Penn’s Division of Public Safety Honors Local Heroes

University of Pennsylvania President Amy Gutmann joined the Division of Public Safety for the Fall Commendation Ceremony to celebrate the work and dedication of 35 public-safety and law-enforcement professionals, along with Penn’s partners serving the community. 

“We are blessed to have the best university police department in the nation,” Gutmann said, “and it would be impossible to adequately express how deeply appreciative the entire Penn community is for the expertise and caring commitment of these fine officers.”  

Among those honored at the Nov. 9 event were Penn Police Officer Edward Miller and Sgt. Sylvia Young from the Philadelphia Police Department, who were shot in the line of duty earlier this year. 

During the ceremony, other officers from the Philadelphia Police Department received letters of recognition: Brad Vallette, Brian McCarthy, Charles Deely, Frank Kennedy, James Graziano, John Weber and Michael McCafferty. 

The Division of Public Safety also swore in seven new officers: Michael Dougherty, Tomasz Czarnuszewicz, Andrew Cheezum, Thomas Holland, Ashley McHenry, Jhonny Mercier and Thomas Weldon.

DPS also recognized members of the Penn Police Department with merit commendations during the ceremony:

  • Sgt. David Adler
  • Sgt. CaseyAnn Busch
  • Sgt. Joseph Ferdman
  • Sgt. Nicole McCoy
  • Sgt. Nicole Michel
  • Det. Charles Boyle
  • Det. David Callis
  • Det. Philip Lydon
  • Det. William McCullough
  • Det. Ray Rodman
  • Det. Paul Sawicki
  • Off. John Alexander
  • Off. Richard Cray
  • Off. Dominic DiLorenzo II
  • Off. Dominic DiLorenzo III
  • Off. Candice Gongora
  • Off. Joseph Hammond
  • Off. Ryan James
  • Off. Terrance Jones
  • Off. James Kearns
  • Off. Joseph Marone
  • Off. Benjamin Mauro
  • Off. Joseph McDermott
  • Off. Robert McKellick
  • Off. Gregory Price
  • Off. Charles Ritterson
  • Off. Eric Rohrbach
  • Off. Jason Squadroni
  • Off. Matthew Sycz
  • Off. Michael Sylvester
  • Off. Steven Thammavong
  • Off. Francis Toth
  • Off. Thomas Waters
  • Officer Kenneth Yuen.

DPS delivered Letters of Commendation to West Philadelphia residents Rich Vanish, Jonathan Moore, Jessica Scott, Jordan Myers and Mary Lydon, who are all members of the Penn Emergency Communications Center, or PennComm, team.

In addition, Public Safety honored several Penn students for assisting a fellow student during a robbery in which the suspects were later apprehended. 

“The ceremony honors members of the Division of Public Safety,” said Maureen S. Rush, vice president for public safety and superintendent of Penn Police, “but also their partners, including AlliedUniversal, the University City District, the Philadelphia Police Department and the people of West Philadelphia for their dedication, commitment and outstanding service in keeping University City a safe place to learn, work and live. This ceremony illustrates all the brave and amazing work that is done quietly behind the scenes every day by our first responders.” 

The Division of Public Safety at the University of Pennsylvania is comprised of 178 personnel who are responsible for enhancing the quality of life, safety and security of the Penn community; 118 of which are sworn University of Pennsylvania Police Officers. The Division has seven departments, including the University of Pennsylvania Police Department, Fire and Emergency Services, Security Technology, PennComm & Emergency Communications, Security Services and Special Services

During the ceremony Gutmann also praised the Division of Public Safety for its history of excellence, noting that for the 10th consecutive year, Penn DPS has taken the No. 1 spot in the higher-education sector on Security Magazine’s “Security 500” list. The publication provides a peer-review measure establishing a benchmarking program among security organizations.

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