team, gave them dinner, and got their faces painted, while Lt. Fletcher bought them hats to keep them warm. They took it upon themselves to alter the memories these two children would have of this difficult day.
For their professionalism and exceptional display of compassion, it is our pleasure to award Lt. Jonathan Fletcher and Officer Eric Radder the SUNY Police Chief’s Association Professional Service Award.
On March 17, 2017, we received a report of a man with a weapon in a building on the North Campus. Officer Pepi was one of the first units on scene. He was able to quickly locate the victim, determine if she needed medical attention and identify the suspect. While the suspect had fled the area, Officer Pepi was able to gather enough information from the victim and other witnesses to positively identify the suspect and the location that he was fleeing to. Officer Pepi’s quick actions led directly to the suspect being apprehended less than an hour after the initial report.
Investigator Banas interviewed the victim while Officer Pepi started processing the arrest. Investigator Banas’ interview revealed that this was not an isolated incident but part of an ongoing pattern of domestic and sexual violence against the victim. Over the next few months, Investigator Banas worked tirelessly on the victim’s behalf, guiding her through the process with the Erie County District Attorney and the Domestic Violence Advocates at Crisis Services. When the suspect made bail and immediately returned to terrorizing the victim, Investigator Banas worked with the ECDA to get his bail revoked and have him remanded into custody until trail.
On August 1, 2017 the suspect was convicted in State Supreme Court. As part of the process, the victim read an impact statement to the court. She only agreed to read this statement in open court once she knew that Officer Pepi would be there with her.
For their diligent effort to resolve this difficult domestic violence case, it is our pleasure to award Investigator Terri Banas and Officer Bruce Pepi the SUNY Police Chief’s Association Professional Service Award.