Public Safety awards officers; campus protection

Students attending Wilkes University know that Public Safety plays a huge role for every individual on campus. Whether walking to class or walking in the Square, day or night, Public Safety will always answer to any students’ call.

The officers have shown time and time again that they are dedicated to their job and willing to do anything to keep students feel safe and secure on campus, despite the complications involved in the city (environment) around Wilkes.

However, there are a few Public Safety officers who have gone above and beyond the line of duty and have received awards for their feats.

Two Public Safety officers recently have been recognized for their acts. On a Sunday morning in March, Corporal William Dubiak and PSO Michael O’Donnel assisted Police Officers Daniel Roper and Erica Oswald as they struggled with an intoxicated driver near Ross Street.

Throughout the struggle with the 33-year-old driver, Roper was assaulted and received injuries to the face. After this attack, both of the police officers attempted to taze the man without success. At this point, O’Donnel and Dubiak arrived on the scene and radioed dispatch of their location and assisted with the arrest.

Later, additional Wilkes-Barre police arrived on the scene.

Because O’Donnel and Dubiak illustrated such responsible, hardworking and dedicated characteristics, they were awarded with a Letter of Commendation for their efforts. Oswald, one of the officers originally involved with the incident, attended the awards ceremony, along with President Leahy and Vice President Loren Prescott.

The Department of Public Safety also recognized Lieutenant Don Noble for his actions taken on Aug. 8.

While patrolling his regular route on the corner of South Franklin and West Northampton Streets, Lieutenant Noble witnessed a car crash and did not hesitate to get involved and begin helping at the scene.

In the crashed van, two young girls and a family were trapped inside. Noble approached the van and began forcing open the front passenger door and freeing the girls and the family. In addition, Noble conducted medical assessments and they were all found to be without injuries.

Shortly after the girls and the family were freed, the van erupted into flames. The Wilkes-Barre fire department arrived at the scene and the fire was extinguished.

“You don’t make a plan, you rely on your training. I did what was the most important thing at the time, getting them out,” said Noble, who was awarded the Meritorious Award.

Other individuals  recognized at the awards ceremony included: Lt. Phil Miller, Sgt. Seth Pesta, PSO Holly Stull, SPSO Michele Sabol-Jones, PSO Dale Chamberlain, PSO Jeff Maciejczyk, SPSO Eric Snyder, PSO Chris Yale, Communications Officer Jill Lewis, Ms. Lyndi Moran and Ms. Janis Sekera for three or more years of dedicated and distinguished service to the Department of Public Safety.

In addition, Christopher Jagoe, Director of Public Safety, said that the Department of Public Safety is going to be teaming up with the Wilkes-Barre Area Police Department in order to create a more safe and aware team of safety and support around Wilkes University.