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2005 Award for Valor

2005 Award for Valor

Security Officer Royce E. McCain, Florida Institute of Technology

On Thursday May 6, 2004, during the early hours of the morning, Royce E. McCain, a 62 year old Security Officer at Florida Tech in Melbourne, Florida was shot and killed while he was on routine patrol. This occurred just a few days after the spring semester had ended and the campus was virtually empty. The motive for the murder was robbery. He was found by another officer when he was unable to be reached via the radio.

Two men, 19-year-old Anthony Johnson and 18-year-old Blaine S. Barber, were arrested on murder charges by Melbourne and Palm Bay Police. Both were charged with murder and robbery with a firearm and booked at the Melbourne Police Department.

Officer McCain personified the anonymity that we, as security professionals, work on a daily basis. Royce was a big man, 6’ 6” and rarely called off, never complained, performed his job and had a personality that made working with him, a pleasure. His one unfortunate moment came when some cowardly individual killed him. This gentle giant will not be forgotten. Royce was a U.S. Army veteran who served in Vietnam. He was also a Baltimore police officer, a basketball coach, a teacher, and a business owner before coming to Florida Tech where he was a 9-month officer.

He was initially employed in September 2003 and worked primarily on the evening shift. His last scheduled day to work in the Spring 2004 school year would have been May 27, just 3 weeks later. He was scheduled to return in September after the students returned for the fall semester.

Officer James L. Davis, Jr, Butler University

Friday, Sept. 24, 2004 was a tragic day for Butler University. Butler University Police Department Officer James L. Davis was shot and killed in the line of duty that morning while responding to a report of a disruptive stranger at Hinkle Fieldhouse. Officer Davis was a dedicated member of the department and committed to protecting the campus community.

The campus, the neighborhood, and surrounding schools were “locked down” while police set up a perimeter and engaged in a street-to-street search. The shooting suspect was apprehended three hours later. He had Officer Davis’ gun, which he fired at police. He was hit in the ensuing exchange and died later that evening. Subsequent reports indicated that he was mentally unstable.

The University and its neighborhood remain a safe environment, in large part because of the work and sacrifice of Officer Davis and his colleagues. Officer Davis was responding to a call made by a Hinkle Fieldhouse staff member who reported suspicious behavior. This was standard procedure and, unfortunately, proved amply justified. The decision to lock down the campus was made and executed in a timely manner. Beyond protecting the students, staff, and faculty, the lockdown helped keep people off the streets and expedited the search for the shooter.

James Davis was 31, a husband and the father of three young children. Raised in Fort Wayne, Indiana, he was a 1995 graduate of Indiana University, where he double-majored in Criminal Justice and Afro-American Studies. After graduation, he entered the army and served as a military policeman. After his discharge, he worked as a corporate security officer for Conseco and served as an instructor for troubled youth in a program called Project Impact. A friend who worked with him at Project Impact noted that “Davis believed there were no bad children, just children who made bad decisions or came from a bad environment.” James joined the Butler University Police Department in January 2003 and was working on an MBA at the time of his death.

To honor Officer Davis, the University placed a Butler University Police Department vehicle at 46th and Sunset by the flagpoles, and flowers and other tokens of remembrance proliferated at the site. Black ribbons to wear in tribute to Officer Davis were made available at locations around campus.

Office Davis’ funeral service was held on Thursday, Sept. 30, at Mount Carmel Baptist Church. The funeral procession, with honor guard and police escort, went through campus before proceeding to Crown Hill Cemetery for interment. Butler students, faculty and staff lined the processional route through campus to pay tribute to Officer Davis as he passed.

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