The Duke University Police Department honored members of its department and the Duke community at-large this week during an annual awards ceremony.
Awards recognized community service, management, teamwork and celebrated the recipient of the Chief's Award, the highest award given to Duke Police staff.
Kyle Cavanaugh, vice president for administration, said Duke Police's effort to serve the community is important, considering the broad range of what the Duke police department does to create a safe environment for research, patient care and special events.
"The need to educate students, faculty, staff, patients and visitors on how to be safe while at Duke and the need to respond in a swift and professional manner has never been greater," Cavanaugh said. "The responsibility for another individual's safety is of the most significant undertakings in our society."
This year's recipient of the Chief's Award was security officer Scott Grainer, a former New York Police Department officer who's worked at Duke since February 2011. Nominated for the award by Sgt. Jerry Johnson, Grainer was recognized for this professionalism and willingness to take tough assignments like traffic control at the Health System campus, where Johnson said Grainer goes above and beyond his normal duties.
"I continually observe Office Grainer get wheelchairs for our sick and elderly patients and take them inside the building out of the weather," Johnson wrote in his nomination. "Upon leaving, many people seek out Officer Grainer to shake his hand and thank him for his kindness toward them and their family members."
Grainer said his extra effort is worth it.
"If you can direct traffic in Midtown Manhattan, you can direct traffic anywhere," said Grainer, adding he was overwhelmed to receive the Chief's Award. "It's a pleasure to come into work every day and provide a smile or laugh by just helping with a wheelchair or a handshake."
Along with Grainer, other award recipients included:
Major James Bjurstrom received the Manager of the Year Award for supporting positive morale among DUPD staff, maintaining open dialogue among employees and community members and displaying respect and fairness.
The Community Service Award went to security officer Eric Hester for his efforts to share crime prevention information with students, faculty and staff across Duke. Hester takes part in biannual "Tips n' Treats" sessions and hosts safety workshops for students and employees.
Duke Police's B Squad was presented with the Outstanding Teamwork Award for continued examples of timely and thorough service to solve problems and respond to issues across campus, ranging from trespassers to disturbance calls and traffic violations.
Bernice Alston, a housekeeper specialist, and Sheila Broderick, gender violence intervention services coordinator with the Women's Center, each received the Coveted Badge Award, which is given annually to a civilian employee at Duke. Alston received the award for excellent service of DUPD housekeeping needs for the past five years. Broderick was recognized for her work with Duke Police to treat victims of sexual and domestic violence and help the victims find help from other student support services.
"Our department members frequently provide great service and it's important to recognize individuals who exemplify it," said Duke Police Chief John Dailey. "The awards ceremony allows us to come together each year as a team and reemphasize our commitment to each other and helping the Duke community."
All award winners were presented with a plaque or certificate signifying their achievement.