Congratulations to the 2019 ASIS Law Enforcement & Security Awards Winners!

Congratulations to the 2019 ASIS Law Enforcement & Security Awards Winners!

The First Responders Foundation would like to congratulate all of the 2019 ASIS Law Enforcement & Security Awards Winners.  Their hard work and dedication to our community are much appreciated.  It was an honor to take part in recognizing them for the work they do day in and day out.

The following individuals have recognized at the ASIS Law Enforcement and Security Awards dinner on December 3, 2019 at the Scott Conference Center.

Outstanding Law Enforcement Award from the LaVista Police Department:  Officer Karl Meister, Officer Bryan Straw Officer Lucas Tiberi, Officer Mike Jarvis, & Officer Brad Wood. (A video of the event leading to these officer’s selection for this award will follow this post.)

Outstanding Firefighter Award, Captain Dave Kirchofer | Omaha Fire Department

Outstanding Security Technology Integrator Award, Nick Crawford | Sentrixx Security

Outstanding Security Officer Award, Adam Haakenson | Creighton University

Outstanding Security Leadership Award. Tim Herron | Creighton University

ASIS International is the world’s largest membership organization for security management professionals.

Below are the events that lead to the selection of these fine individuals.

Outstanding Law Enforcement Award

Our outstanding performance awards recognize those nominated by their peers in the law enforcement, fire and private security professions for being true role models in our community.

Our first recipient of the Outstanding Law Enforcement Award is actually a group of individuals being honored for the actions they took in the line of duty, to save the life of a 26-year-old man. On Saturday, September 28, 2019 at 5:38 am, La Vista police officers, Karl Meister, Brad Wood,  Bryan Straw, Lucas Tiberi, and Mike Jarvis, responded to the Brentwood Park Apartments at 107th/Brentwood in La Vista, to a report of a man-woman verbal domestic disturbance in the parking lot.

Upon arrival, they were advised by the female party that the male was upset and had gone in to garage unit 3J and shut and locked the garage door. The female said he was in the car in the garage and was going to kill himself. She did not know if he was armed. Officers were outside of the garage unit and attempted to start a dialogue with the suspect. After 3 minutes, one of the officers noticed a liquid seeping out under the garage door and suddenly the liquid ignited into flames. The male party had poured gasoline on to the floor of the closed and locked garage unit and lit it on fire in an attempt to kill himself.

Officers retrieved fire extinguishers from their police cars and attempted to put out the fire. They began kicking and punching the garage panels, desperately trying to get in while also extinguishing what fire they could. One officer was able to reach into the garage and recover four (4) five-gallon containers of high octane fuel that was in the corner near the front of the garage. All but one of the containers was full. The male party had poured the contents of one of the containers on the ground which started the initial fire. Thankfully none of the others ignited.

The officers were able to create a big enough space to enter. A quick plan was developed to enter the garage and three officers went in while a fourth provided cover for them as they didn’t know if the suspect was armed. They broke a window on the car thinking he was inside, then found he was tucked in front of the vehicle, unconscious. The officers carried. him out and began medical treatment. The male party had a pulse and was breathing. Fire units were now on scene and transported the male party to Midlands Hospital where he was treated and then taken to a mental health facility.

Two La Vista police officers were treated at the scene for minor smoke inhalation. As a result of the team of officer’s actions, their quick thinking and prompt decision to put themselves in harm’s way, their actions saved this man’s life.

To watch a video from a body cam worn by Officer Wood click here.

Outstanding Firefighter Award

Next, our Outstanding Firefighter Award winner is Captain Dave Kirchofer of the Omaha Fire  Department is recognized for the actions he took on March 4, 2019, in response to a building fire with persons trapped. At approximately 0516 hours, fire dispatch reported the building fire with at 3263 Arbor Street. Not sure if you remember last March, but on this day, in the wee hours of the morning, there were multiple inches of snow on the ground and there were about 10 people in the house. Challenging conditions to say the least. First arriving crews encountered smoke and flames on approach. On arrival, Capt. Kirchofer and a member of his crew entered the structure and began fire attack operations. While performing an initial search, he located and assisted with the removal of an unconscious occupant trapped in their second-floor apartment. The dangerous working conditions at this fire were hampered even further by the extreme weather conditions and his professionalism and quick actions during this event directly contributed to the rescue of the occupant, thereby saving his life and preventing further injury. Captain Kirchofer, was presented as a Lifesaving Medal for his actions. Please join me in recognizing.

Outstanding Security Technology Integrator Award

Our recipient of the Outstanding Security Technology Integrator Nick  Crawford has worked on many of the physical security technology projects as an Electronic Security Lead Technician. Actually, Nick is more than a technician, he’s a problem solver, teacher, outside the box thinker, inventor, and organizer. He demonstrates initiative, dedication, and professionalism in everything he does. Technology and challenges are two of the items Nick excels at most often.

Nick likes to utilize and take advantage of technology whenever possible. A recent parking lot camera project, which presents the challenge of wiring, natural elements and distance, Nick proposed using a wireless network and the company has used the design in multiple projects since.

Did we mention technology? During a recent software upgrade install, Nick discovered that after the software was installed, the customers would lose access to their old files, unless they were saved on a separate server, something the vendor was not aware of.

Nick has never met a challenge he hasn’t liked. A unique project utilizing Bispectral PTZ IP Cameras with IR Illuminators attached to tripods and deployed in the field offered an opportunity for Nick to design an attachment to connect a 40lb camera to a tripod that will not tip over in 50 MPH winds. After much research, nothing like this has ever been done before, and Nick may just be pioneering a new way of connecting cameras to tripods.

And finally, Nick takes pride in his work. He likes his work to look good as well as perform good and proposed that we install gutters, which are metal housing boxes above power and controller panels to contain and organize the wire. No more spaghetti wires! Please join me in recognizing Nick Crawford from Sentrixx Security.

Security Officer of the Year Award

Our Security Officer of the Year award goes to someone who has responded to dozens of medical and security calls across the Creighton University campus over the past three years. Adam  Haakenson is a Public Safety Officer for the Department of Public Safety at Creighton University. In his role, Adam protects and serves a 130-acre campus community with over 10,000 people who live, work, study, or play here. He always has a professional demeanor while on duty and treats everyone with the utmost respect while handling their issues. When Adam becomes aware of a problem on campus, he addresses it himself or brings it to the attention of a supervisor.

He has worked numerous calls to dorm rooms on campus, some of which have led to the discovery of felony-level narcotics charges. This year, Adam chased down a theft suspect. During the foot pursuit, the suspect threw a hammer at him! Fortunately, Adam was not injured, and he safely apprehended and detained the suspect, who was subsequently arrested by the Omaha Police on multiple charges. Adam has also responded to medical calls were provided basic first aid until medical professionals arrived on the scene.

Adam is also one of the top performers in the department in the area of parking enforcement. He has an outstanding memory of scofflaw vehicles—those persistent violators with multiple citations. He regularly assists other officers to research vehicles and citations to link scofflaw vehicles with the right driver. His work has positively impacted campus parking behaviors to ensure adequate parking remains available for authorized vehicles. Adam displays a tireless work ethic. He has an impressive attendance record, rarely utilizing sick time.

He is always willing to work any assignment, even if it requires work beyond his normal work hours. Adam has served on the University Staff Advisory Council and the University Disabilities Committee, providing the departmental perspective to these University-wide committees. He is also a Public Safety liaison to McGloin Hall, a residence hall housing over 270 students. This program improves relationships between Public Safety and students through positive social interactions. In this role, Adam hosted “Mocktails with Public Safety,” as well as an ice cream social, with the residents of his hall. He enjoys interacting with students in these types of social settings and represents the department in a positive light. Adam has also been selected to become a Field Training Officer for the day shift. In this role, he will train new Public Safety officers on their roles and responsibilities.

Adam also has full knowledge of the dispatcher job and the multiple computer systems involved, including our video surveillance and card access control system, our parking management system, and our incident report management software. He trains new employees on how to perform these critical job functions. He also volunteers to fill in as a dispatcher when there is a need for this to occur. He is knowledgeable in many areas of the day to day operations at Creighton Public Safety!

Security Leadership of the Year Award

Our Security Leadership of the Year award goes to someone who is the face of the Department of Public Safety through his active involvement in many campus events at Creighton University. In his role as the Community Outreach Officer, Tim Herron is responsible for educating hundreds of students, faculty, and staff through campus safety presentations, with an emphasis on active assailant response and self-defense classes. He led the department initiative to market, distribute, and configure Peace of Mind (POM) personal safety devices for over 1,350 students, faculty, and staff. The POM is a BlueTooth-enabled device paired with a smartphone app that allows users to immediately contact an emergency dispatcher. The device is activated with three clicks of a button and the speaker/microphone in the rechargeable fob allows the user to speak directly to an emergency dispatcher without handling their phone. The user’s exact geolocation is transmitted to the Public Safety dispatcher, along with personal profile info, enabling a rapid and informed emergency response.

This year, Tim initiated the Public Safety Liaison Officer program with the nine residence halls at Creighton. He recruited Public Safety officers to partner with specific living areas on campus. This innovative program allowed students to see Public Safety in a positive light as the officers conducted programs with the Residential Life professional staff and student leaders in each hall. For example, one officer grilled hotdogs and hamburgers at a large picnic for his residence hall, while another officer set up “Decompress with Dee,” where they played trivia games and distributed prizes. In his assigned residence hall, Tim presented “Tea Time with Tim,” where he served tea to his residents and discussed safety topics with the attendees. Tim also leveraged his digital marketing degree to launch their Twitter account. He delivers important safety messages with a blend of humor and graphics that draws the attention of a broad spectrum of students, faculty, and staff members. His online following has steadily grown since July. Tim also applied his social media savvy to assist with multiple misconduct investigations, finding and documenting digital evidence to support student disciplinary hearings and campus ban-and-bar actions.

Tim played a key role in the execution of the annual Project Homeless Connect Omaha, planning for parking and security for an event that brings about 700 persons experiencing homelessness and 500 volunteers to the Creighton campus for a variety of health and social services. He adeptly balances compassion for those in need with vigilance for misconduct, ensuring a successful event each year.

As a lifelong learner, Tim regularly seeks out opportunities for training to broaden his skills. This year, he attended Title IX investigator training, enabling him to assist the Office of Equity and inclusion in sensitive investigations involving sexual misconduct. He recently completed a highly-sensitive investigation involving serious allegations, requiring multiple interviews. To quote Dave Dibelka, who nominated Tim, “Community Outreach Officer Tim Herron is richly deserving of this award due to his innovative way of getting our officers more involved in campus life, enhancing positive relationships between students and our officers, and educating our community on important safety and security issues. We can’t wait to see what Tim will come up with next!”

For more information on ASIS visit their website