Lehigh University Police Department Officer John Torres has been awarded the 8th Annual Police Officer of the Year Award. His selection was made by a committee of campus representatives. Torres was also honored as Officer of the Month three times during 2010.
A three-year veteran of the LUPD, Torres has distinguished himself as someone who is “constantly looking for ways to improve the department,” says Chief Ed Shupp. “It’s not unusual for Officer Torres to be at the campus police station on his days off and he is constantly volunteering to participate in activities involving the department.
“He spearheaded the organization of a friendly game of softball against the Dean of Student’s office in order to raise funds to benefit our popular Shop with a Cop program. He also took the initiative throughout the year to set up fundraising tables at different locations across campus to help raise money for the program, which serves children in our local community,” Shupp says.
Torres has also been active in the community police unit, which debuted in January 2010, by monitoring gang activity and forging strong relationships with neighborhood residents and off-campus businesses, Shupp says.
“He’s a great asset to the department in his professional duties and beyond,” Shupp says. “He’s always willing to help out another officer with any questions or issues.”
Torres says he is “happy, of course, but surprised” by the honor, which was announced by Chief Shupp in a brief ceremony at the campus police headquarters.
A 2006 graduate of the Lackawanna Police Academy, Torres worked with the Lehigh County sheriff’s department before joining the Lehigh University police force in 2008.
“I really like working with the students here at Lehigh,” says Torres, who regularly patrols the South Side off-campus neighborhoods when he is assigned to the LUPD five-man community policing patrol. “It’s great to get to know them better. I know many of them also say they feel safer when they see us in the neighborhood, so it’s very gratifying work.”
Story by Linda Harbrecht
Posted on Tuesday, April 19, 2011