2001 Award for Merit
Sergeant Allison Valles - University of Texas at El Paso
The University of Texas at El Paso Police Department is small and many of the personnel "wear many hats" in the course of their daily activities. However, Sgt. Valles consistently assumes an increasing level of responsibility that speaks to her motivation in wanting to learn, progress and be proficient in her chosen profession. Her loyalty and dedication is demonstrated by her involvement in activities that foster cooperation between the campus community and the police, which reflects credit upon the Department and which furthers the overall educational mission and vision of the University.
Sgt. Valles began work for the University of Texas at El Paso Police Department in September 1990 and was commissioned as a Texas Peace Officer in May 1991. She has served in many law enforcement positions on the campus during her tenure and was promoted to Sergeant in June 1999. What makes Sgt. Valles an outstanding member of the organization is and has always been her willingness to take on added responsibilities and to embrace new philosophies and techniques that can be adapted to the efforts to make the campus safe, secure and a good learning environment.
Sgt. Valles' primary assignment is being in charge of the department's Crime Prevention program. She is responsible for educating everyone on campus, including students, staff and faculty in proper and accepted procedures and practices to reduce the opportunity for crimes against property as well as to reduce their vulnerability against becoming the victim of personal crime.
For the last three years, Sgt. Valles has gone beyond routine and regular crime prevention activities such as security surveys of specific buildings, classrooms, computer labs and offices. She has been instrumental in forming partnerships with all segments of the campus community to get them involved in working toward a safer campus.
Sgt. Valles works closely with the Admissions Office in preparing informational packets and making presentations to all new students at the beginning of each semester during new student orientation functions including guided tours for new students, orientation for parents, and providing special services for disabled students. In addition to working with new students, Sgt. Valles maintains a close working relationship with the Dean of Student's offices, participates in National Collegiate Awareness Week in the area of alcohol abuse, drug abuse and lifestyles and is a member of the University's standing committee on Drug and Alcohol, a committee she helped form in 1998.
Currently Sgt. Valles is devoting as much of her time as is possible with all her other duties in getting a Workplace Violence Committee off the ground which will address the needs of the entire campus community. The goal is help the campus community become educated, aware of and involved in the prevention of the recent phenomenon of workplace violence. Her objectives include teaching campus personnel about indicators, levels of threat, protocol for handling violent customers, students, or fellow workers, the development of a threat assessment team and education of the police department in the correct handling of these incidents.
Although Sgt. Valles' activities involve the entire campus community, there has been a recent need for and focus on programs for female students, staff and faculty. It is Sgt. Valles' philosophy that the University family is still family when they leave the campus and go home. She has been a founding member and participant in the Domestic Violence Committee since 1997. She has helped create education materials on domestic violence, developed and delivered numerous presentations for large and small groups, been instrumental in the creation of a domestic violence response team, held educational classes on victims assistance and programs for offenders and helped obtain outside funding for some facets of the committee's programs. It is through this Domestic Violence Committee that Sgt. Valles reaches out to involve all women in the athletic programs, the Women's Resource Center, University Counseling services and the Office of Student Housing.
So as not to lose touch with routine and more traditional police work and being experienced in criminal investigations, Sgt. Valles also makes herself available to the personnel in the C.I.D. section, when needed, to assist in interviewing female crime victims and some witnesses who prefer to talk to a female officer. She also volunteers her time to assist with background investigations of cadet applicants for employment with the department.
"In March 2000, our only Lieutenant, who oversees all patrol division activities, was taken ill and has still not been able to return to work. During his absence, Sgt. Valles and another patrol field sergeant have alternated at fulfilling our Lieutenant's responsibilities. Once again Sgt. Valles has risen to the occasion and performed these additional duties in an exemplary fashion. During this time she participated in the planning and coordinating of football games and the huge Ricky Martin concert, all held in the Sun Bowl stadium," stated William H. Adcox, UTEP Chief of Police in his nomination of Sgt. Valles. "I believe that Sgt. Valles' friendly personality, administrative planning and leadership abilities, knowledge and experience are an asset to our Department, the University of Texas System and law enforcement in general and as such, are deserving of recognition."
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