2003 Award for Merit
Sergeant John Ojeisekhoba, Biola University
In September of 2002, a student was severely injured in a traffic accident on one of the major freeways outside of Los Angeles . The student was taken to a trauma center some distance from Biola. Sergeant Ojeisekhoba, of his own accord and while off-duty, went to the hospital to be with the student. Sergeant Ojeisekhoba was the first university representative to respond to the incident and facilitated communications with various university departments and the hospital so that a coordinated response could be developed. Since the student was unconscious, Sergeant Ojeisekhoba served as the person representing the student’s interests until the family could be contacted. Sergeant Ojeisekhoba’s efforts were crucial in informing the victim’s parents and in securing important information to assist University officials.
Over the past year, our campus had been suffering from a rash of laptop computer thefts. The individual perpetrating these thefts was a know felon and had previously been arrested on our campus for burglary. He was again burglarizing the campus and later began defrauding students of their computers by posing as an individual who could provide repair and upgrade services. Our department identified the suspect, who was homeless, and an effort to arrest the individual was mounted. However, the suspect eluded capture for several weeks.
On October 30, 2002 , Deputy Chief Christopher Albers was dropping his son at school en route to work at Biola. While exiting the parking lot, he observed two men in a truck driving past him. The driver matched the description of the burglary suspect. He began to pursue the suspect in his personal vehicle. While in pursuit, he used his cell phone to call Sergeant Ojeisekhoba who was off-duty but was on campus nearby. He directed Sergeant Ojeisekhoba to his location and they continued to follow the suspect. While engaged in pursuit, Sergeant Ojeisekhoba was able to positively confirm the suspect as the perpetrator. By cell phone, Deputy Chief Albers contacted the local police and led them to their location where the suspect had been detained by Sergeant Ojeisekhoba and Deputy Chief Albers. The suspect was later sentenced to 4 years in California state prison.
On December 4, 2002 , two armed car-jacking suspects fled police onto the Biola campus. These two suspects while being chased on foot by Sheriff’s Deputies ditched two loaded weapons – a Glock 9mm and a .38 revolver in a trash can that was situated in an area highly populated with students. They then split up going in opposite directions with one evading police and one running into the campus cafeteria that was closed but had workers inside. Sergeant Ojeisekhoba was the ranking officer on duty at the time. After making contact with the police, Sergeant Ojeisekhoba took control of Campus Safety operations and directed personnel to set-up a soft perimeter outside the police hard perimeter that surrounded the barricaded suspect. Sergeant Ojeisekhoba then personally supervised the evacuation of several dorms and campus buildings to ensure the safety of students until Campus Safety senior officers arrived. During this time, Sergeant Ojeisekhoba demonstrated the highest levels of professionalism and discretion, keeping a cool head throughout. His actions preserved the safety of the campus community and provided a rallying point for his subordinates to look to while instilling confidence and pride in his officers.
Finally, Sergeant Ojeisekhoba was recognized by his peers and Biola Campus Safety administrative staff by being awarded the 2002 Biola Campus Safety Officer of the Year Award.