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