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May 21, 2013

Purdue Police Department honors 3 of its officers, sports center associate director

WEST LAFAYETTE, Ind. - The Purdue University Police Department on Thursday (May 23) will honor three of its own for life-saving actions on campus this spring.

A Chief's Award also will be presented during the ceremony from 4:30-5 p.m. at the department, 205 S. Martin Jischke Drive.

Purdue police officers Kevin Balzer and Mark Snider and Sgt. John Goetz will receive Life-Saving awards.

On April 20, Balzer witnessed a vehicle strike a pedestrian. His actions also led to the apprehension of a suspect. Snider will receive the honor for his actions in an April 1 incident in which a bicyclist collided with a bus. Goetz responded on April 6 to a medical situation in which his actions on-scene and en route to the hospital helped keep a patient alive.

"We're privileged to honor these officers who responded heroically in the call of duty," said Purdue police chief John Cox, who will present the awards. "Oftentimes, our officers are the first on the scene of an incident, and they have to take quick, calm and decisive actions until additional help arrives from the Purdue Fire Department. We are very proud of these officers' efforts."

Luke Versprille, associate director of facilities at the France A. Córdova Recreational Sports Center, will be presented with a Chief's Award for his dedication, service and ingenuity toward enhancing public safety.

"He has helped us identify suspects and solve numerous thefts in the sports center through his use of surveillance cameras and an enhanced security system," Cox said.

The individuals receiving these honors were nominated by members of the Purdue University Police Department.  The Purdue Police Department's Communications and Concerns Committee, led by Lt. Carol Baunach, with members detective Sgt. Matt Wietbrock, and officers Bart Cole and Mike Downey, reviewed the nominations to confirm they met the criteria outlined in the department's General Order on awards before recommending approval to the Chief of Police. 

Writer: Jim Bush, 765-494-2077, jsbush@purdue.edu

Contact: John Cox, 765-494-8221, jkcox@purdue.edu