On December 15th, the Massachusetts Association of Campus Law Enforcement Administrators presented Worcester State University police officer Kevin Weigold and former WSU officer Ilyas Abu with the Sean Collier Award for Innovations in Community Oriented Policing at a ceremony at the Doubletree Hotel in Leominster.
Weigold, a WSU police officer for nearly 20 years, has a long track record of working hard to support worthy causes. For the last four years, he has run the University Police Department’s “Stuff a Cruiser” event, which aims to provide needy families in the Worcester area with gifts for the holiday season. He has also represented WSU Police in the annual Law Enforcement Torch Run for Special Olympics and at an autism awareness event held at the UMass Medical School called National Light it Up Blue. He also formed a team of police officers to participate in a road race to honor a fallen police officer.
Abu, who left WSU recently, also had made a significant impact on and off campus. To shed a positive light on the community, he initiated “Coffee with a Cop” on campus to build exposure. He joined forces with Counseling Services on campus for Sexual Assault Awareness; he worked with local elementary schools to start a program called “High Five Friday”; and he dedicated his time and efforts to educate the community on substance influences and impairment while using a device called Fatal Vision Goggles, which allow students to see the effects of driving while impaired.
Abu also worked tirelessly to advertise the success and professionalism of the department and used Twitter and Facebook to collaborate with other WSU departments. He represented the department at on-campus events such as open houses, Congratulations Day, and orientation days, and continuously reached out to the Residence Life and Housing Office.
WSU Police Chief Jason Kapurch told Wicked Local – Shrewsbury that Weigold “sees the grander scale and strives to assist those who may be unable due to financial, physical or other limitations. His exceptional professionalism and devotion to help those in need reflects an image of policing that is often overlooked.”
Kapurch said of Abu: “Sergeant Ilyas Abu has been an asset to the Worcester State University Police Department. His involvement across the campus community has helped reflect the professionalism of the department.”
The Sean Collier Award is named after the MIT campus police officer who was killed in the line of duty when confronting the suspects in the Boston Marathon bombing. It recognizes officers who demonstrate a commitment to their campus community, to community policing programs, and to crime prevention. Those who receive the award are also known for promoting strong partnerships, for relationship-building, and for supporting the development of community policing programs.
Written by Communication intern Ashley Downes
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