From the shooting outside of Copabanana in April to everyday thefts and burglaries on campus, Penn Police officers have solved numerous cases since last semester.
On Thursday night, some officers took a break for an hour to celebrate some of their accomplishments since April.
At its fall Commendation Ceremony, the Division of Public Safety honored the officers who apprehended Corey Gaynor, the man who allegedly shot another man outside of the Copabanana on April 15, by quickly responding to the shooting. AlliedBarton guards who kept the scene by Copabanana calm after the shooting were also praised for their work.
An officer from DPS’ Special Services Division and several officers from the Philadelphia Police Special Victims Unit were honored for their work on a sexual assault reported on June 21, 2014 by a member of the Penn community. As a result of SVU’s work with DPS, it took police only three days to catch the suspect.
Executive Vice President Craig Carnaroli praised the work that DPS does every day, noting specifically that he is proud of two recent accomplishments by DPS: that Penn was ranked number one in university safety by Security 500 magazine for the eighth year in a row and that crime against people is down 23 percent from last year.
“We’re happy to say the biggest problem right now is bike theft,” Vice President for Public Safety Maureen Rush said.
Several detectives, including officers Charles Ritterson and Steve Thammavong, also received commendations for catching the suspects of a number of thefts. IT Project Manager from PennComm Robert Curry was commended for saving DPS $337,000 by improving the radio communication with the Hospital of the University of Pennsylvania.
DPS’s newest officers were also sworn in at Thursday’s ceremony. Among the new officers was a second K9 bomb-sniffer, Officer Zzisa. Zzisa and her handler, Officer Sean Mackey, trained with SEPTA police for about 16 weeks before going on duty.
After Zzisa was sworn in as DPS’s newest pup, Mackey let her off her leash and she and Officer Socks — DPS’s first bomb-sniffing dog — walked in circles sniffing each other’s butts and causing the audience to burst out in laughter. “It’s hard to be around cute dogs and get any attention,” Rush joked.
About 60 people — and one dog — were honored in total at the ceremony.
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