University's police department honored with teamwork award
The Virginia Tech Police Department was recently honored by the Commonwealth of Virginia with the 2008 Governor's Award for Teamwork. The department was recognized for its extraordinary teamwork following the tragic events of April 16, 2007.
Each year, the Governor's Award for Teamwork is presented to a group of state employees who consistently exhibit the qualities that make teamwork essential to an agency’s success, including coordination of efforts to produce quality service or innovative results.
The department’s reliance on teamwork began long before the April 16 tragedy, and extends beyond the university community. The close working relationships with law enforcement agencies and rescue organizations in surrounding locales was evident from the tremendous support received on April 16. In total, more than 30 police and law enforcement agencies and 20 rescue units responded on that day and in the following weeks.
Years of training together, working cases together, and knowing each other on a first name basis was critical to successful operational and tactical events that produced a highly coordinated response. These well-established relationships with regional and local law enforcement and emergency medical departments were further strengthened during this time, as they worked together to respond.
During the weeks following the tragedy, the department, led by Chief Wendell Flinchum, showed their devotion to the university community by working long and strenuous hours with very limited time off. The dedication shown by these employees and their families demonstrated their commitment to enhance the safety and quality of life on campus.
Team members honored with the award include Chief Flinchum; Capt. Joseph Albert, Jr.; Officer Geoffrey L. Allen; Officer John A. Berry; Communications Officer April D. Blankenship; Officer Mason C. Boggess; Charlotte R. Breeding; Zachary A. Collins; Lt. Curtis L. Cook; Officer James E. Cornwell, III; Officer Kenneth L. Craighead; John R. Epperly; B. Kathy French; Sgt. Thomas R. Gallemore; Officer Daniel L. Guilliams; Sgt. Tony C. Haga; Detective Daniel A. Hardy; Officer Rebecca J. Hawkins; Detective Stephanie J. Henley; Capt. Vincent M. Houston; Lt. George C. Jackson; William B. Kinzer, III; Lt. Scott N. Lau; Denise L. Linkenhoker; Officer H. Dean Lucas; Officer Eric G. McClanahan; F. Lee McNew; Officer Tony M. Miller; Communications Officer Helen C. Moore; Lt. Deborah L. Morgan; Detective Scott T. Moye; Sgt. B. Scott Poff; Jamie Rasmussen; Communications Officer Jennifer L. Ray; Sgt. Jaret D. Reece; Officer Darrell O. Sheppard; Officer Kenneth P. Smith; Sgt. Sean P. Smith; Communications Officer Gary L. Snider; Jared G. Taylor; Pastor Reginald D. Tuck; Officer Paul T. Vinson; Officer Keith D. Weaver; Communications Officer M. Blake Whitt and Officer Larry W. Wooddell.