More than 200 members of the campus community gathered around the courtyard of the Lehigh University Police Department’s new facility at 321 Packer Ave. to honor the work of the officers and staff who serve the university. The ceremony was part of an annual event to mark National Police Week, as well as to officially welcome the campus community into the facility, which was opened in mid-April.
In attendance this year were Bethlehem Mayor Bob Donchez, Bethlehem Police Department Chief Mark DiLuzio, and Lehigh President John Simon.
All thanked the fully accredited LUPD officers and staff members for a job that is difficult, demanding, dangerous and often thankless.
“We don’t do it for the money or the glory. What each of you does every day to help people doesn’t often make the news. That’s why days like this are so important,” said LUPD Chief Ed Shupp.
Simon told those assembled that he felt confident in the promise he made to parents of new students arriving on campus last August to protect the health and well-being of their sons and daughters – largely, he said, due to the work and high level of professionalism of the LUPD.
He also noted that campus crime has decreased every year for the last six years, representing an overall reduction of 36 percent. But, he added, the work each of the officers do to generate goodwill on campus and beyond is equally valuable.
“Thank you,” he said, “for a job well-done.”
Donchez praised the work of the LUPD and the Bethlehem Police Department for cultivating a strong and productive partnership that not only has been effective in fighting crime, but in improving the quality of life for residents of the Lehigh Valley.
“As someone who grew up here as the son of a police detective, that is important to me,” Donchez said.
After the presentation of awards and Letters of Commendation by LUPD Assistant Chief Stu Bedics, Shupp thanked those who were involved in the design, planning and construction of the 11,000-square-foot facility that includes state-of-the-art surveillance technology.
“Just as a reminder, we finished two days early,” he said before turning to Vice President of Finance and Administration Pat Johnson and adding, “and under budget.”
In addition to Johnson, Shupp also thanked Simon and the Board of Trustees for their support, as well as members of the Lehigh community.
“I’m extremely proud of all the officers and members of our staff,” he said in closing. “In my 36 years here at Lehigh, and 18 as your chief, I’ve seen this department grow from a good one to a truly great one.”
Following the half-hour ceremony, attendees took tours of the new facility, and enjoyed a luncheon provided by Lehigh’s Dining Services and the FUD truck.