THE UCF PO­LICE Depart­ment rec­og­nizes the hard work and ded­i­ca­tion of its of­fi­cers and com­mu­nity part­ners in an agency awards cer­e­mony.

Orlando Sentinel - - FRONT PAGE - By David Harris Staff Writer

A Univer­sity of Cen­tral Florida stu­dent threat­ened to com­mit sui­cide, and it was up to the UCF Po­lice Depart­ment’s Delta Squad to find him and calm him down.

The stu­dent had taken a high dosage of pre­scrip­tion drugs with al­co­hol, his room­mate told po­lice.

“When we see that, we know it’s a se­ri­ous is­sue,” said Sgt. Woody Fur­nas, who heads the squad. “The stu­dent is send­ing a cry for help.”

Even­tu­ally, he an­swered a call, and of­fi­cers met him in a park­ing lot. They talked him down and took him to the hos­pi­tal.

For their ef­forts, the squad was hon­ored at the depart­ment’s an­nual awards cer­e­mony Mon­day.

Maya To­lentino was one of the of­fi­cers who re­sponded. “We un­der­stand the stres­sors stu­dents go through,” she said. “Be­ing away from home with all the ex­ams they have, it can be hard.”

Fur­nas said of­fi­cers let the stu­dent know he was not alone. Af­ter he was re­leased from the hos­pi­tal, he went to the UCF Po­lice Depart­ment to thank the of­fi­cers.

“He ex­pressed his ap­pre­ci­a­tion for their ac­tions and said that he be­lieves the en­tire squad saved him that night,” said Sa­man­tha Vega, who works for UCF and em­ceed the cer­e­mony.

The grat­i­tude is what stood out to UCF Po­lice Chief Richard Beary.

“It’s about tak­ing that ex­tra time, it’s car­ing about peo­ple and it’s mak­ing peo­ple suc­cess­ful,” Beary said. “This is a per­fect ex­am­ple of that.”

To­lentino said it felt good to know the stu­dent pulled through.

“When­ever some­one comes by to say thank you, I say it’s my honor to help them and serve the com­mu­nity,” she said.

Other hon­orees in­cluded de­tec­tives who ar­rested sus­pects af­ter 37 cars were bro­ken into, and who ar­rested a sus­pect that led to the seizure of 170 grams of mar­i­juana.

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