Public Safety honors campus heroes, lifesavers


Division of Public Safety

Maureen S. Rush, vice president for Public Safety, awards honorees at a past Commendation Ceremony.

The ceremonial honor guard marches in to the unmistakable chorus of bagpipes. The celebration showcases the hard work and dedication of Penn’s law enforcement and public safety professionals.

On Thursday, April 19, the Division of Public Safety (DPS) is recognizing nearly 50 honorees at its biannual Commendation Ceremony, held at the Biomedical Research Building in the Perelman School of Medicine.

Officers, detectives, and dispatchers who have demonstrated special initiative, perseverance, and exceptional performance will be applauded for going above and beyond the call of duty. Commendations of Merit and Commendatory Letters will be presented to members of the Penn Police Department, the PennComm Center, Fire and Emergency Services, and AlliedBarton Security personnel.

This year’s top honors will acknowledge the courage and quick-thinking of members of the Penn community who sprung into action when three different people recently went into cardiac arrest. The good Samaritans utilized Automated External Defibrillators (AED) devices—strategically placed around campus to resuscitate cardiac arrest victims—to help the people in distress and waited for medical professionals to arrive. 

“Penn was on the leading edge of installing Automated External Defibrillators in 1999,” says Maureen S. Rush, vice president for Public Safety. “Today, we have over 108 AEDs installed throughout campus and carried by Penn Police.”


The Commendation Ceremony is hosted jointly with students from the Undergraduate Assembly (UA) and the Graduate and Professional Students Assembly (GASPA). Each semester, students submit nominations to the UA and GASPA to recognize exceptional campus security officers, who will be announced during tonight’s ceremony.

Rush says the commendations are DPS’s way of congratulating and expressing the department’s gratitude “to those who risk their lives to keep us safe on a daily basis, as well as to show our appreciation to first responders, both law enforcement, as well as our security partners from AlliedBarton, PennComm Tele-communicators, members of the Philadelphia Fire Department, and concerned citizens.”

Fifteen Medical Emergency Response Team members who are graduating will also be recognized for their accomplishments and presented with a certificate.

In addition, Letters of Recognition will be shared with outside law enforcement agencies such as Philadelphia Police Department and area residents.

Originally published on April 19, 2012