Merit Award Winner
The Award for Merit is presented to a campus officer who each day displays professionalism and excellence in performing his/her duties or whose actions and attitude bring credit to the campus law enforcement community.
2022 Merit Award Recipient
Sergeant Frank Imparato, University of Central Florida Police Department
This year’s Award for Merit was presented to Sergeant Frank Imparato of the University of Central Florida Police Department.
On July 14, 2021, then Corporal Imparato responded to the top floor of a parking garage on the UCF Campus in reference to a suicidal person threatening to jump. The distraught 19-year-old, college sophomore female told dispatch that she had a “tough year,” was suffering from an unidentified mental illness, and previously had been taken into protective custody through a Baker Act.
Sergeant Imparato found the woman in a seated position against the ledge of the garage and established immediate rapport to de-escalate the situation. By talking to her about the Harry Potter characters on her shirt, she connected with Sergeant Imparato by telling him her name, where she was from, and why she was in crisis and experiencing suicidal ideations.
Through continued communication and compassionate de-escalation strategies, Sergeant Imparato was able to lead her away from the ledge of the garage and join him in his police car.
Sergeant Imparato’s informed and compassionate response to a person in crisis undoubtedly saved that student’s life and enabled her to receive needed medical treatment.
2021 - Dispatch Supervisor Michelle Garza, University of Texas Arlington Police Department
2020 - Communications & Emergency Services Operator, Biola University, Campus Safety Department
2019 - Investigations & Clery Compliance Manager, Veronica Baeza, Biola University, Department of Public Safety
Photo Credit: © Mike Ritter