UPD officers awarded for excellence

A group of five officers at the University Police Department (UPD) have been awarded for their services to the community of Southeastern.

Scott Huff has been named The Officer of the Year for the UPD by a group of fellow officers.  Along with Huff, Sergeant Erica Welter were given a Merit Award. Lieutenant Patrick Gipson, Sergeant Carmen Bray and Sergeant Chris Durham won the Chief’s Award for Excellence.

Both Huff and Welter were able to assist in the arrest and recovery of stolen property, helping solve a string of stolen vehicle cases.  The two received a radio description of a vehicle reportedly stolen and were able to spot the vehicle and recover its license plate number.

“That information that they obtained basically off duty helped in the arrest and recovery of stolen property,” said Captain Mike McGill. “We don’t have much crime on campus, but, since this is a felony, it is a very big deal when this happens.”

Welter has been with the UPD for just over ten years.  She enjoys serving the Southeastern community along with her co-workers.

“I am honored to have received this award from our department,” said Welter. “It means a lot when your commitment to the service of our community is noticed and rewarded.”

One of three who won the annual Chief’s Award of Excellence, Gipson has been working at the UPD for almost 15 years.

“Working for a university is different than working for any other type of police department or sheriff’s office,” said Gipson.  “It takes a special kind of attitude. You have to be able to handle things differently than you would at other places.”

The UPD works around the clock to provide safety and security for Southeastern’s campus.  For providing these services, Welter believes that she has gained experience in the field of law enforcement.

“I wanted to help people,” said Welter. “Working in this field affords a person the opportunity to help people when they most need it. It also gives you a more in-depth perspective on how our society functions and some good life experience.”

The awards will be given out at a banquet on Jan. 26 that will be held at Trey Yuen in Hammond.  For more information about the UPD, visit their webpage located on Southeastern’s website under the Quick Links navigation.